“12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You” by Tony Reinke

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 6.43.08 PMAt my church last week the pastor spoke about how smartphones are affecting our daily life, or possibly even running it. It was a great sermon, and very much needed! He also offered 5 free copies of a book called “12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You” by Tony Reinke. They’d be on a small table towards the front of the sanctuary after the service was over, and first come, first served. I was sitting in the back (shame! shame!) so I thought the books would surely be gone before I got there. Darn! On the way out of the church (before turning airplane mode off on my Nokia 6.1), I shook the pastors hand and after telling him I loved the sermon, he mentioned the book again and to go grab a copy. By this point, I figured anyone who wanted one had their chance, so if any were left I’d take one. I rushed to opened up Waze on my phone to help me navigate through circles of people chatting, through pews, ignoring any opportunity to talk to anyone face to face, to quickly get to that little table in the front. OK, OK, not all of that is true. My phone actually doesn’t get reception in the church building. Thanks a lot, AT&T!

At last I was there and got a copy of the book. I started reading that very Sunday and so far so good! Lots of insight, info, stats, and Scripture references and I’m only through the forward, preface, and introduction! It’s Thursday. What can I say, I’m a slow reader. I also have a book from the library that’s due back today. Guess how far I’m into that one?

I’m excited to read further and find out how to be the boss of my phone, instead of the other way around. Christian or not, it’s easy to see how technology and smartphones can so quickly and almost undetected rule our lives and I don’t want that to be the case with me. Although I do have a TikTok account and there were a few weeks there where I was obsessed with uploading and watching videos. I couldn’t help it! I mean, have you seen the Git Up dance? So entertaining.


Sadly, I’ve already failed this week at a goal I set for myself with my smartphone.

The Goal… phone goes off at 10pm and turns on at 8am.

The Results… lasted literally 1 day.

By Tuesday morning the rule was impossible to obey because I had a trip to Memphis, leaving the house at 545am. So there went the 8am thing! I don’t feel bad about it because, like a lot of people out there, my phone is so integrated into work I do, from the Tuesday job in Memphis, to Amazon deliveries here in Nashville (100% of this work is on the phone). It’s simply a tool I need to have on most of every day. But there are other ways to master this smartphone thing, from limiting time on social media like Facebook status scrolling, TikTok watching, etc. so I’m going back to the drawing board to work out a schedule for my employee (the Nokia).

I think it’s awesome the church, at least my church but I’m sure there are more doing this, is addressing the issue of technology and how it affects our life every second of every day. There’s definitely a spiritual element to it, and how to not let it become an idol. I mean, the iPhone cost $1,000 and I saw recently (on Facebook, whilst scrolling endlessly through friends statuses [crying emoji]) that the entire menu of Cracker Barrel costs somewhere around $880. THE ENTIRE MENU! I think I’d rather have Cracker Barrel hash browns for a month than an iPhone anyway. #NokiaLikeIts1999

-Out of the Wilderness

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Would you rather date through Facebook, or go on The Bachelor?

Ever since the dawn of man, men have been trying to get it right with the ladies. Heck, Adam was the very first Bachelor contestant, right?

But there is nothing easy about deciding to be on The Bachelor, I’m sure. A lot of your dating history will be exposed to millions of people who will either cheer for you (which would be awesome, I guess), or cringe (which is most likely). Then there are the tears.

So. Much. Crying.

If you watch the show, or any of it’s spinoffs like The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise you know exactly what I mean when I say these people are… what’s the word… interesting. Most of them think being on the show is their one last shot at finding true love. Most of them are also under the age of 25.

Bless their hearts. Then, if one of these young’ns don’t get a rose, they bawl their eyes out because they thought they had found “the one.” After 3 days of being part of the cast. Barely knowing the person’s last name.

Well, getting dumped on national TV is no longer their last chance of getting rejected!!! Facebook has entered the game.  Facebook wants to be for single people what Alex “Hitch” Hitchens was to Albert Brennaman. 

So romantic. Really, it is. But does Facebook have any hope of being a successful matchmaker? I’ll say this… using an established social network to romantically connect people together makes a lot of sense. There are millions of people who have millions of friends in common, so perhaps this could be a way for friends to meet friends of friends… people they wouldn’t have met otherwise.

I just have my doubts as someone who’s tried a handful of dating platforms.

You see, what I’ve heard from my female friends is this: guys on dating sites are mostly one of 3 types. The creepy guy. The runner. The player.

[creepy guy]

Creepy guys are hard to explain because they can appear in a few different ways. But mostly, and this is just based on what I’ve heard from female friends, they’re clingy, or as soon as a woman doesn’t respond right away or asks a question about the guy’s authenticity the dude gets defensive and hurtful.

The runner is the guy that has a lot of potential in the beginning but as time wears on the other shoe drops. Meaning this… he’s got something in his DNA that won’t let him get to the place where a relationship can last. So he either ghosts, or just goes away, blaming himself.

The player. This one is easy to define. Sex. His first message is something like, “Hey baby” or “Ur fine” or something super genuine like that. 😉

They want one thing and one thing only.

Here’s another truth for you… when women join a dating site, they are flooded with messages, matches, winks, whatever. While that could be flattering, it’s actually really overwhelming. And from a friend who checked out the Facebook dating “portal,” it hasn’t been any different. She said the influx of matches caused her to delete her dating profile.

Sucks for the ladies who are on “here for the right reasons,” and for the dudes who are genuinely “looking for their person.”

So why would Facebook be any different from dating apps that exist currently? I can’t think of a solid reason except for the friends of friends thing. In that regard, it does open up more options than The Bachelor ever will, because nowadays, they’re all just dating each other. Yes, we’re looking at you Blake from Stagecoach.

He. Sounds. Hideous.

Have you tried the Facebook dating thing? Have you auditioned for the Bachelor? Chime in below and let’s get a conversation going!

-Out of the Wilderness

My neighbor wants me to kill a deer

I just looked up when deer season begins because I wanted this post to be timely. You know what’s going to happen now, right? Any advertisements that pop up on my Facebook page or other websites I visit are going to be about hunting, camouflage, or deer jerky! Oh, great. Maybe I’ll do a quick search for vegan mayonnaise, that’ll fix it!

Anyway, I have a neighbor a few houses down that loves to hunt. He’s schooled me on when to go, where to go, what to wear, and he’s very kind to offer me a spot next to him in the deer stand when he goes hunting. Once he even showed me what a successful trip looks like. In his backyard, a tarp was hanging from tree limbs, constructed to block the view of a deceased deer hanging by his hind legs because… I guess that’s what you do after you’ve killed a deer?

So the first time he asked me to go hunting with him, I struggled to come up with a way to say no (because I have a hard time saying no to almost everything). But in the subsequent times he’s asked, and it’s an ongoing thing, I’ve found it’s easier to decline by saying something like, “I don’t eat meat,” or “There’s no way I could kill a deer,” which are both true.

His response, “Don’t eat for three days.”

He explained that if I skip eating for the three days leading up to this hunting trip, I’d be more willing to kill because I’d be so hungry. Maybe that’s true. I can imagine that anyone who thinks they’re about to starve to death would be willing to do things they wouldn’t normally do. The plot of Alive* is now floating through my mind. Uhhh, gross!

But here’s a glimpse into my personality…

We were on a family road trip and I was sitting in the back of the van. I must’ve been 11 or 12. All of the sudden a bird slammed into the windshield and I started bawling.

A few years ago, a friend of mine lived with me as he searched for a home to buy. During this time, whenever my dogs dug up a mole, my friend was the Undertaker. I just couldn’t exterminate the moles myself.

A few weeks ago a small spider inside my car descended directly in front of me as I was driving. I was able to get him to land on the steering column where I slapped down, trying to squash him. He looked dead and I immediately felt terrible about it. I wondered why I thought he should die?

I reference those stories to show you how much of a weiner I can be when it comes to killing animals or even insects. I never want to, nor could I, kill something as beautiful and harmless as a deer. I feel bad when I kill things I don’t even like (spiders)! Well, snakes? I’m typically not as sad when one of those dies 🙂

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-Out of the Wilderness

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LG360 camera reviewed by a normal guy

I recently picked up the LG360 camera for a few reasons, which I’ll share with you now.

    1. It’s one of a handful that are currently available. I’d also like to try out the Bublcam and the Giroptic 360cam degree cameras but both those brands are currently on “pre-order.” I’ve heard the Bublcam won’t ship till December 2016.
    2. The low price point! It’s only $199 and while that’s not pocket change, it’s still quite a bit less than pretty much any other piece of technology, am I right??
    3. The video quality is better (allegedly, based on my research) than the Ricoh Theta S. Both good cameras, but at the end of the day, I want picture quality to be as close to the 21st Century as possible, and again from my research, the Theta S looked blurry and not HD. Here’s a video I shot yesterday on the LG360.
    4. Convenience. This tags along with availability… I was able to drive to a nearby Verizon store and pick one up. Perfect as I’m planning to use it next week during a family reunion. I got the camera yesterday and I’ve already posted 4 videos on YouTube.
    5. It works with YouTube and Facebook… and the process to make that happen scared me based on user reviews. But it was a sinch. I haven’t imported footage into an editor program yet, but I plan to this week.

I highly recommend this camera, even for the simple idea of practicing with it until higher quality cameras become available. But even if you end up sticking with this one, you could do a lot worse! Also, shameless self-promotion: use the link below to take advantage of Prime Day (Tues 7/12), buy this camera, and I’ll get pennies just from you using the link. Thanks and I hope you enjoy the camera as much as I have so far!
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-Out of the Wilderness

A quote from Betty White

It started as a search to find the exact quote from Betty White concerning Facebook. Spoiler alert, she thinks it’s a huge waste of time. I couldn’t help but read more of her statements and came across one that I automatically loved.

“You can always tell about somebody by the way they put their hands on an animal.”

Animal people are simply better people. Try to prove me wrong, I dare ya!

-Out of the Wilderness

Wacky Wednesday: I Will Remember Hashtags

desireeSo I finally caught the first episode of the Bachelorette starring Desiree Hartsock. Anticipation had been building for weeks, but mostly for the Bachelorette Fantasy League I’m involved in!  In almost any form, I love competition. Anyway, from shirtless guy to the knight in shining armor, these guys should just be called “future former contestants” because they have no chance. I wish future Wesley (The Baby Bachelor) would time travel back to 2013 and slap us all in the face for watching these shows. Kasey (social media guy contestant) is hashtagging everything in sight. So how long does it take for “business” to make something popular unpopular? No, no State Farm Insurance, I will not like you on Facebook. And thanks but no thanks, Kentucky Fried Chicken… I will not tweet anything about #iatethebones. If you’re reading this in 2035, I promise we did cool stuff back in 2013 besides tweeting and tumblring. 

-Out of the Wilderness

Betty White on Facebook

“Now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it seems like a huge waste of time.”
–Betty White about Facebook, May 2010

So recently a friend of mine challenged me to get my Facebook friends down to 13. To give you some context… I’ve chatted quite a bit with him about the pros and cons of Facebook, he’s never been on Facebook, and he knows I’m competitive. I’ve come down to 40 38 32 31 13 14 18 friends so far and I’m thinking Betty White was right. Trust me, I can waste my time doing much more productive things than Facebook!