Social media and pets

Pets have been providing humans with entertainment for years — well before the dawn of the Internet.

I’m not sure if anyone ever thought there was a way to make pets any more adorable or funny than they already are, but the Internet has seemingly done the impossible. As if pets were not already entertaining enough, society has found a way to help these lovable critters become stars on a global level.

I have never owned a pet, but there is no denying that pets are an absolute delight to have in your life. Even if they cannot technically talk to us, we seem to communicate just fine and have many a good laugh with them, just like a good friend. I can honestly say that, in almost every case, I’ve never had a bad experience with one. In fact, there was a time when I visited a friend’s place for the first time, and his cat figured that my lap was the perfect place to take a nap. Let me tell you: I always thought people reacted badly to being woken up when they’re not ready; well, cats don’t take too kindly to wake-up calls either!

Animals have found a way to bring a whole new level of entertainment to everybody through social media. The first I really saw of this phenomenon dates back to a few years ago, when an adorable teacup pig was introduced in an episode of the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”

Beforehand, I think only a handful of people even knew what a teacup pig was, but afterward, the little cute critter was all over the Internet.

Little did I know that the phenomenon of critters getting into the Internet realm was happening at a far greater scale than I thought. After a quick look online, animals abound. In fact, YSU has its very own animal celebrity.

YSU’s campus is home to dozens of cute critters including birds, squirrels and chipmunks. The place is alive with wildlife, especially when warm weather finally arrives in Youngstown. While they are technically wild animals, I almost feel like they are pets of the university.

One of those little guys decided to take his talents to the social media world. For those of you who are not already aware, one of our resident chipmunks has established himself on Twitter as @YSUChipmunk. Let me tell you: That little guy sure has a sense of humor.

Another animal that has exploded across the Internet is the whimsical feline character known as “Grumpy Cat.” I do feel inclined to say that earlier this week I had no idea this even existed until a few co-workers brought it to my attention, but since then it has seemed to capture my attention. This furry feline has dozens of images scattered across the Internet, and maybe funniest of all is its own Twitter account.

Beyond these examples, though, there appears to be a trend of Facebook pages being made by owners for their pets. Although I have yet to be friended by anyone’s pet, I can only imagine the funny things they come up with throughout the day.

Social media isn’t just for us anymore. Now, we can even enjoy the follies of our favorite furry critters from anywhere. If that’s not love, then I don’t know what is.