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One of lockdown’s breakout stars fears for future of social media

A cellist from Ireland whose online recitals were made viral by the lockdown has expressed concern about the future of social media.

Patrick Dexter suggests that people think about how much they will lose if negative comments signal the end of platforms like Twitter.

He stated that there is so much negativity out there, but we should be aware that if Twitter, in particular, loses its special role in that space, it could lead to something very tragic.

“It is a great loss to see it fall the tubes, no matter how things may be going.”


Patrick, who started playing cello at age seven, wasn’t on social media when Ireland was locked down in March 2020.

His posts, which were shot outside his cottage in County Mayo on Ireland’s beautiful west coast, went viral.

He explained that he was a school teacher and played to primary school students. Now, he is playing to millions online.

“It touches your soul”

I asked him to tell me what had resonated with his global audience: the music, location or a combination.

He stated that there is a visceral effect on the west of Ireland. It’s evident in the wild weather that we are experiencing.

“That, combined with the sound of cello and instrumental music, is the way it touches your soul, reaches into your heart, and asks you to contribute something.

It doesn’t tell what you should think with words. It suggests a feeling and then you can add your thoughts, your life story, to it.

Patrick said that his new online fame has allowed him to make music his profession, which is “a dream come real”.

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Image Patrick Dexter

He shares the credit for his success with Naoise, Patrick’s beautiful rescue dog who is almost as well-known as Patrick.

His debut album, appropriately titled Solace, was the most-sold in its genre. He has also performed for President Joe Biden.

One Canadian fan wrote a simple letter to the cellist, “To the cellist who performs outside his cottage in Mayo.”

He adds, “No matter what happens to Twitter, I’ll still play my cello outside of my cottage, no matter how much it sinks.”


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