Will Someone Answer That Phone

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Ringtones have become one of modern life’s necessary evils, something that we accept the value of while secretly cursing forever. No matter where you go during the course of your busy day, a cell phone is waiting to ring, warning its owner of an incoming call with one or another of those grating tunes that you are simply sick of hearing. Have they coined the term ‘ringtone stress’ yet?

They really should have. In times that perhaps seem more idealistic to us now, telephones were limited to offices and homes, personal or corporate spaces you entered prepared for the possibility of the variety of human engagement that occurs over telephone wires. But these days, the mobility of cell phones means that they invade almost every aspect of our lives, and they are no respecter of our boundaries. They ring no matter where we are, whether it’s on the bus or in the bathroom, demanding to be answered.

But for many people, it’s not the constant availability that upsets. Rather, it’s the actual ringtone that grates upon the nerves. This is most particularly true when the ringtone belongs to someone else, and especially when that someone can’t seem to find his or her phone, or doesn’t appear inclined to answer it. Commuting has been known to increase stress levels enormously, and it’s not just because of traffic anymore. Sometimes you think that if you have to listen to that annoying tune one second longer, you will most certainly crack. Or maybe you’ll crack the darn phone.

Perhaps the most irritating ringtone is the undecided one. This is where the user of the phone handset can’t seem to decide which ringtone it is they prefer, and decide to work it out in public. If a single ringtone has the power to raise blood pressure, just think what ten played is quick succession can do for your health. The undecided ringtone user should be placed on the list of health’s greatest foes. It must be worse for you than saturated fat.

But really, we’d be lost without our ringtones, and if a little irritability is the price we have to pay to have a range of tunes with which to identify our calls, then so be it. Without our ringtones, millions of calls could go unanswered every day, and who knows what we’d miss then? Just remember, it might be your favorite tune, but it’s not necessarily everyone else’s. Use your ringtone responsibly and help society stay as stress-free as possible!

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