Ringtones Status Symbols

It was quite rude actually.  We were at the post office, when someone’s phone went Ti-ti-ting ting, Ti-ti-ting ting, Ti-ti-ting ting, ti.

The four people in the queue turned to see where the default ringtone was coming from.  I could read the question in their faces.  What kind of phone does she have because the internet is littered with free ring tones?  Music fans even use their favourite tracks as ring tones.  The latest phones come with their own unique default ringtones.

I’m ashamed to say that I am also a cellphone snob because I was also surprised to hear Ti-ti-ting ting.  Apparently the kind of cell-phone you carry matters.  It’s like your set of wheels.  Who cares that you live in a bachelor apartment or squatting at your parents?  It’s the car that matters when you go to a gathering where there are friends and enemies.

What amazes me is that school kids are the biggest phone snobs.  I mean 11-13 year-olds.  Some years ago one of my nephews was horrified, “You still have this phone?”  He was 12.  I told him to get a job and see what the taxman and banks will do to his pitiful wages.

That was my first ever phone.  No ring tones.  Just the good old ti-ti-ting ting, ti-ti-ting ting, ti-ti-ting ting, ti!  Millions of people around the world still use the T-Phone whose ring tone begins with T.  Apple has the i-Phone, why can’t we have the T-Phone?

If I was a celebrity, I’ll use my own music as ringtones like Drake or w.i.l.l.a.m.  Just kidding.


Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness the novel?


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