Social networking through Earth Hour – did we miss the point?


File this under ‘ironic’ (and we mean the proper sense of ironic and not the Alanis Morissette version) but were Irish social media users tweeting away during Earth Hour?

According to Google’s Realtime search results the greatest number of tweets about Earth Hour from Irish users came at exactly 8:30pm, just when the event started in Ireland. It then took another hour before the massive spike of #earthhour tweets subsided.

Google Realtime search for Earth Hour

But it wasn’t just Twitter users who were busy for the hour, Google’s transparency report, which monitors the amount of traffic on Google’s servers, suggests that we may have been turning off our lights on the night but not our Wi-Fi.  At about 8:30pm Irish time most of Google’s websites, including Gmail and YouTube saw an increase in traffic.

Google traffic data

Okay, so it’s not the end of the world (yet) but does using energy hungry computers undo some of the good?

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Piers Dillon Scott
Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).