Written by Emma Vetriano • Published 07th October 2011
It’s one thing to join online pet forums; discussing animals in detail with other pet owners. But it’s definitely another to give an animal its own internet profile.
Would you believe it – creating a virtual personality for a beloved animal has evidently become an increasingly popular concept. ‘Barking’ or ‘meowing’ across social media has fast become a way to proudly exhibit one’s animal (be it for a cause or just for show) to the online world.
This has resulted in new age anthropomorphism. Previously, animals have been attributed human personality traits through storybooks, film and television. Popular culture such as Disney films suggest the idea that horses are wise; dogs are loyal, whilst foxes are cunning and so on.
But now the digital age has allowed for a new form of anthropomorphic behaviour. Humans have adopted animal personalities online, resulting in the appearance of a different kind of celebrity all over social networking sites.
Below are some of the top animal celebs on social network mediums:
Top of the online Facebark pack is ‘Boo’ the dog.
Boo has reached his success through Facebook as ‘the cutest dog in the world’. With just under 2million fans he is regularly updating his page with pictures of himself in various outfits.
Boo has become quite the social media celebrity with singer Ke$ha tweeting that he was ‘her new boyfriend,’ and Kim Kardashian posting his picture onto her blog.
Casey and Sassy: Famous for the cat diaries on YouTube. The two cats have become two online celebrities in their own right with regular updates and clever footage. As it stands Casey and Sassy have 40,416 YouTube subscribers and over 38,799,818 total upload views.
Sockington: @Sockington is the cat of owner Jason Scott. He has become a tweeting phenomenon with over 1.4 million followers. Sockington tweets regularly every day and also has online friends such as @pennycat from Pennsylvania who has 12,500 Followers.
So here’s the big question – are animals online as strange a concept as you might initially think?
As social media becomes increasingly embedded in our lives, surely it is inevitable that those close to us are brought along for the journey? Understandably we protect our children from social networking sites for fear of safety but what is to stop the exhibition of our much-loved animals? Here is yet another example of our everyday reality going digital with social media.
Cover image courtesy of Penny Blakenship, flickr.com