The Dissemination of Thought

Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's intelligent…

Petworking: a paw-ly written piece about why felines don’t need Facebook…

with 7 comments

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.

There is nothing that I can say that will add any value to this photo. Source: thecatco.com

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?

Muttley contemplates his next move in Facebook Scrabble. Source: dailylolz.lolpolz.com

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Written by disseminatedthought

August 23, 2011 at 13:40

7 Responses

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  1. This is the best thing you have written so far so I could not agree with you more.

    Jon Thompson

    August 23, 2011 at 15:19

    • Thank you for your kind comments, welcome to The Dissemination of Thought.

      I just can’t justify some things – Facebook profiles for pets being one of them. I understand that most owners do it all in jest, but if you love your pet that much, why not spend that time with it, rather than maintaining a virtual network of friends for it?

      disseminatedthought

      August 23, 2011 at 15:37

  2. Hmm I do agree that pets having their own FB page is pretty weird.
    But I am also guilty of the crime, let me explain. I have privacy issues and as a result had avoided FB until early last year, when after moving country i finally caved. So while there were a few close people i wanted to keep in touch with I did not want every joe soap from school or random event over the last 10 years ago adding me cause he recognised my name/picture.

    Therefore i decided to create one for my pets. In this case 2 gerbils. Only people that really knew me in recent times were accepted the friendship and in most cases I had to ask them personally face to face why they had not accepted me. I had 50 friends, I never allowed photos of me personally to be tagged and I mainly used it for private messaging and being kept up to date with events.
    Yes sometimes I would post pictures of my pets.
    However the shorter lifespan of pets is indeed a sad thing, and when one of my gerbils died I shut down the page in October and have not reopened it since. RIP Dan the gerbil.

    So while I do agree with you on the majority of the post, I hope this could be considered a slightly more sane account of the reasons behind a pets facebook profile.

    Cecily

    February 3, 2012 at 23:08

    • “…I hope this could be considered a slightly more sane account of the reasons behind a pets facebook profile.”

      Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a sane reason for a Facebook page owned by something that’s not human.

      Gerbils make me laugh, because I can only associate them with childish, sexual things.

      I’m sorry to hear about Dan.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, and welcome to The Dissemination of Thought.

      disseminatedthought

      February 17, 2012 at 10:58

  3. I have people’s pets who will forever sit in Facebook friend limbo because I don’t want to add people’s pets as my friend nor do I want to face repeated requests for said friendship.

    Another disturbing trend on Facebook: pages for people’s toddlers. My toddler is barely capable of identifying the letters of his own name in the correct order, much less being able to update a Facebook status. He definitely does not need a Facebook account.

    savanahprose

    February 15, 2012 at 10:57

    • Thanks for your contribution to my rant, and welcome to the toddler and pet-free haven that is TDoT. Do you think it would be wrong to create a Facebook profile for my sunglasses?

      disseminatedthought

      February 17, 2012 at 11:04

      • No no, that’s totally legitimate. I am going to create one for my car keys, as well, so that I can always find them as well. They’ll update their status as, “Hiding behind the bookshelf! She won’t find me here! Tee hee!”

        savanahprose

        February 17, 2012 at 12:37


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