August 26, 2008

The Cellphone Rings

I've been doing a little sociological study on cell phone usage and think I've finally got it all figured out. Here's what I've come up with....

Young kids & teens
Mostly text message until their fingers are blistered. If the phone rings at all, it's usually some Justin Timberlake-type ringtone that is only loud enough to get their friends to say, "i am so totally in love with that song" everytime somebody calls. The ring, however, rarely gets past the first few bars before they answer the phone and start the conversation with something like, "oh. my. god. i totally like can't believe you just called me right now. like totally freaky."

20 somethings
The phones are usually kept in their pockets, so it takes a couple seconds to get out before they can answer. Their cellphone rings are usually some sort of ringtone they've downloaded that is directly related to their quote-unquote lifestyle - or however that is defined in musical terms. Hip hop, emo, goth - each of them has a ringtone that defines them to the core of their being. They do a bit of text messaging but not nearly as much as their younger siblings. They make fun of their younger siblings and their silly ringtones, even though they were just like them 5 years ago.

30 somethings
There's no time for ringtones, they'd rather have the phone vibrate anyway. That way they can keep it on during meetings without missing a single call. Unfortunately, they're always picking up the phone in the middle of conversations and looking at it, despite the fact that nobody heard any ringing. It tends to get a bit confusing for those trying to hold a conversation with them. It's like the cellphone version of Turrets Syndrome.

40 somethings
Would love to have a ringtone from the 70s or 80s. Something like The Love Boat theme or Shaft. They really can't understand why anybody would not want the Shaft theme as a ringtone. However, they're too busy, they don't have the time to find the ringtone and even if they did have they time, they wouldn't know where to get it anyway. So they're content to just stick with the coolest sounding ringtone that came with the phone when they first bought it. They're just discovering text messaging and almost understand how it makes life easier. Their phones are usually hidden in purses or briefcases so the ring volume is set on loud. How else do you expect to hear the phone in the purse? Unfortunately, it takes a little bit too long to find the phone when it's ringing and they often miss the calls for not picking up on time.

50 somethings
They've heard about text messaging but don't understand the fuss. They're not real sure what a ringtone is and really couldn't care less. Ringtones are for kids. Why would anyone need a different sound for a phone ringing anyway? Back when I was growing up, you got a phone, it rang, you answered it, end of story. None of this really matters though because most of the time they forget to turn their cellphones on in the first place.

60 somethings
They're not real sure how to turn the phone off. The ringer volume is set to megaphone-loud, though to them it seems quite normal (just like Pete Townsend felt like the volume at The Who concerts was fairly normal. Now he's stuck with Tinkerbell living in his head.) They never quite realized that there is a mute feature for rings, so rather than turning the ringer off, they just keep it ringing, extremely loudly, in public places until the person finally hangs up or they get stoned to death by the other people in the movie theater.

70 somethings
They don't have a cell phone and don't want one. They don't know what a ringtone is, never heard of a text message and, honestly, don't understand what all the fuss is about and don't really care. They're not so much for new fangled contraptions anyway. They still don't quite understand how to use the answering machine their grandchildren got them for Christmas.


jbmmommy said...

Guess I'm aging before my time, I sound like your 70-year olds. I'm quite sure my kids won't be text messaging as teenagers- there I go sounding old before my time again.