I Am the Last Cool Person You Know to Finally Get a Smart Phone

Last night I finished the 1989 movie, Back to the Future Part 2, which takes place in the future: October 2015.

I Am the Last Cool Person You Know to Finally Get a Smart Phone

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.

I Am the Last Cool Person You Know to Finally Get a Smart Phone

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.

I Am the Last Cool Person You Know 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.

Growing Up Social: Family Friendly Book Review

As my regular readers of Family Friendly Daddy Blog already know, my family is building a house; closing date in January 29th, 2015.

In the process of planning out the rooms, my wife and I have decided that while we will have a TV in the bonus room, we won’t have one downstairs in the living room; or any other room.

That means in order to watch TV, you actually have to walk upstairs and isolate yourself. Therefore, the temptation is greatly reduced to walk in the door and veg out without spending quality time with other family members.

I believe it’s “little” decisions like that which contribute to health family communication and relationships.

Growing Up Social: Family Friendly Book Review

A few weeks ago while reviewing a car here for Family Friendly Daddy Blog, I was sent an iPad and an iPhone to use in conjunction with the vehicle’s 4G LTE capabilities.

I should point out that I’m of the American minority; we have no smart phones in our household. My wife and I both have “dumb” phones instead.

The main reason is because we’re not willing to pay for a data plan. We are on a family plan with my parents and pay a monthly total of only $30 per month. Again, that’s total; not per person.

But even if it cost us no extra money per month to own smart phones, I still wouldn’t be excited.

Here’s why:

I fully recognized that my family’s life is hurried enough. My wife and I both work; our son is in school all day. The commute time in Nashville is longer than the average large city.

We don’t need more interruptions or distractions in our lives. I feel that if we owned smart phones, it would only add to the anxiety.

Sure, I get the irony in the fact that I run this blog from a cheap ASUS laptop and a dumb phone. I was the official daddy blogger for Parents Magazine for 3 years and never once touched a smart phone.

Of all people, I should own a smart phone… or at least want one. But I don’t.

I won’t deny the fact that having a smart phone for that week made certain things more convenient. However, I found myself getting frustrated that I couldn’t use manage my blog with the same ease as a laptop.

Plus, I don’t like knowing that I can check my email or Facebook at any time. I’d rather just “shut it off” during the day.

Growing Up Social

With that being said, you could imagine I would easily like this book…Growing Up Social, by Gary Chapman (The 5 Love Languages) and Arelene Pellicane (31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife).

The book causes you to ask yourself, “Is technology bringing your family closer together or driving you farther apart?”

Growing Up Social teaches the five skills that every healthy child needs to master: affection, appreciation, anger management, apology, and attention:

The Skill of Affection – How do you show real love to another person?

The Skill of Appreciation – How do you cultivate a grateful heart?

The Skill of Attention – How do you focus and be a good listener?

The Skill of Anger Management – How do you express anger in a productive way?

The Skill of Apology – How do you mend a relationship after you make a mistake?

The focus is raising relational kids in a screen-driving world. So relevant!

And one lucky reader will win a free copy of this book today…

Just be the first person to post on the Facebook wall for Family Friendly Daddy Blog (not a private message), asking me, “Did I just win Growing Up Social?”

If you’re the first person to do so, I will respond by saying yes… After that, I will follow up by getting your address to give to the publisher so they can send you your won copy!

Update: A winner was found within just a few minutes of this post going live. The giveaway portion is now complete.

Did I just win Growing up social????

Thanks for reading today! And remember, I’ll be giving more books away; so stay tuned…

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: ‘Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising’):

Many thanks to Propellor Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”