Another blog about the role of social media
It’s almost a given these days that commentary and analysis on the role of social media has to follow events of national or international importance.
Rightly scrutinised when it comes to its role in the organisation of social movements, what’s often forgotten is that the vast majority of people actually use the medium as a source of entertainment.
While it undoubtedly proved a valuable resource for those seeking up-to-date information on the election at the weekend, Twitter offered an irreverent and sometimes insulting commentary on the apparent seismic change taking place at the heart of Irish politics.
One of the most popular comments was comedian Dara O’Briain’s tweet echoing Norwegian sports commentator Bjørge Lillelien’s famous taunt to Maggie Thatcher after Norway beat England in 1981.
“Brian Cowen, Sean Lemass, Eamonn DeValera – your boys took a hell of a beating”, tweeted the famous man from Bray.
Whe Twitter suffered some outage for a period on Saturday afternoon, some were quick to remark:
“Well we broke the world economy so breaking Twitter was no big deal really”, quipped one (@diarmaidm) . There was little sympathy for the outgoing Government parties. “FF unemployment rates now comparable to the rest of the country”, tweeted another (@edelindublin).
Finding itself out of office, there was some advice for Fianna Fail and how it might ferry its surviving TDs around: “Fianna Fáil, remember all the fuss about state cars…there’s so few of them left now u could probably fit them into a mini-bus” (@danohaoadh).
There was little sympathy for outgoing Government TDs “Fianna Fail haven’t been this hammered since the Galway Races tent“. Another alluded to Paul Gogarty’s concession tweet: “Several green twitter accounts now in serious jeopardy” (@gerlad007).
And if the newly-elected think they’ll have an easy run of it, they should really think again.
“Many people turning in their unmarked unfound unidentified graves”, tweeted one @brendanmccormac (in response to Sinn Féin’s electoral sucess).
Mick Wallace was also the subject of some attention with writer Colm Toibin reminding us all that “Mick Wallace was right to leave Def Leppard after all.“ (@colmtoibin)
While some might be happy to put Election 2011 behind them, others are already suffering withdrawal symptoms.
“I now dont know what to do with my life. #ge11 is over.” (@roche649)
The following is a selection of the weekend’s top election tweets:
@daraobriain: Brian Cowen, Sean Lemass, Eamonn DeVelera – your boys took a hell of a beating #ge11
@PaulGogartyTD: 10% of tallies counted. All in my strong area. Loads of 2, 3, 4, which is comforting, but not enough No. 1s. I concede, with good grace.
@suzybie: And the @PaulgogartyTD twitter account is no more
@edelindublin: FF unemployment rates now comparable to the rest of the country. Well done everybody! Well played
@colmtoibin: Turns out Mick Wallace was right to leave Def Leppard after all.
@PaulaMcCarville: Uninstalling Fianna Fail 99% complete Installing now Ireland 2.0
@gedrobinson: So what’s going to be the ‘Portillo’ moment? Mary Coughlan?
@kowalshki: Mick Wallace TD. Football is the real winner today.
@diarmaidm On breaking Twitter: Well we broke the world economy so breaking Twitter was no big deal really
@AllanCavanagh: Nice to see the people of Louth are welcoming Gerry Adams with open armalites
@gavreilly: I wish politicians could be as honest every day as they are on count day
@aidandisney: LOL. Dylan Haskins is on 1383. He has more followers on Twitter. (even though they’re probably all not old enough to vote.. but still)
@danohaoadh Fianna Fail,remember all the fuss about state cars…there’s so few of them left now u could probably fit them into a mini-bus:D
@LemonShmush: Aww Willie O’Dea! Chin up. Where are the Rubberbandits when you need them? #ge11
@brendanmccormac: Many people turning in their unmarked unfound unidentified graves.
@gerlad007: Fianna Fail haven’t been this hammered since the Galway Races tent
@bothyhead: My local #FG sitting TD has just lost his seat. To be honest, he has been a non-entity for the past 4 years.
@tubridytweets: Ming Flanagan, Mick Wallace, etc. There is going to be a LOT of hair in the 31st Dail.
@CelticOirish: Several green twitter accounts now in serious jeopardy.
@missynell: I wonder if FrankFaheyTD will keep following me on The Twitter after he becomes plain old FrankFahey. #ge11 #gyw
@mor_rigan: #ge11 is addictive. Knackered and in bed but can’t resist checking the twitter
@Mark6R: All those years I thought RTE showed all of the election counts live, thanks to twitter I now know better #wontgetfooledagain #ge11
@Albert_baba: The bloody Mary massacre Are there any TDs called Mary left? It’s a Maryicide! Coughlan, Hanafin, O’Rourke – all gone. #ge11
@roche649: I now dont know what to do with my life. #ge11 is over.
@FancyONancy: Have broken F5 key trying to keep up to speed on @DonnellyStephen’s progress in #wicklow #GE11 count. So tense!
@knifewrench1: Eugh, I hope FG fix the economy and Enda turns out to be a great Taoiseach. But I still retain my right to dislike them immensely.
@TomSwanick: How many times are us Irish going to vote for jobs before we realise voting for them doesn’t create them?