By Megan Marples, CNN
Is it a bones or no bones kind of day?
One small pug is influencing how millions of people live their lives with his adorable morning routine.
Meet Noodle, a 13-year-old rescue dog whose owner, Jonathan Graziano, records and posts waking his pug up nearly every morning on TikTok.
Graziano, a social media manager in New York City, sits Noodle upright to see if the dog can stand on his own.
If Noodle can stand, it’s a “bones day,” and if he flops back over, it’s a “no bones day.”
A bones day means you should get out of bed and make the most of your day, Graziano said. If you’ve been procrastinating doing something, a bones day is the day to do it, he added.
A no bones day is a day to implement self-care and do activities that are more inward-looking, Graziano explained.
Over 4 million followers on TikTok are eager to see what kind of day Graziano — no, really, Noodle — says they should have.
“I had absolutely no idea this would become the barometer in which the nation foretold how their day was going to go,” he said.
Many followers reach out to Graziano to let him know how they have lived their lives according to Noodle, such as proposing to a girlfriend or asking for a raise at work.
“People have told me it’s a reason they buy lottery tickets and they’ve won a ton of money,” Graziano said.
Certainty in an uncertain world
Fine, we get that Noodle’s morning videos are similar to reading a horoscope and is an entertaining narrative because he is an adorable animal. That’s according to Neil Dagnall, reader in applied cognitive psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University in England.
“Life is full of uncertainty and Noodle’s actions provide a form of guidance and reassurance to some people,” Dagnall said.
Social media can also be habit-forming, so people may feel compelled to stay informed in case they miss out on something, he explained.
The trend resembles superstitious behavior, which is a widely held but irrational belief in supernatural influences, Dagnall said. It’s no different than when other animals predict the scores of major sporting events, he added.
“The power of the narrative stems from its following, influence, and the tendency of some people to provide examples of confirmatory evidence,” Dagnall said.
Noodle’s predictions give people a positive outcome either way, where people either pursue their ambitions or take care of themselves, he said. It’s only potentially harmful if an individual bases their life choices on Noodle and is inflexible with their decisions, Dagnall said.
So stay flexible, Noodle fans! The pug’s rise to internet fame may have happened over a couple months, but Graziano said he’s been doing this morning routine since he adopted Noodle six years ago.
Graziano also lives his life according to Noodle’s predictions, such as wearing soft clothes like sweatpants on no bones days.
“I think it’s just been a really nice reason for people to either get out of bed in the morning or to take better care of themselves,” he said.
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