I think an Emmy is in the offing for Grace the Therapy Cat. She made her TV debut on July 23rd in a segment on the Fox 4 News at 10pm as the only cat featured in a very doggy piece on how Instagram brings the joy of pets to its many users. Grace does have her own Instagram and she’s looking for new followers! Having a therapy cat for five years now, I can definitely say that animals bring a calm vibe to the room that no other intervention can match. And that research I note on the segment is real. There’s evidence that petting an animal (at least nice soft one in real life) lowers people’s heart rate and blood pressure. Thus, when Fox 4 reporter Alana LaFlore asked me whether clicking on an Instagram might have the same effect, I thought “wow there’s a dissertation someone needs to do” if it hasn’t already been done. People love online pets perhaps because they give a soft fuzzy reward and require no cat box cleaning or dog walking. My daughter is a huge consumer of online animal feeds especially Big Cat Rescue which features cats on a much high level of magnitude than Grace.
Kids and families can have a lot of fun on Instagram featuring their pets and pet sharing can be a less competitive arena for social interplay than trying to outdo everyone else’s extra-fabulous life. Nichol and I recently did a show on Instagram and how Finstas are the new norm among teens, posted elsewhere on this site. Maybe InstaPets is a good alternative.