On the behavior of the iPhone mute switch, ringing vs tone alerts and overall iPhone sound design*

The obvious answer that everyone overlooked today while perseverating over every minuscule detail of the iPhone’s sound design:

You can turn it off.

Unless you’re an on-call emergency room physician, an OBG-YN or Sweet Jesus himself, there is no reason you can’t go THREE HOURS without your precious phone. What percentage of the phone calls/text messages/tweets you receive are life-or-death important? I’ll guess less than once percent. “Patron X,” whose iPhone recently interrupted the New York Philharmonic, noted that he had silenced his phone before the performance began. He’s off the hook, right?

Wrong. Do you know how to guarantee your phone won’t ring at an inappropriate time? You turn it off. Do you know how to prevent a calendar alert form blasting my eardrums like an aural kick to the junk? You turn the damn thing off. Every time I’m at a meeting or a dinner or a movie or —  God forbid, a funeral, wedding, baptism, or musical performance — and some slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging moron’s phone starts blaring the riff to Enter Sandman I want to punch him in the face.

Honestly, you will survive the two hours it takes to watch Air Bud without The PreciousThe mute switch is not enough. Airplane Mode is not enough.

Turn. It. Off.

*Enjoy Jason Voorhees on Friday the 13th.

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