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Ringtone Etiquette


Ringtones.  Everybody loves ‘em. Do you have a favorite tune or TV theme song?  Then chances are it has served as your ringtone at some point.  Yes, everybody in your vicinity wants to punch you straight in the face due to the fact that they’re forced to listen to Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend every time you receive a call from your sweetie, but hey, don’t worry about it; as long as you think it’s absolutely adorable.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have a problem with personalized ringtones.  When I hear a friend’s phone sing The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly theme I have to do my best not to covet.  But keep in mind that something like Baby Got Back can wear thin after a few calls.  You may think it’s cute at first, but just wait until you’re at that important business lunch and your cell phone bursts out in a chorus of “I like big butts and I cannot lie.”  Is the novelty worth the potential embarrassment?

When I get a chance, I plan on personalizing my tone with either The Young Riders theme song or perhaps one of my favorite Josh Brolin movie quotes.  It’ll be fun times indeed, but I think it’s necessary for a quick lesson on the fact that a little common courtesy should be exercised out of respect for anybody within ear shot of your cellular stamp of individuality.  Let’s take a moment to examine a little cell phone etiquette, shall we?

  • Don’t use a ringtone that will go off every time you receive an email.  If your phone is configured to alert you when you receive email, then please put that sucker on vibrate.  Nobody, I repeat, no-stinkin’-body thinks it’s cute to hear “Git ‘errrrrrrrrrrrr duuuuuuuuuuun” 50 times a day because you think it’s hilarious and oh so poignant.  The fact that you take the time to explain to people it’s a funny way to let you know it’s a work email and thus work needs to be done, well, that isn’t taking you off any hit lists, let me assure you.  This brings me to the next point…
  • Do not – under any circumstances – use a Larry the Cable Guy ring tone.  The aforementioned “Git ‘errrrrrrrrrrrr duuuuuuuuuuun,” is bad enough, but do you really think anybody is going to hear “This is Larry the Cable Guy tellin’ yeeeeew that yeeeeew bettuuuur answuuuuuuur that phone!” and then attempt to ask you where to get the tone, only to fail because they can’t spit out the words amidst their maniacal laughter?  It ain’t happenin’ so ditch the tone.
  • Don’t leave the phone unattended at your desk.  Nothing will incite a person to commit dismemberment faster than being forced to listen to the never-ending ringtone of a cell phone left at somebody’s desk.  If I happen upon Toby Keith’s I Wanna Talk about Me on the radio then I change the station faster than Stephen Baldwin can sign on to do a Sci-Fi Original.  So what makes you think I want to hear the chorus repeatedly when your wife calls you at the exact moment you stepped away for lunch?  There might not be a channel to change in this circumstance, but there’s a ceiling tile with your phone’s name on it.  Don’t think I won’t do it because I have and I would again.

It’s not that hard to avoid driving those around you to the insane asylum.  Simply exercise a few manners, and put other people’s feelings before yours for once, and maybe you won’t be the guy everybody goes home and complains about.

Excuse me, sir, but Who Let the Dogs Out?  Seriously?  The year 2000 called, and it wants its ringtone back.


Do you have any ringtone experiences that have nearly driven you to the point of insanity?

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