Holy Ringtones and Online Debate

The mobile phone I use has its ringtone changed according to the liturgical season. At the moment, I am summoned to answer by a plainsong setting of the Regina Caeli. I find this makes answering the phone less of a chore and it reminds me that everything I do ought to be done in the context of prayer. (It is quite difficult to snarl when you have been mentally singing along, Regina Caeli, laetare, alleluia, you try it!) I think we should add a page of ‘holy ringtones’ to our web site; so if you come across any podsafe music, i.e. that may legally and freely be converted into a ringtone, please let me know and I’ll see what we can do.

In the meantime, I have been thinking a lot about how we should conduct ourselves online and commend this article to you by Matthew Warner. He has sensible things to say about how we should comment online. I’m all for debate but do sometimes feel uncomfortable when the argument turns ad hominem. Happily, that has never (yet) happened here. It is up to us to ensure that the blogosphere is a good place to be, isn’t it? I wonder if we could incorporate something like a ‘holy ringtone’ to sound BEFORE we push the submit button?!


11 thoughts on “Holy Ringtones and Online Debate”

  1. As one without a mobile phone, this blog leaves me cold.

    As one who sometimes adds comments, this blog entry together with the Warner article, makes me nervous about contributing to the discussions.

    I hope if I give offence, repeat myself too often or am high horseish, someone will tell me directly.

    Thank you for noting the artist on the beautiful, fragile image of the Risen Christ. I find this really helpful and it sets me to looking carefully. Is there a visual equivalent to ‘lectio’ divina in monasticism: a chewing over of images?

    • I certainly didn’t intend to make you feel cold! Those of us who use mobiles know that a distinctive ringtone can be very useful in a crowd, and if it’s in the language of prayer, so much the better as far as I’m concerned.

      As to Matthew Warner’s article, he’s a thoughtful blogger whom I admire and whose views are often worth considering. He’s not trying to be prescriptive any more than I am, but how the blogosphere functions is necessarily in my mind at present and I value your comments as I value his.

  2. I love your idea of ringtone. I don’t use a cellphone much even though I need one like everyone else. But your ringtone makes me want to have a cellphone. Where do I find such a thing?
    I like to think of the blogosphere as a safe place for anyone to express herself or himself. Which is not always easy as so many topics seem to turn explosive so rapidly…
    Easter Blessings!

    • Ah, I foresee a possible user of our intended ringtone page!

      I agree that the blogosphere is/should be a safe space; we also have to ensure that people can feel able to express their opinions freely without being afraid of the vitriolic riposte or deliberate put-down that mar some blogs. I am always impressed by the people who comment here on this blog although I haven’t quite learned the art of encouraging debate yet.

  3. Thank you for directing your readers to Matthew Warner’s article. Establishing basic principles to guide blog commentary, as Matthew does, is helpful and necessary.

    • It will be interesting to hear whether the Vatican Blogfest has anything constructive to say on this aspect of things. If I can get my Twitter account working within the aula, you may hear my interpretation on the hoof, so to say.

  4. Inspired by this discussion, I’ve been talking to my neighbours about ringtones. Like me they only have a dial up phone, but unlike me they can programme a different ring for each of their frequent callers.

    With very mixed feelings, I discovered that when I phone them they hear Bach’s ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’.

    According to the neighbours it was, ‘that or Nelly the Elephant’.

  5. Thank you for the link to the article ~ JUST what I need to read today, not actually re: blogs, but a discussion elsewhere online where ‘friends’ are being unkind to each other ~ have been so cross about it, haven’t got involved myself, but found this article excellent at enabling me to consider the attitude I should be taking.

    The ringtones sound a very good idea ~ I don’t have an all-singing all-dancing phone though …?

  6. Excellent idea about ringtones corresponding to the liturgical season! I normally use the simplest, most straightforward one, but a liturgically specific ringtone might make me change my mind! 🙂

    Warner’s suggestions are humane and wise. Thank you for directing us to it.

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