Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Family Connection - A Smartphone Revelation

Rounds Video Chat

I was late getting into the smartphone business. Hell, I was late getting into the cell phone business way back when. But I’m in pretty deep now. So deep that I get complaints from loved ones. You know how that goes. Anytime you are checking your phone for whatever reason (for me, it’s usually Twitter or scores) and if you just happen to be infringing on the attention of a loved one, you are automatically “addicted” to your phone. I hate when somebody says that. Because it’s not true, at least to the extent of the word “addicted” goes; way too strong of a word to describe my current attachment to my smartphone (Galaxy S III). The funny thing is, I’ve gotten accused of my “addiction” by friends who are checking out their own cell phones while they making the accusation. So go figure.

In any event, I have learned to carry my phone with me almost 100% of the time. And I pay attention to phone’s battery level (now I wish my wife would do this). Originally, with my first cell phone, I would have them with me but not really, if you know what I mean. I used to get a lot of complaints about not being able to be reached. But then I felt that the phone was for MY convenience, not anyone else’s. Which meant I didn’t like being tethered. I didn’t want people to be able to call me whenever they wanted. But, of course, it was fair game going the other way. Pretty selfish, I realize now.

I’m posting to tell you of a recent revelation. There is this thing called video chat. It works on smartphones. And as the father of an enthusiastic (OK, ADHD-like) adopted four-year old from Ethiopia, it has become an important tool in my smartphone arsenal. When I’m traveling on business or out and about and haven’t been home in a while, I check in with my son. Of course, he is way too young to own a smartphone but damn if that kid doesn’t already know how to use one (of course, it’s Mom’s phone so she plays an important role here). I know there are many applications out there for connecting this way. I just happen to use ROUNDS Video Chat Hangout, especially for the hangout part. Nathan and I can play games together on the video chat. We can look at cool videos together. And he LOVES doodling and making funny pictures with Dad. It’s a huge thrill for him. And, of course, I never in a million years thought I’d get into sharing time like this, especially with the way I originally utilized cell phones. It’s pretty cool.

I just thought I’d share this. Do with it what you will.

Author: Kevin Johnson is a PR/media relations specialist with The Cline Group located in suburban Philadelphia and currently lives in Reading, PA. He is a transplanted Chicagoan, who spends much of his time closely following his Chicago sports teams (hence the smartphone) as well as his alma mater, The University of Illinois.