Admit it – you like to watch cat videos on the internet. It’s okay, everyone does. The skyrocketing popularity of “internet celebrity” cats like Maru(1) and Lil’ Bub(2), whose antics are captured on youtube for millions of viewers from all over the world, is proof that deep down, we’re suckers for anything adorable.
But now, scientists have given us more reason to indulge in these videos. Studies have shown that they do more than give us the warm fuzzies – they can actually improve emotional regulation, reduce stress, and make us better at our jobs.
Procrastination Or Time Management Strategy?
Anecdotal accounts from various news sources indicate that many people watch cat videos online in order to procrastinate – to put off work-related tasks and other things that they just don’t want to do.
However, scientists are now saying that there’s no reason to feel guilty about engaging in this behavior (in moderation, of course) – because the emotional benefits can actually improve your performance in the long run.
A recent study conducted by assistant professor Jessica Gall Myrick discovered that many people watch cat videos while they’re supposed to be studying or working(3). But that doesn’t mean that their performance in those tasks was negatively effected.
In fact, Myrick said in a recent press release,
“Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward.”(4)