Do you work in an office where everyone's cell phone is on ring and everyone's ringtone is mind numbingly mind numbing? Do you live in a household with ringtone happy teeny boppers who's phones have to be extra loud for when they're in the shower, or drying their hair or even just breathing? Do you believe that most ringtones were sent by the devil himself to provide us with a little hell on earth?
Concocted in the lair of the devil himself
Obnoxious ringtones really form a devil's three way with 'b's'. From the 'bhajans' to 'Bollywood' to the 'boybands' from the 90s, be it in monophone or polyphone, your eardrums and sanity will both be challenged in ways that are potential human rights violations. And they really say a lot about the person you are. For example, a loud bhajan comes across as, “Oh hai, I'm holier than thou”. Bollywood bullc**p comes across as, “Hey, man, M 2 kul 4 u” (if you can even read that). The boybands users are special however. They're all like, “Look, I know music you don't”. Yes that boyband was a one hit wonder because they stank horse-poo. However, there could be the other side to them, “Look, I'm not single and you are”. To which I say, glad your ringtone reminds you you can't go to a bar and hit on the hottest thing that moves there, glad it's not your partner but actually your ringtone.
But let's take a look at these. Let's analyze what makes these types of ringtones so appealing. Let's start with a bhajan. Take a look at the clip below. (NOTE: Tech2 is not responsible for any loss of hearing, sanity or faith in humanity caused by user consumption of this clip).
Easy now, put down that liquid nitrogen gun. This is only one leg of the threeway. Now I have nothing against religion, religious people or religious acts, but when did god look down at you and say, “You no get bad news on phone if you put bhajan as ringtone” (or in a manner less eloquent). And who hasn't heard of ringtone wars? One obedient, god-fearing office worker who had Jai Ganesh as his ringtone beat the living daylight out of the other obedient, god-fearing office worker who had a “Silent Night” ringtone. The two of them worked superbly together, even got super close to solving the equation of world peace. Until both their mothers called them at the same time of course, and they both forgot to put their phones on silent. Through this grossly underexaggerated example, I'm trying to say that you never know if the outward display of a very strong belief, an example would be a ringtone, could affect someone else in the room. So let's leave the phone on silent and listen to Silent Night on our iPods, eh?
Now we move on to Bollywood. Take a gander at the clip below. (NOTE: Tech2's not taking any responsibility for any mental abnormalities/damage inflicted by this clip. It's a rather funny ringtone though, subliminal messages were always the name of the game).
I tell you, my nightmares are now dancing in sync with the beat of this song. I mean, every girl's dream man is the one whose t-shirt trend keeps up with Bollywood's (hint: “Being Human”) and who wears enough hair gel to, well, show that he has style. And let's not forget the sudden ab jerks that are also updated with Hrithik/Shah Rukh/Salman's latest flick. But here's the thing. When you set a song as your ring tone, let alone a Bollywood song, you're basically letting people know that you're ready with the ab jerks and the hair gel at any moment and are just waiting for people to call you so you can let the phone ring longer to show off your slick moves. Scientists call this phenomenon, oh what's the word? Right, 'desperation'. Again, nothing against Bollywood, but when you have a sonic boom style 8 track Bollywood song with the drummiest of drum beats, sorry dude, three baby pandas just died. And that's an endangered species.
The third leg of the devil's threeway is boybands. Really they can be from any decade and even single male crooners (think Bryan Adams). But here's the embarassing one. (NOTE: We've run out of notes, just don't sue us or anyone we like)
Michael Learns to Rock. I'm not going to make the obvious joke here (has he learnt to rock yet? Oops, made the joke). We all hear of Indians living abroad being stuck in the decade that they moved in. This is the case of Indians in India, being stuck in the decade that they had their first wet dream in. No seriously, boybands are very indicative of this generations 25-40 year old's times of puberty, stalker-like crushes and well, wet dreams (it's just a biological thing, people, don't think so much!). Most often these ringtones are playing on smartphones, so these users are even on newer technology but their minds, hearts, crotches, whatever are still stuck in the 80s-90s. I'd like to make a special mention of folks who have Justin Bieber songs as ringtones. I'm sorry, YOU are the reason there is no cure for the common cold yet. Think about it, Bieber is a virus. The minute you're done with one song, he's out with the next and you're down with that. And since there is no cure for that (and you can't kill Justin Bieber, he's from the future and immortal) there is still no cure for the common cold. Yes, the two things are related.
There is the trio of 'b' champions but special mentions also need to be made. Namely:
Monophonic note-vomit and the sound of babies laughing. With the former: I understand that the importance of phone calls received mandate any kind of ringtone. The world isn't getting any softer though. And while monophone Darude's Sandstorm or Kim Kay's Lila Lila Lila is lovely and loud and functional, maybe just grow a marsupial pocket to put your phone in. It vibrates, you know, you answer (or you ignore depending on caller).
With the latter (sound of babies): Awww. You recorded the one time your baby laughed. And your baby never laughed again so you have a ringtone to remind you. And then a dingo ate your baby. I get that hearing the sound of one's kid is smile inducing but hey, MP3s work just as well. And you can control them (unless you call yourself just to hear your baby laugh). You can have headphones on and press stop and then play and then stop again and you can smile all you want! Better than having your smile depend on incoming phone calls. I mean, what if it's one of those “We need to talk” phone calls? Wouldn't the sound of the baby help at the end of the call rather than the beginning?
Without going too much into the psychology of ringtones and their inifinitely more annoying counterparts, caller tunes, all I ask is put your phone on silent. Keep it on you at all times or just miss the call and then call back. The world is not going to end if you don't have a ringtone. In fact with the number of pandas you might be killing with your Bollywood dhinchak, your ringtone might actually be the end of the world!