Ringtones A Political Statement?
By Carl Carlson
Its likely that anyone who owns a cell phone and, probably, most of the people that dont are aware of the existence of ringtones, those various tunes available from your service provider or an independent company that allow your phone sound a little different from everyone elses. The problem is, though, that with the frequent choice of the latest chart topping song as the ringtone for so many, it is often difficult to know whether that really is my phone ringing, or yours. Despite this, the popularity of continues unabated, and with an industry thriving on hundreds of millions of dollars of consumers money, you really have to wonder why.
So if are only of minimal assistance in determining whether thats your phone ringing or not, what is the purpose of these popular sounds? Critics seems to agree that the answer is, in fact, rather simple, and like other necessities before them, have shifted from providing the original, practical purpose they were designed to fulfil, having been harnessed by our intense desire to be different and not different all at the same time.
The primary purpose of clothing is to keep us warm and perhaps protect our naked bodies from unsolicited stares, but todays high fashion has very little to do with these functions. While a large portion of us engage in clothes shopping in an attempt to accentuate our good points while minimising our flaws, there are a considerable number of cell phone users who choose distinctive serve a purpose larger the basic one of alerting them to an incoming call. This purpose indicating the ringing of a particular phone rather than any phone in the room
is somewhat akin to buying clothes to improve ones appearance, in that neither are necessary, only desirable.
These diverse purposes still reside within the items themselves; the clothes, the ringtones. But when these items are purchased as a method of alignment with a particular brand, then a line has been crossed into political or social statement.
Clothes and might always be said to say something about the person who chooses them, but when a song or pair of jeans is chosen because of the person who created or supports it, then a consumer is buying into a particular image. And while there is arguably nothing wrong with this, this choice makes a ringtone something much larger than just a ringtone.
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