Follow us:

Mónica Guzmán

Stories at the intersection of tech and life from a boldly connected city.

October 2, 2012 at 10:47 AM

How to defend your obsession with cute online pet photos

Awwww … (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

If you’re hooked on cute pet photos online and want to defend your love against naysayers, Jonah Peretti, founder of viral monster BuzzFeed, has just the argument you need.It’s no. 8 on his list of 13 ways to make something go viral: “Cute animals deserve respect.”

(Conspicuously absent from his list: “Make things a list.”)

People joke that the Internet is made for kittens. But animals play an important role by helping us humans feel closer to each other. When you go home for the holidays, the whole family gathers around the family dog, pets the dog, feels affection for the dog, but also feels closer to each other. On Facebook, the billions of animal pictures let people say “awwwww” with the people in their lives and that shared empathic emotion is a big part of being human. In Philip K. Dick’s classic sci-fi book, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” one of the ways to tell if someone was human (and not an android) was empathy toward animals. If you are worried someone you know might be an android, send her this post and if she shows no emotion, you know she is actually a robot.

Did Peretti actually use classic literature to defend lolcats and the like?

Yes, yes, he did.

Comments | More in Habits

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►