Many years were waisted in my youth reenacting favourite scenes from Trigger Happy TV with the help of my trusty Nokia 3210. Groups of us would interrupt lessons at school with the familiar ringtone, calling each other from beneath desks and seeing who would dare answer and shout HELLO! loudest.
But now the annoying ringtone has become much more than a TV gimmick, it has become a way for mobile users to stereotype themselves:
For the businessman/entrepreneur/estate agent, nothing much else will do other than the suggested financial acumen brought with a Blackberry and stock ringer. Train journeys home are often made more enjoyable by suits scrambling for their mobiles while the familiar Blackberry ring blares out.
Those who consider themselves more ‘intellectual’ or ‘creative’ may adopt the iPhone with tri-tone SMS combo. This ‘da da ding’ indicates that they possess an Apple product and are as such far more interesting and cooler than other people with mobile phones. Often combined with this is the standard iPhone ukelele ringer which sounds worrying like that recent B&Q advert. Still rarely is this changed as it would indicate the cool person understood how to tweak his iPhone settings and was therefore not cool.
Next we have the Android club; a veritable minefield of ringtone shenanigans. Do you choose one of the stock ringers? Therefore indicating to other possible gadget lovers around you that your phone is a Nexus S or Desire HD. This is a somewhat double-edged sword; most of the default ringtones are painfully crap, which won’t be compensated by the geek points you could score.
Nowadays it seems everyone except those who with a considerable love for R&B rarely strays from ringtones already preloaded on a handset. It may be however that you wish to announce to those around you on the bus or train which R&B song is your current favourite. This is easily done by placing the mp3 on your handset and then ensuring it is always at maximum volume and never ever or silent.
Finally we have those who still carry Dom Joly’s Nokia torch. This may be because a smartphone has been stolen and replaced by a temporary Nokia from their teenage years. Or it could be because they don’t buy into the whole technology thing and thus don’t need to audibly announce to everyone how good their gadget is.
After reading this I encourage you to stick with your ringtone stereotype. Don’t rush to change because you have been rumbled, instead wear it like an audible badge. That is unless you belong to the R&B faction, in which case maybe try something a bit more middle-of-the-road, say some easy listening classics or Radio 4?