Last night I finished the 1989 movie, Back to the Future Part 2, which takes place in the future: October 2015.
I suppose now that I’m officially living in the future, it’s quite appropriate that I announce that as of last night at 9:01 PM, I am now a smart phone owner.
That makes me the last cool person you know to finally get a smart phone.
At this point, who do you know who doesn’t have one? I literally don’t know anyone in my social circle who doesn’t have a smart phone.
In fact, it’s not unheard of here in the Nashville area to see a homeless man selling newspapers to people stopped at the red lights, but then to see him check his smart phone during the green lights when the cars are no longer stopped in front of him.
I’m not sure how that all works out, but obviously, it only proves how counter-cultural my own lack of a smart phone has made me up until now.
Here’s the truth: I kind of hate smart phones. Actually, if it were up to me (it’s not- it’s up to my wife), I wouldn’t own a cell phone at all.
Sure, it’s ironic that a blogger with a YouTube channel doesn’t like the idea of always being “connected and plugged in”.
It’s just that I refuse to become another cliché who looks down at my phone to acknowledge another Facebook “like” while you are trying to talk to me, face to face in real time. It’s perhaps my rebellion of that cliche that keeps from wanting to be so connected and plugged in.
After all, a guy I recently met at Whole Foods, Jarrid Wilson, did a blog post that went viral; which addresses this social issue: “Why I Am Getting a Divorce in 2014.”
He’s actually talking about “divorcing” his smart phone.
See, that’s the whole point. I despise the concept of naturally and gradually disconnecting from real life via a smart phone, allowing myself to believe the illusion that what’s going on in my Facebook feed is more important than my family right in front of me.
It reminds me of the 1980 Genesis song, “Turn It on Again”. The protagonist of the song watches TV so much that he begins to get lonely when the characters of his favorite shows aren’t on. I see a parallel with people who constantly check and update social media, via their smart phones:
“I can show you some of the people in my life
It’s driving me mad just another way of passing the day
I, I get so lonely when she’s not there
Turn it on, turn it on, turn it on again
Turn it on, turn it on, turn it on again
I can see another face”
Someone on my Facebook page for Family Friendly Daddy Blog immediately asked me last night, after I posted my 1st official Instagram post (featured below), what made me decide to finally get a smart phone.
Here’s my answer:
After being with Verizon for at least a dozen years, things finally got to the point with where they no longer offered incentives to faithful customers like me to stay; customers who always paid on time; no more free phones, for sure. Those days are gone.
I even walked in to my Verizon store to calmly explain I would be leaving them if they couldn’t provide me a free “dumb phone” to keep my budget the same; since I was nearing the end of my latest 2 year contract.
Verizon sincerely yet simply apologized they could not. I tried.
This time around, it was going to cost just as much to have “regular service” with them, as it would to finally just get a smart phone.
So now my wife and I are with a hilariously named service provider called Puppy Wireless; which is basically a 3rd party that uses Verizon’s towers.
Here’s the one and only part of being a smart phone owner that excites me:
There’s a good chance I can grow my “blog business” because of it.
I now have access to Instagram, which means I am more attractive to Acorn, an influence company I have worked with a little on the side.
For example, I did a project for them earlier in the summer in which I promoted the mobile app game, Best Fiends, by featuring the product in a Jack-Man video I made, in lieu of an Instagram post.
With my Instagram account @nickshellwrites, which is the same as my Twitter handle, I am pretty sure I will find myself with a much steadier stream of blogging gigs through Acorn, which pays me to advertise for their clients.
Also with that in the pipeline, my YouTube channel has finally begun to start making me some money. Plus, in the near future, I will be featuring ads on my blog for Beacon Ads; a Christian company who found my “family friendly” daddy blog to be appropriate for their advertisers.
Over this next year, I am going to really be making a much more conscious effort to make my blog more of a business; not just a hobby.
And as much as I don’t want to admit it, a smart phone can be a great tool to help make that happen.
One of the main reasons I refused to get a smart phone all this time is because I refused to change my budget over it. But if I can make up the financial loss of having to pay for a data plan, not to mention my phone, I suppose it’s worth it if it also leads to me actually making money.
I am a bitter, cheap, old man. I just happen to only be 34 years old.
Sure, I have a smart phone now… but that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it.