Ringtones stopped being clever a couple of years ago. Once upon a time, it was cool, even funny, to hear a cell phone ring in the supermarket or the coffee shop and all of a sudden you heard Homer Simpson’s trademark “Doh!” fill the air or maybe the first few lines of Steppenwolf’s Born to Be Wild.
Everyone would turn and smile at each other, listening to the clever ringtone until the owner finally answered his phone. It was like a little show. The cell phone owner with the clever ringtone would answer his phone smugly, pleased that he had such a hip ringtone that everyone envied. Then we’d all run home and try to download a clever one for our own cell phones and who can ever forget Howard Dean’s famous scream? Who didn’t want to download that?
Well, it stopped being cute and clever. Ringtones are so played. Now they’re just plain annoying.
Because many cell phone owners adjust their ringtones to the loudest setting possible, probably thinking that someone will still be impressed. It’s either that or we have generations of people with serious hearing problems. Do you know what I’m talking about? Now whenever a cell phone rings, everyone within a six-foot radius jumps in sudden fright at the ear-bleedingly loud ringtone, including the cell phone owner who always frantically fumbles with the thing, first dropping it and then anxiously pressing the buttons, as if even he can’t believe his own phone is ringing and that his dang phone is so loud. Instead of smiling and chuckling, now most of us simply roll our eyes.
So, to all the cell phone owners still clinging to the past: You might want to dial down the volume of your ringtones a notch. Or figure out how to use the vibration setting. It’ll be easier on your heart and those unlucky enough to be standing around when someone phones you.
::Writer X also writes at The 100 Most Annoying Things::