ringtones: a manifesto

stop it. just. just. stop it. enough! it’s a phone. phones do not sing, they ring. let them ring!

i don’t care if you want to be sophisticated with a few tinny lines of beethoven, or prove your coolness with the latest downloaded snippet of tool or radiohead, or be quirky with the theme from the muppets. it’s bad enough out in public, but then you have the officemates with their phones constantly bursting into the same song. over. and over. stop it.

my phone is cool. it plays four note chords and actually sounds rather pretty. but do i annoy you constantly with some stupid song that then gets stuck in your head, just a few notes on repeat? no! i do not. my phone can do anything your phone can do. my phone could announce callers by name in my voice, but that’s just silly. sometimes, the reason ‘because it can’ is not good enough.

well, i take that back. my phone does not download ringtones. i did not want it to, i wanted it to be a functional phone. to do phone things. like ring. phones ring. they should not sing. make them stop.

consider yourselves warned. and if that’s not enough, let me tell you, your phone will make a damned uncomfortable suppository.

31 thoughts on “ringtones: a manifesto

  1. Amen, sister! Shout it from the condo tops! Set it to ring and be done with it.

    …and if you want to be cool, then by one of those pens that vibrates when your phone rings. The we won’t hear a thing and you can look really cool as you answer The Phone That Never Rang!

    …and no, I didn’t go there.

  2. [sigh] and WHY does it play that? can’t you get an MP3 player with headphones to hear your favorite tunes? they actually have phones with MP3 players in them, which play over headphones. music is music. phones are not instruments.

    [even deeper sigh] i know these things are popular. i just don’t get why.

  3. Hear! Hear! People with annoying ringtones should be shot by well trained snipers hidden in trees, bushes, and rooftops. But not killed, of course, shot in the knee or groin.

    “Good! Now just lay there and think about what you’ve done!” Meanwhile, a small phone would be placed next to them that plays the ringtone rendition of “It’s a small world” over and over.

  4. Arggghhhh! Nooooooo!!!

    Never even mention that song!


    Please, do a surgical implant (or heck, even an emergency suppository) before you call them.

    Yeah, that would be okay.

  5. It’s all been downhill since phones actually stopped _ringing_, and since we stopped being able to actually _dial_. Punching buttons is not dialing, and chirping, bleating, singing, etc. is not a ring.

  6. …and we lost so much more of the benefits of social Darwinism when we started promoting 9-1-1; I’ve always said to let the ones who tried to punch in 9-11 self-select themselves out when they couldn’t find the “11” key.

    …to say nothing of those annoying Carrot Top commercials! Punching the center column over and over and over again…

  7. now, you know, that i no longer have school dreams, i have dreams in which i can’t seem to dial my cellphone. last night i was trying to dial 911 but you had to call it then remember this long series of keystrokes to get help.

    wow, is this digressing or what?

  8. Sounds like a system where you have to use a calling card to call 911.

    …seems to lack efficiency.

    …and timeliness.

  9. it was just a bad dream. i often dream that i can’t dial my cellphone when i need to. it is symbolic of the same vulnerability of a naked in school dream. i also dream of colors i’ve never seen before, and forgetting my digicam, or not getting the pic in time.

    technology has replaced school as my vulnerability. if i’ve forgotten my cam or my phone, i go back home and get ’em. it’s what makes you feel … well, vulnerable is the best word.

  10. The other day I went to the movies to see “The Panic Room”..
    Someone in the audience had a cell phone that played “Take me out to the ball game”….
    What a way to ruin a movie….

  11. makes you wonder — what’s so damn hard about turning the thing off in the movie theatre? sheesh. people.

    oh, and batgrl? you being batgrl and all, i don’t see a problem with you using your themesong as a ringtone. well, it’s still a little buggy, the whole singing phone thing, but you know, it’s a theme song.

    [sigh] i know i can’t make people stop. i just had to rant a bit, you know how that goes.

  12. Ever the polite cell phone user, I always keep my phone on vibrate. Ringing phones have scared me since I was a small child:

    <caller> This is Mr. Imbroglio from Acme credit corp. Is your mommy home?

    <6 year old me> My mom says to tell you she’s dead.


  13. What irritates me even more is when somebody dumps their mobile on a desk then buggers off somewhere, leaving it to ring and ring. They usually get pissed off at me when I switch them off but my arguement is the whole purpose of a mobile phone is that it’s mobile – take the ‘kin thing with you!!!!

  14. Meanwhile I forgot to add – about ” one of those pens that vibrates when your phone rings” – where would I get something like this? It sounds so…..useful. Anyone have a link? *giggle*

  15. grrrrrrrr…novelty rings bad…very, very bad. i am just waiting to pick up the newspaper and read about the first ‘phone rage’ murder.

  16. I hate it when somebody else has the same ringtone as you. You check your phone instinctively.

    This bluetooth technology ought to be able to make a discreet tone in a remote earplug or something. Or maybe it ought to be able to cause that person’s brain to explode.

  17. i leave my phone on vibrate mode — except when i’m working in my home office and it’s sitting on my desk. 🙂 i hate ringing phones….

  18. surprised batgrl hasn’t “chimed” in on this one – she wrote a diatribe about car phones awhile back.

    Myself? I have a phone in the car (it rings – heh) that is on all of the time. And, one in my purse that is NEVER on . . . unless I want to use it.

    I consider my phones there for MY peace of mind and use. If people wanna find me, they ususally know where I am and I am NOT that important, you know.

    In fact, that is usually what I say whenver some inconsiderate SLOB allows his phone to ring while in a restaurant and then proceeds to talk LOUDLY to whomever is on the other end . . . are you REALLY that important???? PULEAZE!!

    can you hear me now?
    can you hear me now?
    can you hear me now?

  19. and you know, that yelling into the cell phone is sooooooo unnecessary these days. back in the analog days, when you were trying to be heard over the static, you had to yell. and somehow that has carried over into the present day.

    i find i can speak at a much lower volume than my normal speaking voice with my phone, it can even be used as a speakerphone, the little mic is that sensitive. people that talk loudly on cell phones are idiots.

    i talk on my phone everywhere, in pretty much the same, conversational tone that i talk to others (or, myself).

  20. Ta dah! Here I am to join in!
    Ok, my worst is that I’ll be babbling away in lecture and – phone rings. I try to keep going but – well, it blows my concentration. I do tell them that if they want I’ll answer the phone “Hi, I’m the professor trying to give a lecture – could you call back in an hour?” I don’t have enough snarky comments yet. But it doesn’t happen all that often.

    BUT! Phones that ring in the movie theater? I WILL stand up and hunt you down, evil Phone Babblers – especially if you take the call and continue to sit there. We WILL be having a polite chat about your behavior.

    Oh here’s a nice story – a student had a medical emergency in her family but came to class – stopped by my office beforehand to tell me that she was going to leave her phone set to ring rather than vibrate because she didn’t want to miss the call. Apologised and said she’d step out of class if it did ring. I thought that was nice. Wish I could give As for stuff like that.

    And um – *looks guilty* – my phone plays the Batman theme. But I set it to mute half the time – and only 5 people have the number so I get maybe 4 calls a month. It often scared the hell outta me when it rings because I never expect it to.

  21. Oh I don’t think I was clear – when the phone rings during a lecture – it’s a student’s phone. Mine’s locked away in my office, ringtone muffled by my purse.

  22. “What irritates me even more is when somebody dumps their mobile on a desk then buggers off somewhere, leaving it to ring and ring.”

    Shelagh: answering their phone for them could teach them a valuable lesson 😉

    My classroom is wireless and does many freaky things that go way over my students heads. Now, I don’t have any idea how this happened, but for sooooome reason my students think that I can fry their phones if they leave them on in class and they ring. They have no idea that the “phone fryer” is actually a radio shack voltmeter. shhhh.

    I’ve never had a phone ring in class. *snicker*

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