A Valentine's Day message from Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard urging people to put away their phones and spend time with their loved ones is provoking a strong reaction online this morning
Sitting in a candle-lit, red velvet-curtained dining room, Mr Lombard tells viewers that no one wants to date a device before his own paramour is revealed - someone dressed up as an early era mobile phone.
Last month, Mr Lombard got behind a campaign for people to put away their phones in pubs and restaurants, and is working on legislation that would require smartphone manufacturers to inform people how much time they spend on their phone each day.
"Today is Valentine’s Day. This is a special day where you should spend quality time with your loved one.
“But all too often, we can get sidetracked and consumed with our smartphones. Spending quality time means giving that person your undivided attention. We have done it for thousands of years. Why let a modern invention detract from love, friendship and company?
“No one wants to go on a date with a device. But that’s what happens, in effect, if you sit there scrolling through your feed instead of having a chat and enjoying the company of the person you are with. Today is a timely reminder to put the phone We're sure he means well, but the response online may not be exactly what he was hoping for.
Bafflement seems to be the dominant reaction.
I...— Simon McGarr (@Tupp_Ed) February 14, 2019
What the actual...?— Raised by Wolves PR (@Raisedby_Wolves) February 14, 2019
What?— LBW (@lynbw) February 14, 2019
With a fair bit of cringe.
Is second hand embarrassment fatal? Because I am in a lot of pain right now— Shar (@shar_nolan) February 14, 2019
The Fine Gael party is also drawn into the debate.
This senate colleague is looking forward to discussing it further with him.
Oh @voteTimLombard roses are red, our Seanad seats are blue, you sit right in front of me and I can't wait to take the piss outta you— Senator Lynn Ruane (@SenLynnRuane) February 14, 2019
Fellow Cork South West politician Margaret Murphy O'Mahony also reacted but has since deleted the tweet. She obviously feels silence is the best response.