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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 1°C
my social media life

Aodhan Ó Riordáin's life online: 'I accidentally tweeted one word - #horny'

Well-known Irish names tell us about their life on the internet.

TWITTER. FACEBOOK. INSTAGRAM. You’re bound to have your favourite social media site (unless you’re the type who eschews living online entirely).

And, of course, Irish celebs and well-known names have their favourite sites too. Some of them are even known for being a dab hand at the old tweet machine. So we put some questions to them about what they’ve learned from being on social media this year.

Aodhán Ó Riordáin, Senator and former Labour TD

What’s your favourite social media site?


What page/site do you check every day?

I check my Twitter, Facebook, and I also check iTunes to see how my podcast is doing. I’ve a podcast called The Better Side where I interview people like Tara Flynn, Hilary Benn and Brian Kerr.

If you could only follow/like one person on your favourite site, who would you choose?

Colm Tobin is hilarious, and a guy called Damien Owens. [Twitter is] not as much fun as it used to be – I don’t know if it was ever much fun, but [Owens] cheers me up.

What have you learned about people through social media?

The mute button is really important. It depends on what basis people are on, if people are on to have go then, it’s difficult to have [a conversation].

I try not to interact with too many people on Twitter because you go down a rabbit hole and you don’t want to be impolite… but sometimes people ask you questions and it seems to be reasonable – but you delve into a little of who they are and go down a rabbit hole.

If someone wants to ask a genuine question, that’s grand. I’ve stopped putting out negativity. I try not to be critical. It’s easy to have a cut off people.

I’ve tried not to do that – there’s enough negativity online. I try to rise above it, though I did do that on Monday…

I am trying to be positive.

What have you learned about yourself from social media?

I’m possibly not as funny as I thought I was. I definitely should bite my lip… and ‘you don’t have to get involved’.

What’s your favourite post of yours?

Sometimes you put stuff up and you have to put a smiley face on it so people realise you’re telling a joke. I remember putting one up, I think, on the day of marriage equality – I tweeted ‘fuck yeah’ and that got 12,000 retweets, so that was cool.

But I put a heart sign in for the ‘u’ so it could have been feck.

What’s your favourite post of someone else’s?

A Damien Owens one, about Trump. It got a huge reaction.

Have you ever shared something on social media and regretted it?

Not that often no, no not really.

I was out canvassing with Eimear Costello during the EU elections and I bought her a Viking hat during Viking Fest in Clontarf in 2014. I put a hat on her head and my head [and took a photo and tweeted it], thinking it was a little bit risky,

But the photo didn’t load and all people got was one word: #horny

I tried to go delete it but my phone died. I always tell new Labour candidates that story.

(We couldn’t find the exact one he is talking about, but we did find this one:)

What are you most likely to tweet about/share on Twitter?

Football. It could be anything Dublin related, anything Ireland related, the Shells ladies team, GAA club or any match I’m at or game I’m training for.

I was recently flicking through my tweets and 90% of my tweets are about football.

I think what Twitter gives you an opportunity to do is be a little more human and Facebook is an opportunity to broaden out what you are doing and people interact with it. Facebook is more powerful but Twitter allows you show a certain side of your personality that people wouldn’t be aware of.

Paschal Donohoe is really interesting on Twitter… he’s into really into music, literature, novels.

I think people’s interaction with a politician can be quite formal [offline].

How would you sum up your persona on social media in one word?

I think I’d ask someone else… maybe ‘prolific’.

Catch up with the rest of our My Social Media Life questionnaires here.

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