It’s no surprise to anyone who has been on the internet lately that the secret to getting a lot of likes on your Instagram, or shares on your Facebook, or really just any kind of cyber recognition is animals. Cute animal, ugly animals, awkward animals, naked animals. We love animals.

No one gets upset when they have to sit through commercials for popular telephone company, Telus. In fact we ooh and ahh over the adorable micro pigs, and gorgeous tigers.

Why do we love animals on the internet so much, though? Sure they’re cute (or so not-cute in some cases that it’s even more adorable). However, most of the time a picture of an animal, or a gallery of cats doing stuff, has absolutely nothing to do with what we set out to search for.

So besides procrastination, what is the point of animals on the internet? Is their presence pointless?

The answer is no, animals on the internet are not pointless.

First off, there’s the quality of distraction, but whereas some might simply see it as a negative time-wasting distraction, we would posit that it is a healthy one. Consider, for a minute, that this generation is not the first to use animals as a distraction (Think the “Hang in there Kitty” poster of the 70’s).

Animal imagery has been taking the populace’s mind off of life for ages. They took people’s minds off Vietnam, the arms race, and gas shortages, and put them onto cute, teeny, weeny kittehz just trying to “hang on”.

Similarly, animals give us refuge from the onslaught of the internet. Their furry faces are a refuge from everyone else’s lives, from constant updates, and checking our emails every 10 minutes. They are respite from a chaotic, dialed in life. The oasis.

Which brings us to our last point. With their sweet, expressioned faces, animals represent a simplified version of human emotion. Take the popular website I Can Has Cheezburger, or the internet phenomenon Grumpy Cat.

Grumpy cat, with her perma-dissatisfied frown makes us feel a whole lot better about being a little grumpy ourselves because, well, most of the time we have no reason to be grumpy. Seeing our emotions displayed in such a simplistic way is laughable.

Just in case you are still unsure, here a video of Dogs Vs. Stairs, we dare you to try and keep a straight face!

We say, Carry On with the fuzzies!

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