If the Kardashians are America's first family, then Rob Kardashian is their golden boy. Since "Keeping up with the Kardashians" debuted in 2007 (just three and a half months after the iPhone!), millions have watched Rob grow from a 20-year-old college student in a relationship with ex-Cheetah girl Adrienne Bailon to a runner up on "Dancing with the Stars," and now a successful entrepreneur -- his Arthur George sock line is carried at Neiman Marcus stores, nationwide. On the flip side, we've also witnessed as he's publicly tackled weight gain, OCD, and insecurities around his sisters' successes.
However, with a lot of exciting projects in the works, including a men's clothing line and a new TV series, Rob may soon be on star par with sisters Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe and momager Kris.
Download.com caught up with Rob about texts from God, embarrassing snapchats, dating over apps, the social media comments that hurt most, and what he's learned (app-wise) from his sisters.
You recently tweeted a screenshot of your iPhone that read: "From God: I love you." What was that about?
Well, I'm a pretty religious person, so I may as well have a positive influence, if I have the capability. I literally just sent myself a message that says, "From God." [laughs] Yeah, and I just did a screenshot of it from the lock screen because I thought it sounded cool. I don't like to use any effects, but lately I've been trying to get involved with all the effects. For that I've been using Pixlr-o-matic, which is really cool.
Who in your family first embraced mobile apps?
Honestly, my little sisters, Kendall and Kylie, they're on top of all the app and social media stuff. If I ever have any issue like, "How do you do this?" or "How do you edit this picture?" they always know what to do or tell me the right camera apps to use and whatnot.
I noticed that the Kardashians use Keek a lot. And if you go to Keek's Web site, there are pictures of several Kardashians on the home screen. Can you tell me how that relationship started?
Yeah, Keek was just something that we all got involved with from the beginning, and I'm starting to like it a lot now, because you can take really long videos, as opposed to little, short clips. We're always moving every day and doing stuff, so we want our fans to have a way of seeing us, aside from the show. But everybody's on their phone nowadays, which is the one thing I don't like.
I wanted to ask you about that, because on the show you seem to be on your phone an awful lot, yourself. What is it that you're doing?
I'm definitely not on social media. I'm either trying to respond to e-mails or trying to get some stuff done, because when I'm at my house I have no reception, and I hate being on my phone in my house and I hate being on my computer. I'm never on my computer unless I absolutely need to be.
I'm just very against all that. Most of the time I change my number a few times a month and I never bring my phone out with me if I'm doing something. I wish there were no cell phones and no social media. But at the end of the day, it's brought a lot of opportunities to our family, so I can't complain. But I'm against everyone always being on their phone.
Have apps changed the way that the Kardashians communicate with each other?
I feel like it's a way to keep up with some of our family members if everybody's busy doing their own thing -- or even my high school friends. But we're pretty good, in our family, about spending time together. We always work together, but we still make time to hang out, go swimming, and so on.
Speaking of swimming, you posted this really cool black & white, pool shot on Instagram, that had a splash of blue color on the pool water around you. How did you create that effect?
Yeah, that was over the weekend: me and some friends that were in town from out of the country -- they actually took the photo and showed me which app to use and helped me edit it, but it's Aviary. It's cool: you can change all sorts of colors in the picture and do other things, like make my tattoos pop. And the water looks really cool.
Do you ever play gaming apps?
I play Temple Run on my iPad. That game is pretty fun. I also use Snapchat a lot. I think it's genius. I only have a few buddies on my Snapchat, but it's pretty cool. It's pretty funny stuff, how you can just do the videos and do things for short periods of time and they can only see it once, and if they try to take a screenshot it warns you.
What kinds of Snapchats have you sent your friends?
Funny, stupid stuff...my friends passed out, or someone will do something stupid and take a picture; and when you send a picture, you can draw all over them. We always get someone sleeping.
If you could design your fantasy app, what would it be?
It's already happened, but I still want to do it for fun. But just like a sticker app, like that Snoop Lion app, Snoopify, where I take a picture of you and I can put all kinds of stickers onto the picture, itself, like money signs or random little Hello Kitty things. Other apps do that, but I feel like if you market it the right way...
Are there any apps that you use to grow your Arthur George sock line?
I don't use anything related to my socks yet. But for Arthur George stuff, we are going to start posting a lot more pics, and I'm going to use a lot more of the editing stuff. For business stuff, you have to use apps like Instagram. But I use this one movie app that has nothing to do with my socks.
Which app is that?
Flixster. If you ever are trying to go to the movies, it's super quick and easy to find a movie right around you.
Getting back to Twitter, you have millions of followers yet only follow, as of today, 11 people. You obviously know many more people than that. So of the people that you follow that are not your family or your Arthur George brand, how do you decide on whom to follow?
I don't know; I just follow them. Juicy J, for example, is one of my good friends, and he has honestly the best tweets ever. I used to just take his tweets and not give him credit, and we would all laugh about it. It was just a fun thing to jack everyone's tweets.
When you post on Twitter or Instagram, you get thousands of likes and comments. Are there any comments that bother you?
I mean, yeah, there are always comments that bother you, because those are people who are trying to get something out of you or just get a response. I'm not really big on posting pictures of myself, because there are a lot of people, who are negative and disrespectful and say, "You're fat," and I really don't read those comments because of that.
That's why this stuff bugs me because it's a way for all the people who are jealous and hating or I don't know what's going on with them -- it gives them access to try and put someone down, and I don't really believe in that stuff. But for the people who support, I am always into that and appreciate it.
Rob, a big story about you, in the recent past, has been your weight gain. Have you ever used any weight loss apps?
I have never known that there were weight loss apps. I probably should explore that. [laughs]
What about the Keeping up with the Kardashians app?
I bought it once and messed with it and haven't used it since. I should look into that. I should get it again.
Have you ever used a dating app?
No, but my friends told me about a couple different ones that are pretty funny. But no, I will not. It's kind of hard to do that.
So you're more of a meet someone in person and see if there's chemistry kind of guy?
Yeah, I'm more into that. Just let it happen naturally: focus on your business, focus on your health, and just let it happen, naturally. And the rest happens when it happens.
After a breakup last year, you were very candid with your feelings about your ex on Twitter. What is that experience like of knowing that you're putting your personal thoughts out there and that they're being read by millions of people?
You live and learn from all those situations. You don't realize how big of a following you have; and, you know, it's a good thing and it's a bad thing, because you really do have a big impact on whoever's following. Regardless, someone's going to see it and something's going to happen from it. So you've got to use that in a positive way.
And if you have a huge following of millions of people, why wouldn't you have a positive impact? I'm not trying to preach religion, but that's why I like to post positive things, like the thing with God. But even charities -- just promote the good things. If you have a tool like this, you should use it in a positive way. I'm so against the social media stuff, but if I were going to use it in a more hands-on way, it would be to do something to help the world.