On social media, we are our pets - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

On social media, we are our pets

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This was an actual political ad: "We need a politician who embodies these ideals and will work to make sure America stays the greatest land of all. Vote HANK for U.S. Senate!"

Hank the cat came in third place, thanks largely to a powerful Facebook campaign. He lost a U.S. Senate race -- yes, really -- in November to two humans, who also happened to be former Virginia governors.

Stiff competition. But, Hank was such a threat, an attack ad even popped up: "Hank wants your vote for Senate. But, what do you really know about Hank?!"

The better question might be: what do we really know about us?

It seems there's a bit of an identity crisis in America: humans increasingly seem to think they are their beloved pets.

From YouTube to Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. From Sockington to Commonsquirrel to Colonel Meow, personified pets are popping up everywhere. Perhaps nowhere more than on Facebook, which, at last count, had 23 million accounts for animals.

So, what's that say about us humans?

"It says everything about society because it says stuff about us," said Chris Dessi, a social media expert. "We love our pets. And, because we are in social media, we want our pets to be in social media!"

Like Boo, who has only 6.7 million Facebook followers. I have less than 1,000. I sent him a message asking his trick, but never heard back. I guess he was too busy.

Bruno the Brussels made some time.

I asked him: "Are you upset that Boo has more followers than you?"

No answer.

"You don't really care?"

No ego; unlike us humans. It is sort of a bummer that Bruno has more friends than me. Owner Jeff Simmons said his popularity can be a drag, too.

"I can post something on Facebook about my life and I get zero response, then I post a pic of Bruno and every dog owner responds," Simmons said.

Trevor Trey is also social media savvy. He was against the idea originally, but Mom pushed.

"I started his Facebook page probably about a year and a half ago or so and it was just to give him a voice," said Elisa Padilla, Trevor's mom.

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