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Monday, February 09, 2004
Mobile ring tones

There I was, enjoying the view from a bus in my favourite Australian city – Adelaide - when the peace was shattered by a mobile phone playing 'The Sting' theme. It had been quite well programmed but it was, nevertheless, irritating in the extreme. It reminded me of several things more I wanted to say about mobile phones.

Just before I left Blighty, I heard of a service that would let one download new ring tones from the internet. I was aghast - no 'silent' tone was mentioned. It made me realise that I have another tenet to add to my manifesto: ring tones in mobiles should be banned; all mobiles should be manufactured without a ring system; they should only function on 'vibrate' or 'silent'. Since acquiring my last mobile phone, I have never used it in any other way. This had great advantages: it disturbs no-one and I can ignore it if I want to.

Women, who inevitably bury their phones set to maximum volume in deep bags, will have to make changes: phones are now small enough to be carried in a pocket. Such phones and their associated pockets could, if they have not already done so, become the next fashion accessory of note as well as freeing the rest of us from the cacophony. Hardliners, dedicated to the svelte look, will no doubt oppose this measure but I would have to insist until the phone manufacturers were able to sell 'remote' vibrate pads, about the size of an HRT patch.

Interestingly, having been present at a recording session recently, it was clear that even phones set to 'vibrate' interfere with many electronic devices. So, when you're asked to turn your phone off, even when it's set to 'vibrate' or 'silent' or whatever your mode is called, please do it.

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