A new survey has revealed that almost 20% of British pets now have a social media presence! Our pets may not be able to speak, type or use a computer, but that doesn’t seem to have stopped many of them from having an online profile.
The survey was conducted by Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance and provides further evidence, if we needed any, that out pets influence all aspects of our lives. 12% of our pets are on Facebook, 5% on instagram and Twitter and 3% on Snapchat. Many of those which do not yet benefit from their own profile feature heavily on their owners’ social media channels.
The online phenomenon is known as “social petworking” and is making stars of many furry friends. Indeed, some animals have attracted an unbelievably number of followers, many of whom check in on their favourites regularly and avidly view the videos of their antics which are posted on YouTube.
The internet has been lit up by a raft of ugly cats, designer dogs and perky parrots. Celebrity have also become big draws.
Over four thousand owners were questioned for the Sainsbury’s survey and 26% of them said that they take more photographs of their pets than they do of their family. 42% take more pictures of their pets than their partners. Almost half of the respondents claimed to prefer animals to people. Their principle reasons for favouring animals were that pets are more faithful, more reliable and more likely to induce happiness. More than half of all pet owners who completed the survey reported that they considered their pet to be their best friend.
Loneliness and Isolation
An ageing population, an increase in the number of single person households and the tendency for more people to live away from their families are all trends which have contributed to an increase in feelings of loneliness and isolation. People then turn to their pets or acquire pets to enrich their lives with many owners discovering that they prefer the company of their new friends anyway!
With so many pets now fundamental to their owners happiness, it is little wonder that such a high percentage have their own social media profiles. It is a trend which looks set to continue and one which the likes of Facebook and Twitter are probably keen to encourage!