Ireland, most certainly Dublin, is plugged in. Dublin, being the capital city, has a bustling population that has acquired easy access to news, social media, and smartphones. In the western and more rural areas of Ireland, it is a bit quieter and not as inclined to frequent use social media and technology. However, seeing at my time was primarily in Dublin, it is safe to say that the communication technology in this city is somewhat equivalent to the use in America.
Iphones, HTC, and Android is everywhere. Some old cellular phones can be seen time and again, but the smartphone reigns supreme. Personally, everyone in the festival office owns a smartphone, most notably the Iphone. The alert sounds of text messages, calls, notifications, and voicemails are frequently heard walking around the office as business is conducted, meetings are planned, and connections are made. The smartphone, with its virtual access to everything, has become crucial to the successful management of a business and nonprofit organization. It’s quite humorous that I have started to associate ringtones with phone owners. My boss’s ringtone is actually my alarm, so I have been “Pavlov’ed” into feeling groggy whenever her phone rings (classical conditioning, man).
While it is wildly popular, social media is operated a bit differently. Dubliners do use social media regularly, but some networks and platforms are more frequently used than others. Facebook is seemingly the most popular with almost everyone logged in and connected via the social network. Twitter and Instagram seem to have less users but still notable for personal and professional use. YouTube and Flickr seem to have less use.
The film festival uses Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and Flickr. Facebook and Twitter are most regularly updated and monitored. Youtube and Flickr are typically updated right before, during, and immediately after the 10-day festival in the spring. Google+ seems to be intermittenly used. The future of social media use will only increase for Dublin, and probably at an exponential pace as more networks become popular. I believe Twitter use will increase in the very near future as the platform picks up popularity.
My personal experience with communication technology somewhat surprised me. I knew people would be very familiar with social media, but the amount of Wifi kind of blew me away. I assumed there was going to be lots of Wifi available, but it still shocked me at how often I encountered it. It’s everywhere. I was planning on purchasing a “Go Phone” and using that as my means of contacting friends here in Dublin. However, there was no point. It would have been a waste of money because all I have to do is find Wifi and use What’s App or Viber. Simple as that.
From social media to smartphones to Wifi, the people of Dublin are very familiar with communication technology and have become active users. Cheers!