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Who’s Calling?!

October 9, 2012

Waiting in line at the grocery the other day, I was reminded of one of my biggest annoyances: obnoxious ringtones.  We are all guilty of having that one ringtone that is borderline embarrassing for those around us when they go off.  I will actually admit that I have quite a few of those (you’ve seen my Guilty Pleasures and current jams), but I assure you they never go off in public.

Let me paint the picture for you… first, the setting.  As I said before, I was at the grocery.  For the seriousness of how bad this particular day at the grocery was, I need to disclose that it was the first weekend of the month.  I am just going to leave it at that, your mind can put the rest of what I’m getting at together itself.  So, a crowded grocery at the beginning of the month, already a recipe for disaster.  It gets worse: enter self-checkout into the game.  The guilty party had a cart load of stuff in the express self-checkout.  Oh, I can’t forget the four small children running circles around the offender.  This is enough to kill me, but adding insult to injury, their phone went off.

Obnoxious doesn’t cover this ringtone.  I’m not sure what song it was or even what phone this person was using that is equipped with a megaphone.  All I’m saying is it was filled with quite a few choice words that need not be broadcast in public so loudly let alone in front of children.  I am not easily offended, but this particular ringtone ventured way past your typical four-letter words and into various slurs.  Of course, they didn’t even answer the call.  There I was one lane over quietly judging the person’s choice when I suddenly realized I was not the only one.  Not even close.

Then I started thinking even deeper into the situation.  Appropriateness: are our selections really a great thing to be broadcasting when they are filled with foul language and slurs or innuendos?  What kind of message are we sending to complete strangers solely based on what our phones use to notify us of a call?

As I left, I continued to thinking… focusing mainly on how others perceive what they hear.  It was at that point I remembered the horrific trend that once plagued cell phones: the ringback tone.  You call your friend but hear a song instead of a ringing sound.  Cool, right?  Sure… until a prospective employer calls you for an interview and is greeted by some terrible rap number about big butts.  It can happen.

Obviously my thoughts aren’t going to change what is happening in this trend.  However, I do have a suggestion to keep yourself from calling my judgement… have obnoxious ringtones but only use them as alarm tones.

Trust me, it can be quite motivating in the morning to wake up to You’re Beautiful by James Blunt… or even better, Nicki Minaj singing about a Stupid Hoe.

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