What Does Your Ringtone Say About You?
By David M. Ewalt
If your phone never leaves vibrate
or silent mode, you may be the kind of important person who can't afford to
waste time answering a phone call right now. Or maybe you just think you're that
important. However, you may also be considerate and respectful, the kind of
person we'd like sitting behind us in a movie theater.
Unfortunately, we tend to get saddled with seatmates whose phones play the
popular "Crazy Frog," the clucking chicken, or any number of other annoying
animal noises. If you're one of these folks, you may be a sociopath.
Hip-hop artists dominate ringtone downloads; Sprint PCS says only two artists
have ever gone "platinum" on its network by selling more than a million
ringtones off of a single album: Beyoncé Knowles sold more than a million
ringtones from Dangerously in Love, as did Usher from Confessions. And the
carrier's "gold" albums include Petey Pablo's Diary of a Sinner: 1st Entry, 50
Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' and Lil' Flip's U Gotta Feel Me.
While we're checking the charts, it's worth noting that Virgin Mobile's current
top five ringtone downloads are "Grind With Me" by Pretty Ricky, "Just A Lil'
Bit" by 50 Cent, "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani, "Wait" by the Yin Yang Twins
and "Slow Down" by Bobby Valentino. The carrier's top download of all time is 50
Cent's "In Da Club."
But it's not just kids downloading these hits. Your ringtone doesn't necessarily
reflect your larger musical tastes. "It's so different than every type of music
consumption," says Sprint's LeCount. "The types of ringers you download are
often very different than the CDs you buy."
The effects of annoying ring tones are no joke. In Tesco Mobile's study, 66% of
those surveyed had been so annoyed by someone else's ringer that they'd turned
off the phone or asked the owner to shut it off. We wonder how long before the
first case of road rage-like ringtone violence makes the headlines.
"They can be annoying," admits LeCount. "People change them out quite a bit
because of that."
More so than one's CD or movie collection or mp3 playlist, a custom ringtone
screams out something personal to the world because it's so public. Anyone
within earshot can make an instant assumption about you, for better or worse.