THE next time a screaming phone ringtone rudely interrupts your meeting, listen carefully. Its owner may not just be showing poor business and social etiquette. A person’s choice of ringtone might speak volumes about his or her personality.
Most people just pick from one of the default ringtones that come with their phone. Others simply put their phone in vibration mode. But increasingly, users are even going ahead to buy or download customized songs, jingles and sound effects, turning their mobile phone into some kind of pocket jukebox.
Most people’s ringtones no longer sound like real songs – just computer-generated effects. Why is this? The answer is simple and quite obvious; it’s all about customization. Apparently, everybody wants to stand out from the crowd.
“My ringtone is the perfect opportunity for me to express myself. Who doesn’t want to stand out from the crowd?” says Greg Bakunzi, a tour and travel operator.
Of course, standing out is not always the best idea. Do you really want a traffic police officer to hear your phone play a song titled I Fought the Law? Is your girlfriend going to appreciate the musical value of Chop my money, by P-Square?
There is evidence to indicate that people will judge you by your choice of ringtone. Most people believe that a standard ringtone is just “uncool.” And are you the type to settle for your own recorded voice for a ringtone? You could be self-obsessed and in need of a psychiatrist’s services. If you are constantly changing your signature tone, you might be an unreliable person.
Ringtones have become big business because people want to say something personal about themselves. So, what does your ringtone say about you?
Ballad, classic, rock
If your ringtone is a ballad or classic rock song, you could be simply exhibiting your age, which is no longer small.
If your phone is still playing “Jingle Bells” and it is already mid-January, you won’t impress a single person with your slowness.
Current hip-hop hit
If your ringtone is a current pop/hip-hop/R&B hit, you are young at heart, but most likely not very original.
If your phone plays a movie soundtrack or the theme song to a television show, well, pray hard that someone gets impressed by your intellectual acumen. How about you try a Mozart or Beethoven ringtone from your computer?
If your phone never leaves the silent or vibration mode, you may be the kind of person who thinks him/herself too important to waste time answering a phone call. It could also mean the exact opposite; that you are considerate and respectful, the kind of person we would like to sit behind us in a movie theatre. Instead, we get seatmates whose phones play Ashawo and Bend Over or even worse, a clucking chicken and any such annoying animal sounds. If you belong to this category, you may be a sociopath.
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.