Aidan O’Shea has spoken about how he deals with his status as one of Ireland’s most-followed sporting stars on social media, and how he found himself increasingly reliant on social media through the Covid-19 lockdowns to stay engaged with his online following.
O’Shea, who captained Mayo to the Connacht title last weekend, boasts over 110,000 followers between his Twitter and Instagram accounts. It was all of the additional time forced upon us by lockdown that initially forced O’Shea to become more reliant on his phone for social engagement and connectivity throughout that tough time.
“When you have more time, you slowly become more obsessed, and social media began to fill that void in my life created by lockdown. For me, it’s not about the number of followers, but an audience who enjoy following me, my lifestyle and are interested in my day-to-day life, which is usually around training, work and my social life,” said O’Shea.
“During this time, I had to learn how to maximise social media, why and when to engage and what content I liked to post about. I don’t resent it, but I have learned to moderate my usage and enjoy it when I do post.”
It was the enforced separation from loved ones that reshaped O’Shea’s relationship with his most cherished device, his iPhone, which had started to sour.
“Before the pandemic hit, I was really feeling the pressure of needing to come up with ‘good’ social media content, not something that comes completely naturally to me, so I was genuinely starting to resent my phone.
“But then we were right in the peak of the longest lockdown back in March, when I broke my phone during a sea swim at my local beach in Carrowniskey, Co. Mayo and I very quickly realised how lost I was without it. It was the only thing keeping me connected to my friends and family throughout that isolated time, who I missed so much.”
Aidan O’Shea was speaking at a media event for PAIR Mobile, a mobile phone repair service and source for must-have phones and accessories with six locations around Ireland, including Dublin, Cork and Limerick.