What is the connection between sex, chocolate and cute animals videos? What they have in common is that they are all highly desirable to a good number of people and are constantly in demand. This is probably not surprising when you hear that, apparently, they are all said to activate the same neurological centers of the human brain – that is, those relating to feelings of pleasure. It has long been known that the first two in the list are highly sought after by people in all walks of life to help manage stress, but some might think that looking at photographs of, and watching videos of cute animals is a more recent phenomenon.
However, photographs of cute kittens and puppies have long graced the lids of chocolate boxes, and indeed posters of these animals have been around for decades. Moreover, the attraction they hold has been exploited by television program makers for many years with such offerings as America’s Funniest Home Videos in the United States and Animals Do The Funniest Things in the UK. There was also Animal Magic, presented by Johnny Morris who went as far as to add a ‘hilarious’ commentary over the animal footage, giving each animal a speaking part. Anthropomorphism gone wild! That said, the descendants of these shows still enjoy a huge following.
So it should come as no surprise that, on top of this, more and more people nowadays switch on their computer to find friends have filled their in-boxes with links to a plethora of funny videos, notably on You Tube, often starring cute animals, playing and doing other cute and sometimes funny things. The chances are that you have sent a few yourself or you like to pass on these links to others. So are people just getting softer or is there more to this growing phenomenon than seems obvious?
It has been suggested that the current economic climate and the endless stream of bad news stories which appear in all the media are serving only to make us feel more and more depressed and stressed. Now we are hard-wired to seek out pleasure and to make ourselves feel good. So this natural inclination has been heightened by current affairs and the mind is keen to restore the equilibrium. Now the old cliché is that people tend to turn to sex and chocolate in these circumstances to make themselves feel better, but now with the increasing availability of the internet and video, then it is obviously just another avenue for people to seek out pleasure. There is also the advantage that people can actually derive double the pleasure from these cute and funny animals videos when they recommend them to their friends – the delight of first viewing them, and then the responses they get from other people.
The reach of these videos stretches way beyond sites like You Tube, where anyone can upload their videos. Cute animals on the internet can be big business. Take for example, the site icanhascheezburger. It attracts, with its related sites, more than sixteen million visitors per month, and these people come to see photos of cute animal with captions using baby-talk. In fact, they are invited to add captions to photos themselves. It has created its own growing community.
It certainly looks like cute animals videos are here to stay, and indeed that their popularity will continue to increase as more and more people share their videos on You Tube and their own sites. Let’s face it, if you like cute animals, then it is a pleasurable pursuit that you can enjoy with others to help manage the stresses of everyday life, without suffering any of the less desirable side effects of its competitors, like eating too much chocolate. Mind you, if you are not careful, it can be addictive and very time-consuming!