Your Higher Ed Tax Dollars at Work

Now here’s some real higher education value for your tax dollars:

Cats are the stars of the internet.

Jessica Gall Myrick, assistant professor of media at Indiana University, explores why cat videos are so popular:

I am an assistant professor at the Indiana University Media School. I received my Ph.D. in Mass Communication and a certificate in Interdisciplinary Health Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013.

Prior to returning to graduate school, I worked in a variety of communications/journalism positions. I was a multi-platform broadcast journalist, a freelance magazine writer, a newspaper opinion columnist, and was the director of experiential education and recruitment for the IU School of Journalism.

Humans have a long history of domesticating cats. Today, we continue to pay homage to felines. Thanks to developments in communication technology, this work often takes the form of user-generated cat videos and photos posted online.

Given the plethora of online cat videos, I started to wonder why the Internet is seemingly obsessed with cats. There wasn’t any data about what types of people are attracted to online cat-oriented media or how watching it impacts Internet users, so data was needed.

Thanks to the assistance of famous feline Lil’ Bub, whose owner shared the link to my online survey, nearly seven-thousand Internet cat aficionados were asked about their backgrounds and cat-related media habits.

What I my research found was that certain people are, in fact, more attracted to cat videos than others.

I know you were wondering.