Remember back in the day when phone companies realized they could make even more money by letting users decide on their dial tone? Not the sound you hear on the receiving end, but the sound the caller hears on the line while they wait for you to recognize their number and forward it to your voicemail. All of a sudden people were shocked to hear scratchy MIDI renditions of today’s greatest hits and billboard’s top songs. Good God the wonders of technology!
Fast forward a little less than a decade and fortunately we see that the fad never skyrocketed according to company projections. The consumer realized that listening to the same six songs on the radio was plenty of time to get tired of listening to today’s melodic autotune sensations, and musical dial tones faded into the background where they belong. It’s obnoxious, unnecessary, and slightly juvenile. But of course this is where our little fairy tale gets a kink in its happy ending. Apparently there are still those that cling to the belief of their “individuality-via-mass produced-products” and continue to purchase both old and new chart toppers.
There are few words that can describe the feeling I get when I make a phone call in the office and suddenly hear “airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars” mind raping my ear. The poor audio quality and awkward chorus cut offs can barely cover up the sound of the jackhammer hacking away a permanent first impression into my mind of the person I’m calling. Even if I never end up talking to the person on the other end of the line, I’ve already judged them. I can’t say that I’m proud of it: it’s biased and elitist and all things not-PC, but I also can’t honestly say that it will change. It’s like looking at a skunk. No matter how much we tell ourselves it’s a soft, cuddly, vulnerable creature that’s more afraid of us than we are of it, the moment we stumble across one in the woods we shamelessly scream and run in the opposite direction.