I want to write about the cat phenomenon of YouTube and the Internet. I think there should be scholarly texts devoted to this subject alone. Purr-haps one day, I shall take it upon myself to do so. It may seem irrelevant. But the increasing popularity of cats online depicts how we as a society are growing into individuals who will do anything to waste some time. Catz rule.
Cats have taken over the world… and they don’t even know it (I fear what they would do if they knew of the power they hold). When I type the word “cats” into the search bar on YouTube, I have 580,000 glorious video results-and how I’d love to watch each and every one. Half a million little cuties, I could watch them for days, and I might just. They amaze me, intrigue me and sometimes disgust me with their antics. But I am compelled to log into youtube at least once a day and watch them play fight, play the piano or puke. I love them. And I don’t know why.
I’d like to say it’s just me who wastes hours on these cats. But when videos such as “Talking Cats” have attracted 17,613,275 hits, sadly I know I am not the only one. We as humans are wasting our waking hours watching cats! I’d like to know how many hours are wasted watching kittens stare blankly into a digital camera as they unknowingly submit to our online addictions. The answer would be appalling I’m sure.
I feel for the cats in the world who are being neglected and abandoned by their owners while they watch felines frolicking on Youtube, casting their own pets aside; disappointed in their lack of natural cuteness which would undoubtedly lead to online superstardom. It breaks my heart.
And it is not just videos, the popularity of the LOLcat is probably far more prevalent among the Internet society. If you are unsure what a LOLcat is here is a definition from our beloved Wikipedia:
Lolcat: an image combining a photograph, most frequently of a cat with a humorous and idiosyncratic caption in (often) broken English—a dialect which is known as “lolspeak,” ”kitteh,” or “kitty pidgin” and which parodies the poor grammar typically attributed to Internet slang. The term arose in 2005.
Unbeknownst to the everyday modern house cats of the world, they have somehow manifested themselves into the world of the Internet. Taking Internet slang…and throwing it back into our faces, like kitty litter in our eyes. Basically these cats are a combination of insult and comedy.
“You are not going to turn passive consumers into active trollers of the internet.” These are the words of Stephen Weiswasser (ABC-1989) He was wrong. Professor Michael Wesch has stated that YouTube is able to produce over 1.5 millions hours of programming in a mere six months… something that took ABC 60 years to do. The internet seems to have taken over the media. And with that comes the LOLcats.
The freedom we have in amateur videography is amazing. If I wasn’t wasting so much time watching cats, I’m sure I could find something much better, something knowledgable and informative. But I am not interested. I want to spend my leisurely time with the cats.
We are good little consumers. With phenonenoms such as this, it is quite clear that as a society we will buy into anything. Cats rule, you’ll do well to remember that.