Everyone loves animal cams, because they usually focus on adorable animals like pandas, or Shiba Inu puppies, or today's most recent cam obsession: sloths. But here's the hard truth no one's willing to admit: animal cams are boring and a waste of your time.
They're all so impossibly boring that I honestly have no idea what the appeal is. Before writing this post I watched the Shiba Inu puppy cam, the National Zoo's Panda Cam, and Animal Planet's Sloth Cam, set up to promote a new show, Meet the Sloths, which debuts November 9. Sloths quite literally do nothing. While I watched, the most exciting thing a sloth did was breathe heavily. The Shiba Inus were asleep. The pandas were the most exciting animal by a mile; one was crawling around when I tuned in. Then, after a few minutes, it too fell asleep.
Every single one of these cams is insanely popular and yet, by and large, nothing ever happens. This isn't like watching a soccer match where the plodding pace of mid field play leads to a beautiful goal that reduces some poor announcer to a gibberish-spouting fool. Soccer is about the slow, strategic burn that leads to an explosive, mesmerizing payoff. You're watching an animal sleep or eat or piss and shit long enough until, who knows, it plays with a ball or burps and you think it's kind of adorable. You get say, awwwww, finally, because you put so much work into it that you might as well. What kind of reward is that?
Do you remember the outcry over the National Zoo's Panda Cam falling victim to the government shutdown? If the reaction on social media was any indication, that alone should have brought Congress to its knees and reopened the government immediately. Cancer patients losing some government support, not being able to get medicine? That was a light ripple in the pond compared to the Panda Cam.
How boring is your life that you derive this much pleasure from watching a debatably adorable animal occasionally scratch its butt? You should probably start knitting, or reading the encyclopedia. Maybe you should dedicate your life to juicing.
Listen, don't get the message here twisted: adorable animals being adorable are great. But the 24-hour coverage provided by these cameras are useless and not worth your time. Stick to Youtube or Tumblr, where you can find treasure chests full of pictures and videos without the need to constantly keep an eye on a livestream.