On Saturday night, while Notre Dame played Arizona State at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was shown on the NBC broadcast. What many people immediately noticed was that Jones was talking on a flip phone.
That Jones, who has an estimated net worth of $US3.0 billion, uses a flip phone is not a completely surprising development. But what happened over the next 36 hours showed that people are very sensitive about advanced technologies in 2013, with many rushing to the defence of a billionaire sports owner they don’t even know.
As I will do from time-to-time, I took a screen-grab and posted it to Twitter, with the caption, “Jerry Jones, owns a team worth $US2.3 billion, still uses a flip phone”:
The tweet was not meant as a criticism. Rather it was a “hey, you might be surprised, but here is a wealthy man who doesn’t use a smartphone.”
But the tweet got picked up in a lot of circles and by numerous websites, including Yahoo.com, where it was the lead story Sunday night and Monday morning.
Since that story was posted, which included other tweets that were critical of Jones, I have been bombarded with tweets and emails criticising me for “judging” Jones, for “getting all worked up” over his phone choice, for “complaining” about his life choices, and for “making fun of him,” among many others.
Of course, there are a lot of very good reasons why Jones would be using a flip phone, some of which were pointed out to me many, many times in the last 12 hours:
- Maybe it is not his main phone.
- Maybe it wasn’t his phone.
- Jerry Jones is 70 years old and may not feel the need or comfort level to move on to 2013 technology.
- Maybe Jones prefers the better reception and battery life.
But maybe the reason for the flip phone that has been repeated the most is that this is why Jones is rich and I am not. Of course, this ignores all the successful businesspeople in the world who are wealthy and use smartphones. However, Jones may indeed be frugal and that may indeed be one reason he is so successful.
But whatever the reason, the tweet caused a visceral reaction to the image and showed that advanced technologies remain a sensitive topic to many.
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