Social Media and The Pigeon House (not)

dublin bay

It’s a funny old world in general and in particular it’s a funny old social media world. I doubt that on a macro level the full impact of social media in its multitudinous forms on our lives is anywhere near fully understood: on a micro level I don’t fully comprehend the impact of social media as I engage with it on my own life. Case in point: Dublin’s Pigeon House (not) and my *Instagram feed.

What you may ask (if you don’t live in Dublin) is the Pigeon House. That’s a question to which I have only recently discovered the correct answer because for the whole of my life thus far I believed that the tall twin needle like red and white industrial towers you see in the image above were collectively known as The Pigeon House. They are, in fact, part of the now decommissioned Pigeon House generating station and the real and original Pigeon House is actually a building next to these towers.

BTW the real Pigeon House has nothing to do with pigeons but is thus called according to a piece I found on the Dublin City website ‘ … after a man called John Pidgeon. Around 1760 he was a caretaker of a storehouse used by the builders of the Great South Wall. John Pidgeon started selling refreshments, tea, cakes and lemonade at his storehouse to passengers of the packet ships travelling from England and Europe.’

images of pidgeon house

Before I started using Instagram I was only dimly aware of the iconic stripey towers but post signing up for the photo sharing service I began to notice them much more from the very many places that they are visible from in Dublin and I photographed them regularly for my Instagram feed. In fact I have become mildly fascinated by them and love seeing how these seemingly immutable structures take on a changed look when they are cloaked by different types of weather and light.

Now, the reason I think it’s a funny old social media world is that when I signed up for Instagram and started posting images to my feed I used to wonder if it was all a bit mindless. But hey presto after a short while I realized that my engagement with Instagram made me a deal more observant of my surroundings and more interested in them and I started to be curious about lots of things that had barely impinged on my consciousness before. Not just the Pigeon House but all sorts of things such as: the ever-changing sky, interesting doors, the shifting seascape, the sinking sun …

We learn in many and mysterious ways.

*Note: My Instagram feed is here.and the most recent pictures from it appear in the blog’s sidebar.


Filed under Dublin, Ireland, Musings

21 responses to “Social Media and The Pigeon House (not)

  1. Wow that is an excellent observation on social media! Having always been extremely anti-social media I am now slowly warming to it, realising the many benefits that can come from it. Being a person who detests ‘selfies’ I use Instagram only to capture the world around me. I think it’s very true that it makes you more aware of your surroundings, although I had never considered that before!
    Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for your comment. Until I started writing a blog I was, like you, dubious about social media but more contact with it has made me realize that although it has its downsides it is also a powerful force for good. πŸ˜‰

  2. Live and learn πŸ™‚
    I feel pretty much the same about photography. I’m the least observant of people till I have a camera in my hand. Great shots, by the way.

  3. I agree with you – Instagram has made me see my surroundings in a different way and to become more observant – as has blogging.

  4. It must be fun to discover places in your own town that you wouldn’t have noticed without Instagram!

  5. Very nice collection of images B: photographing a same subject from different angles, in different light or in different seasons is a great exercise to develop your creative eye and to “work the subject”.
    I have to say that in the first image it kind of reminded me of the place where the movie Conspiracy Theory ends (although that was in NYC)! πŸ˜‰
    Have a great weekend!

    • Thank you Stefano for the compliment on the images and for the advice which, as always, is much appreciated.

      I haven’t see the movie the Conspiracy Theory but interesting that there is a spot in NYC that looks like the one in my post – I wonder if these chimneys were standard in generating stations of a certain age.

      Hope that you are having an enjoyable weekend.


  6. Social media is definitely an ever growing phenomena. Whenever I feel like I’ve finally caught up, I realize there’s something new! I have yet to join the world of Instagram, but I feel like it’s almost inevitable!

    • That’s so true there is always something new popping up on the social media front. I wish you lots luck if you go ahead with signing up for Instagram and please let me know if you do so I can follow you. πŸ˜‰

  7. I have not joined Instagram but do see how it can change your perspective of what is around you.

  8. Hello, lovely

    This post is so great.


    Observant and also curious and courageous. That’s what IG has done for us. When we were travel(l) ing for the day job we felt so lonely until IG gave us a new then-anonymous way to connect with people around the world and share stories and what-we-see-right-now.


    • Hello LA and Team Gloria

      Greetings from the land where the temperature never reaches 81 degrees at 9.30 am.

      Thank you very much for your kind compliment on my post. *smiling happily*

      Yes, I agree – also curious and courageous.

      It’s a good illustration of unintended consequences as I doubt IG’s founders foresaw the different ways in which it would effect our lives.

      *wavingfromtheemeraldisle* and sending many good wishes.

  9. It’s startling, sometimes, to see what changes happen throughout our lives following the mere catalyst of noticing some single, simple thing for the first time. I’m always quite amazed to discover quite how ubiquitous such items or ideas become in my consciousness once they’ve been ‘opened’ this way, regardless of the triggering mechanism.

    • How very true: it is so easy for one simple never before noticed thing to trigger changes in our lives. One of the things I like about Instagram is that it has made me (a not very observant person) so much more aware of my surroundings. πŸ˜‰

  10. Pingback: foreign films, taking the long road home, evening heat (and a new piece for #HuffPo) | teamgloria

  11. Teamgloria said we needed to read this and she is rarely wrong. What you said is so true. Now that I blog I have an excuse to take a picture of one shoein the middle of the road and wonder about it. I tend to now feel like my eyes must be open. Great post!

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