Petworking: a paw-ly written piece about why felines don’t need Facebook…
Something happened this morning that made me question where we are heading as a society. While I was perusing Facebook, I saw a picture of a dog with a familiar surname in the “People you may know” section, along with the suggestion that I may like to add the aforementioned mutt as a friend. Curiosity got the better of me, so I clicked on the profile. Sure enough, the owner – a somewhat removed acquaintance of mine – has created a Facebook profile for Rover. In a somewhat disturbing trend, a casual scan of Rover’s thirty-two friends reveals a Biggles, a Fluffy and a Goldie. Amongst the feathers, fur and fins, were several individuals that also appear on my own Facebook friends list – actual people. It led me to ask an obvious question: why the fuck do pets need their own social networking pages?
I’m going to preface the rest of this post by stating that I’m not a pet person. While I do like animals, and can definitely see how the companionship of a pet could improve someone’s life, I am devoid of the part of the human psyche that directs one to pet ownership. I can’t understand how pets seem to get more voting rights in households, as well as more attention and affection, than some of their Homo sapien family members. As such, you can understand my bewilderment as to why some pet owners feel compelled to give their moggy a place in cyberspace.
In researching this post, I reviewed what seemed like a mountain of pet profiles, as well as discovered a news article from earlier this year, which suggests that 1 in 10 British pets have their own social networking profile. You can imagine my delight upon discovering that this phenomenon even has its own name – petworking. Apart from informing you of the horridly cheesy designation that it has been assigned, I’d like to share the top three things that I’ve learnt about pet profiles:
1. Owners have a penchant for dressing their pets up for their profile photos.
It’s strange enough that you have created a profile for your cat – seeing it wearing a little tracksuit and tiara is not going to convince me that you are any less crazy.
2. Pets comment on other pet’s status updates.
I don’t know how to explain this any simpler than it sounds. Seeing a Shih Tzu comment that she loved a mongrel’s new collar really messes with my head, and makes me reassess how much vodka I’ve consumed.
3. Owners believe that their pets are people.
The pets have their own likes, which apparently include treats, peeing in the garden and tummy rubs. One of the cat profiles I came across even noted a strong dislike for those of the canine persuasion. While only some of the pets appear to be gainfully employed, most seem to share a common interest in posting inspirational quotes and animal-specific jokes on their walls. In what can only be described as an ascent above the stratosphere of stupidity, I found a fish that plays CityVille on a regular basis. What’s next, Sea-Monkeys that write their own advice blog?
I’m not questioning how much pets mean to people. I’m questioning why the pets need their own Facebook profiles, as if they have the capacity to contribute to them. However special these pets are to their owners, they are just animals, not people. Tiger can’t like your status update or tag you in a photo from the party on Saturday night. Coco doesn’t have the ability to post birthday wishes on your wall, nor can she help you plant a field of corn in FarmVille. How about we restrict the social networking to those who have the opposable thumbs required to maintain their own profiles?
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