I've given up cat videos. And pictures of cats. And their kitten counterparts. You may scoff at this insane declaration, but it's harder than you think.
It's not like I was really that into them in the first place, but they have become a mainstay of content sharing across every conceivable platform - starting around the Millennium with the dreaded round robin emails entitled "50 cute baby kittens asleep; please fwd or you'll die" and ending today with entire Pinterest boards dedicated to these feline time wasters.
Because that is what they are. During the SOPA/PIPA issue, Darren - my Creative Director - sarcastically wondered just how he might continue to encounter kittens and their cuteness were the laws to be brought into play. Just where, he asked, could he get his hit of small animals water skiing? It would be a crisis!
And that's when it hit me. I do not 'need' to look at photos or videos of cats. The me that has not watched a cat video on any given day is no different to the me that has just watched a cat video, except that I now have one to two minutes less time to enjoy my life. So why do I feel such pressure to continually click on anything prepositioned by the term "aw"?
So I stopped. I stopped clicking. That was easy. What I didn't expect was the outpouring of anger and animosity from my peers. "What do you mean you're not looking at cat photos?", "You should really just watch this one though!", "It's soooooo cuuuuute!", "But it's a kitten peeping out of a fuckin' basket, you cold hearted biatch!"
Why does it matter? Why were people getting so upset? In these modern times, with so few spiritual crutches to help us greet each dawning day with a sense of hope and positivity, are cat videos all we have left? In denying Kittah's right to be on the ceiling, was I in fact making a larger statement about human kind's desire to believe in something, anything?
Maybe. Maybe not. As I move on to eliminating dogs, lemurs and - one day - Justin Bieber - from my screen, perhaps I will suffer some kind of cute-deprivation related breakdown. But until then, I'm enjoying taking those extra moments previously wasted on tiny little paws, and applying them to something that makes me go "Hm", instead of "Aw".