Ringtones: Are they Disturbing the Peace

Everybody loves ringtones, ringback tones and in fact mobile phones have become replacements for our music needs. Whereas once we had walkmans (remember those), which we walked around or with our iPods came with at least headphones, which meant that only you listened to your music, but suddenly with ringtones, this has all changed.

clip_image002Look at any cellular company and they are spending a lot of money advertising ringtones and getting content from the latest blockbuster Indian movies (mostly) as well as English music.

But by far, the most popular ringtones are from Indian movies such as the popular “Munee badnaam hui”.

This is good business for service providers and earns them a lot of money since people are replacing ringtones every other day.

Now I am not against ringtones at all, in fact they are an expression of a person’s individuality, but consider the fact that ringtones ring out loudly at the most inappropriate time or end up confusing people.

It’s like no matter where you are, whether it’s a mosque, a hospital or the workplace, you are bound to hear the most inappropriate ringtone when they go off. Imagine hearing “Munee badnaam hui” or “Shella ki Jawani” in the mosque…

Let’s not forget ringback tones, which one hears when you dial the other persons’ number. Remember the discrete old beep which you used to hear, well not anymore. You might end up listening to a nice song, a really irritating one or even worse, a dialogue from a movie.

I once called up a person and although the dialogue of a popular Indian movie was playing in the background, for a second I thought that someone had picked up the phone and was saying something to me! Just imagine the confusion…

Now I know I am going to catch a lot of flak for pointing this out but so be it. Is it really necessary to have the ringtone at full volume? The reason cellphones have different profiles is that you can use them; set volumes for your ringtones or in fact set the buzzer so that the phone remains completely silent.

Some situations demand that noise level be kept to a minimum, especially at mosque, hospitals and work places.

It might not sound believable but loud noise especially ringtones can increase stress levels. Since almost everyone is carrying around at least one cellphone, and since a lot of people have got ringtones nowadays, imagine all the noise. I almost miss the tranquility of the landline, which had a limited choice of ringtones. I just wonder how long it will be before PTCL jumps on the bandwagon and I end up listening to ringback tones when dialing to PTCL?

P.S. I keep my cellphone on silent as much as possible.