I’m trying to relax on the train, but I can’t. There’s a noise, you see – a very annoying noise. Either a mute person armed only with a stylophone is trapped in the toilets and is attempting to signal for help using Morse code or – the more likely option – a middle aged person is composing a text message on their non-smart phone. And they haven’t turned the fucking button noise off.
Why is this the default factory setting on most phones? Don’t they know that most people won’t read the encyclopaedic instruction manual that comes with the damn thing? I struggle to believe that most offenders are actually happy with assaulting our ears with the unending monotony of beeps that accompanies their hastily assembled précis. And if they are, then for Christ’s sake can’t the rest of us just all rise up and murder them in their seats? Because I don’t want to spend the rest of the journey feeling like I’ve unwittingly entered a 2-bit nightclub. (Sorry, can we pause a second while the more videogame-literate among you take in the majesty of that pun? Thanks…)
Here’s an idea for mobile phone manufacturers: if you’re going to insist on there being an option for each button press to elicit an electronic noise, why not program the phone so that each sequential press triggers the next note of a recognisable song? The variety in the beeps would make it a damn sight less irritating for those forced to listen, and would even turn such experiences into a rudimentary game of ‘Name that Tune’. Imagine someone halfway through texting their mum on the train when suddenly three people yell “Beethoven’s Pastoral!” at them at the same time.
Who knows, after several experiences of strangers shouting song titles at them, maybe they would be persuaded to finally explore the settings in their phone’s menu…