The Real Meaning Behind Your Ring Tone | HumorOutcasts

The Real Meaning Behind Your Ring Tone

July 16, 2014

As if there weren’t already enough tags for our identity, it’s suggested that I should personalize my ring tone!

I tell you, Alexandra Graham bell must be rolling over in his grave. I’m sure he never intended his invention to become such an invasion in our lives. In fact, he found the phone to be such an intrusion in his own life that he didn’t even have one in his study.

But that was then and this is now, and now it appears that not only is our identity tied into our clothes, hair, purse, shoes, but also the sound emanating from our cell phones.

This information led me to observe today’s cell phone users, which meant everyone I came in contact with.

Being as inconspicuous as possible, I began hanging around malls listening to teenagers, following business men down the block, drinking cup after cup of coffee at my local Starbucks, lingering in front of school yards. All in the name of research, mind you.

And it does appear to be a fact. A cell phone no longer simply rings, but blasts into the universe with songs, sound effects and sometimes just plain silliness. And the choice of one’s ring tone does appear to be in direct correlation to one’s personality.

After much data collecting, I have categorized a few of the most common types.

The Control Freak: This person has a different ring for each person that is calling. Thus, they never have to look at the caller ID. For their mother-in-law they may have one of many songs referring to that beloved person. The most common being that popular Mother-in-Law song by Ernie K-Doe. To indicate their husband is calling it could be “Take Out the Paper and the Trash.” Or perhaps “Money” or “Can’t Buy Me Love,” depending on the state of one’s marriage. For bill collectors you can expect to hear the sound of a flushing toilet.

The Networker: This personality trait is often linked with the high achiever gene. Most popular ring tones for this type are the “Mission Impossible Theme Song,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” and the blare of a tooting horn.

The Single in Seattle Type: Today’s world is full of online dating individuals. What better way to advertise that one is single than by a ring tone? For instance the wanna be bride could have “Take Me To The Chapel” on her phone. If it sings out while in line at the bank, she can smile coyly to the man behind her and blush. He might get the hint. But then of course, his phone might ring to the tune of “Dancing Queen.”

And then we have The Chameleon Type, the person who likes to blend into her surroundings. During the holiday season, she’ll set her ring tone to play “Jingle Bells.” In the summer she may switch to “Surfer Girl” and in the fall she may have the sound of falling leaves.

The Eternal Optimist prefers “Don’t Worry Be Happy” as her tone whereas The Pessimist would choose the sound of stampeding cattle.

As you can see, ring tones are now just as particular to the individual as is an email address, a user ID and a good fitting bra.

So this leads to the question: who am I?

Well, I’ve decided that for now my ring tone is going to be “The Theme from the Twilight Zone.”

Because if you ask me, it’s all getting a bit out there.

Janie Emaus

Janie believes that when the world is falling apart, we're just one laugh away from putting it together again. She is proud to be named a 2013 BlogHer Voice of the Year. To learn more about Janie and her books and blogs visit her website

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44 Responses to The Real Meaning Behind Your Ring Tone

  1. Vicki Batman
    July 18, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Hi, Janie: So normally, I don’t ride the elevator down after my aerobics class, but I was chatting with a friend and she does. We got on, the doors slid shut and I said, “This elevator smells like…smelly socks.” And then, I heard a piece of classical music. I said, “And now, it has Musak.” My friend removed her phone and said, “Ringtone.” Too funny.

    • July 19, 2014 at 11:08 am

      That is hilarious!

  2. July 17, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Hmmm, I think I am a control freak, single networker, optimistic chameleon type. Yeah, it’s complicated. Super fun post!

    • July 18, 2014 at 12:12 am

      I love complicated people.

  3. July 17, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    My ring tone has a starry constellation heavenly harp flavor to it. Geez, I didn’t realize I’m subconsciously waiting to be raptured. Scary!

    • July 18, 2014 at 12:13 am

      Sounds good to me.

  4. July 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Funny stuff! I’m not the norm then because mine is usually on vibrate but when it does ring it is just a low beep. Once {before I knew how to change rings} my children recorded themselves with a scream followed by them yelling “answer the *#+@ phone” and yes I was shocked! Hahaha!

    • July 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      My grandkids are always changing my ringtone. I’m beginning to think I may go back to the plain, old fashioned ring of my teen years.

      • July 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm

        I tried that once and it’s the sound of our house phone and my husband got confused! A song would drive me crazy. There is enough noise in my life that’s why I like the low beep.

  5. July 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    OMG I am a control freak! With 5 kids and 13 grandkids someone has to be in control right??
    My 12 yr-old grandson calls me and for him I have ‘What ya gonna do with that big fat butt’ Yeah I forgot to shut my ringer off in a board meeting this morning. Embarrassing.
    It was stuffy in there anyway…

    • July 17, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      I guess with all that family do need to stay organized! Too funny about the board meeting.

  6. July 17, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Fun post, Janie! I like TV and film themes myself. X-Files is for Halloween, the James Bond theme only for my brother, who’s a lifelong 007 fan, and all year round, I choose from Mission: Impossible, I Spy and Man from UNCLE. Hmmm…I’m sensing a “theme” here. 🙂

  7. July 17, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Funny AND true. I don’t have any special ringtones, but now when my phone goes off, I can’t tell if it’s a text, phone call or Facebook message (which I didn’t even know I could get on my phone!) Oh the madness. May have to find my personal tone soon to sort out the confusion!

  8. July 17, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Oh….my ringtone is a Rimshot and my phone vibrates to the beat of the theme song from Sponge Bob Square Pants…. Now that is something for the psychiatrists couch.

  9. July 17, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I think it’s sad that some people need to be called so they can listen to their favorite music (or to get a good vibration)! As an engineer, I consider this an inappropriate use of technology. 🙂

    • July 17, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      It is getting a bit out of hand. I’ll agree to that.

  10. July 17, 2014 at 11:20 am

    My ring tone used to be Layla. Now I just keep it on vibrate all the time!

    • July 17, 2014 at 11:24 am

      LOL! I knew there was something I loved about you. Having worked in porn, you know where my mind travels.

  11. July 17, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Yep! I fall into the “Eternal optimist” category. My ringtone is “HAPPY!” I love that song and almost want people to call me so I can hear it again. Oh, my husbands is “It’s a wonderful world.”

    • July 17, 2014 at 11:23 am

      I have to say I don’t like that song. I may be the only person who doesn’t. It makes me crazy instead of happy!

  12. July 17, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Pink. “So what” Yeah, it says I’m a rough tough cream puff.

    • July 17, 2014 at 10:38 am

      I know about you, Carol. Pink tell it all!

  13. July 17, 2014 at 8:09 am

    I used to have Beethoven and then just to be pretentious God Save the Queen. Now, with all the things I have to learn to operate my phone, I just do a regular ring so I don’t confuse myself. Great post Janie!

    • July 17, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Thanks, Donna. God Save the Queen! That’s hilarious.

  14. July 17, 2014 at 12:05 am

    Great run down. You gave me some good ideas. But too many ring tones and I’d be even more confused than I am now.
    I have one of the basic sorta-musical ring tones that come with the phone. People are always telling me to answer my phone because I don’t hear it in a crowd of three or more.

    • July 17, 2014 at 10:36 am

      That’s the problem with my new ring tone. I never seem to hear it. Or maybe I just don’t want to!

  15. July 16, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    I know someone who’s ringtone was a crazy voice creaming at ever-increasing volumes, “Hey, pick up ya phone!” Classic! On the other end of the spectrum, I think I mostly have my phone on DND. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard the ringtone.

    • July 17, 2014 at 10:35 am

      I’m thinking that’s a good way to go! Somedays, the phone is just a pure annoyance.

  16. July 16, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    I don’t have a special ringtone for anyone but now that I read your post, maybe I’ll just do that so I don’t have to look at the phone! Gee, thanks for the suggestion! – NOT.
    I use the built-in ringtones that I can select from but, again, maybe I should buy a special one that I’ll enjoy when it rings. Hmmmm. Thanks, Janie.

    • July 17, 2014 at 1:39 am

      My granddaughter just changed mine and it sounds like I’m at a spa, wrapped up in warm blankets. As always, it’s wonderful to hear from you, Patti.

  17. July 16, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    I have an old-fashioned ring tone on my phone — like something out of one of those old 50s sitcoms like “Father Knows Best.”

    • July 17, 2014 at 1:40 am

      My husband has that ring. Hmmm..perhaps you’d like to time travel back to that era?

  18. Julia Nelson
    July 16, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    My ringtone is the theme from “The X-Files.” My Facebook notification is the dum-dum sound from “Law & Order” and my text tone is Quagmire going “Giggity” from “Family Guy.”

    • July 17, 2014 at 1:41 am

      I loved the “The X-Files.” And I love your choice of ringtones.

  19. July 16, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    I have the duck quacking, which cracks me up every time I hear it. Same duck for everyone.

    • July 17, 2014 at 1:42 am

      LOL! You cracked me up with this comment.

  20. Liv
    July 16, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    You forgot “I’m an Asshole” – for the ex huband.

  21. July 16, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I need to find my ringtone~Thanks for the reminder! These so called basic settings just don’t cut it!

    • July 17, 2014 at 1:43 am

      Let me know what you end up with. My grandkids are always changing mine and then when I hear it ring I don’t even know it’s my phone.

  22. July 16, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    You are NOT the Twilight Zone! You’re definitely “I’m Sexy and I Know It.” Duh!

    I used to have ring tones for different people and I have to admit it was nice. I could know who was calling without even looking at my phone, so I knew if I really needed to anwswer it.

    Now the only specialized ringtone I have is for my husband. I’m not using it right now but I have one that sings in a rap voice “It’s you husband….pick it up, pick it up!”

    Now that I think about it, I’m totally going back to that method! Don’t worry. I’ll make a special ringtone for you.

    • July 17, 2014 at 1:44 am

      You are too kind. But I’ll take that compliment!

  23. Kathy Minicozzi
    July 16, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    I used to know a guy whose ring tone was the scream music from “Psycho.” I jumped every time I heard his phone go off.

    • July 17, 2014 at 1:44 am

      That would be scary. I think I’d jump, too.

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