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Apparently This Matters: Billionaire uses flip phone

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was spotted recently with an old school flip phone. Cork Gaines, a writer for Business Insider, posted this screen grab on Twitter.
Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was spotted recently with an old school flip phone. Cork Gaines, a writer for Business Insider, posted this screen grab on Twitter.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was spotted using a flip phone
  • Jones' net worth is $3 billion
  • Price isn't much of a factor, but there are still reasons to own a flip phone

Editor's note: Each week in "Apparently This Matters," CNN's Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web. This story originally published on October 11, 2013.

(CNN) -- My dad still uses an old flip phone. It's gray. It's clunky. And its two ringtone choices are an early recording of Greensleeves or a dramatic poetry slam by Grover Cleveland.

But it works for him. And that's all that matters.

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"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

Besides, how proletarian could it possibly be when even the billionaire owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones, uses one?

The world sort of took notice of Jones' phone last week at the Arizona State-Notre Dame football game which was, for recruiting and financial reasons, being played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The venue is now known as AT&T Stadium.

But you can call it the Flip Phone Dome. Because, at one point, Jones appeared on the game's TV broadcast while talking on his flipper inside his luxury box. And that's when the tweets started pouring out.

ESPN anchor, Matt Barrie, wrote: Jerry Jones is worth over a billion dollars, but my man still uses a flip phone...#BlessHisHeart

And Cork Gaines, a sports writer for Business Insider, posted a screen grab from his TV.

So, clearly, viewers were jarred by the sight of this very wealthy man using something many of us now look at as a museum piece. Mind you, this would be in the world's crappiest museum.

"Excuse me, ma'am. No taking pictures of the RAZR."

What's interesting about this is that it's not like Jones can't afford a smart phone. He just chooses not to have one. And you kind of have to respect that.

Jerry Jones. The billionaire hipster.

But I still wonder why a man who, otherwise, seems so committed to technology has such an old-school mobile device.

Just like watching the game at home, but with $3,000 nachos. Mmmmmmmm, nachos.
Just like watching the game at home, but with $3,000 nachos. Mmmmmmmm, nachos.

Remember, his football stadium holds one of the world's largest, most advanced high-def video boards -- it stretches 160 feet wide and 72 feet high. If the stadium roof were open and you were standing on the moon with nothing else to do, you could watch Cowboys games.

I wouldn't. But you could.

After all of the outrage and amazement about his phone, Jones later went on the radio with 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] and addressed the non-situation situation.

"I don't know what to say other than I can guarantee AT&T is on the top of that flip phone," he said. "It works for me. I don't have any butt-dialing with that thing. I know that."

He's got a point.

It's been so long since I've actually owned a flip phone that I've really forgotten what the experience even feels like. Fortunately, though, I haven't had too many problems with butt-dialing.

However, I'd like to think mine would be rather pragmatic about his decisions to use the phone.

"Hey, it's Jarrett's ass. Can I swing by and borrow a cup of flour?"

He likes to cook.

At this point, I don't think I could ever go back. But there are definitely some strong arguments supporting the use of flip phones even though smartphone prices really aren't that bad these days.

Right now, for example, an iPhone 5C starts at $99. Which is fairly affordable. Of course, you'll have to live with the fact that people will think your phone was a victim of some sort of horrible paint explosion.

But if you can get past the fact that its color cannot be found anywhere on the natural spectrum, you'll be good to go. Until the battery dies.

My Phone: The apps go on forever and the party never ends.
My Phone: The apps go on forever and the party never ends.

That might be a legitimate argument for flip phones. They do tend to last longer by virtue of the fact that they're not trying to power a million different apps, all of which are keeping you from performing your duties at work.

Hell, maybe that's why Jerry Jones is so successful. He can't be bothered with all these distractions. Whereas, at this very moment, the following apps are currently running in the background of my iPhone:

Messages, Safari, Facebook, Twitter, Clock, Evernote, USA Today Crossword, Reddit Pics, The Weather Channel, Instagram, Fox Sports, Clock, Camera, RSA SecurID, Tottenham Hotspur, Mail, Calendar, Remote, ESPN ScoreCenter, Key Ring, Google Maps, YouTube, MyRadar, and Settings.

Currently running on Jones' phone: Phone.

Clearly, one of us is more distracted. And perhaps there's a correlation between focus and wealth.

Jones' net worth: $3 billion.

My net worth: A Diet Coke and some pineapple chunks.

So, there's that.

Also, flip phones are arguably more durable. All the glass and major features are protected when you close them up. Whereas, with a smart phone, everything on the planet is basically a ball-peen hammer.

Of course, water is the ultimate death blow to any phone. Which is kind of sad. Remember when pushing somebody in the pool was funny? Now it's a $200 investment.

Anyway, I'm sure there's someone in your life who still uses a flip phone. So, share this with them and tell them it's OK. One of the richest men in the world is on their team.

Jerry Jones. The billionaire hipster.

Follow Jarrett Bellini on Twitter.

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