Viral Cat Videos
A new study shows that the time you spend watching cat videos can actually be good for your health. Reuters

We all watch viral videos, and many of us spend time following cute animals on Instagram or bookmarking the best sites to watch the latest animal craze. If you had a pie chart detailing time spent on the Internet, a big chunk of it probably would be labeled "Went down a YouTube rabbit hole." While we may be think we're only in it for the "aww," there could actually be some pretty good health benefits from watching cute animal videos.

Jessica Gall Myrick, a researcher from the Indiana University Media School, was curious about the effects of watching these viral videos. It may sound like something to scoff at, but there's real value in understanding our Internet use and general consumption of digital media. It's all about human behavior, and Myrick surveyed 7,000 participants on their Internet usage and how viewing cat videos affected their moods. The researcher's project was aided by Mike Bridavsky, better known as the owner of Internet sensation Lil Bub.

"Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional payoff may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward," Myrick said in a statement.

As the researcher notes, there were 2 million cat videos uploaded to YouTube in 2014, and they were viewed a staggering 26 billion times. The survey questions focused on the impact of watching cat videos and whether the person felt guilty after watching these videos instead of doing chores or other tasks.

Watching cat videos occurred most often during work or study, and the majority of participants said they felt more energetic or had less anxiety or sadness after watching. Myrick also found that people with certain personality traits -- such as individuals who said they were agreeable or shy -- were more likely to watch cat videos.

So with that good news, let's spend the rest of the day watching cat videos.