Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Ringing the changes

What is this obsession with ring tones? Every mobile these days is equipped with a silent or vibrate option but still people insist on inflicting their individual ringing alert on anyone within earshot.

This morning alone I have been party to (in no particular order) the opening bars of Stairway to Heaven, the CTU bleep-bleep burrrrp of TV show 24, something that sounded like the Hovis advert until it broke into a dance track by Shakira, and a phone manufacturer's attempt at reproducing an old-style phone ring, which was so loud that my eardrum spasmed.

These sounds actually say a lot about the owners of the phones - almost without exception, they say "I am devoid of any personal expression not emitted by my phone."

But let's explain this in a bit more detail. If your ring tone is rock music of any era you are without exception an ageing has-been desperately clinging to some belief that you are still cool. If your tone is that of two-step garage you are a chav desperately clinging to some belief that you are cool. If you have downloaded one of those ring tones advertised on the TV you are a fool with more money than sense clinging to some belief that you are cool. If you are using one of the pre-loaded ring tones that came with your phone you are a fool with no imagination, but at least you're not clinging to the belief that you are cool.

In fact the only ring tone that is in my mind vaguely acceptable is one which is as unobtrusive as possible - maybe a little whispering tweep for instance, or at the very worst, the standard english ring tone, set on low.

There is one exception to the rule - my dad, through no fault of his own and entirely down to my sister, has been lumbered with the Benny Hill theme tune. And that, as far as ring tones for seniors go, is pure class - especially seeing as he doesn't know how to get rid of it.

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