Cellular crib notes: As I was reading Media Bistro over lunch, I came across an employment ad that looked interesting: “Pop Culture & Entertainment Writers in Anywhere, USA.” Following the link, I came to an ad placed by Moderati Inc., makers of Modtones mobile phone ringtones.
While I find “creative” ringtones only slightly less annoying than the people who pay for them, Modtones assured me that it could “Turn your phone into a house-rocking hit machine with Modtones. This ain’t yo momma’s ringtone!” “But I don’t need a rocking hit machine to make a phone call!” says my inner fogey.
The most popular Modtones songtones included “Ridin'” by Chamillionaire, “Unfaithful” by Rihanna, “Me and U” by Cassie and “London Bridge (Chorus)” by Fergie. Apparently people fork over $2.99 for one of these one-named wonders’ songs to distinguish their cellular phone from the next guy’s when it goes off in the middle of a movie. Or a funeral.
It’s a combination of tips & tools to help people fake their way through the competitive social scene using their cell phone
But back to the ad. Moderati is launching a mobile product that could prove to be even more obnoxious than their ringtones. The company is looking for copywriters for … I can’t explain it:
It’s a combination of tips & tools to help people fake their way through the competitive social scene using their cell phone. We’re seeking good, punchy writers who can contribute little scoops (about 2-3 sentences) on current goings-on in pop culture, entertainment, music and fashion.
To be considered, please send a couple sample blurbs on the topic of your choice in pop culture, and we’ll contact you with more information. Your blurb should explain the topic and give a distinct point of view, suitable for subscribers to use as conversation starters. Snarky smart-asses welcome!
OK, let me get this straight, so these are conversation starters for people who have Shakira’s “Thighs Don’t Lie” as their ringtone? To help them “fake” they have something to say, glancing at their phone cupped in their palm like they’re reading crib notes? If you need that kind of help, you belong on the bench watching the “competitive social scene.”
How hard can it be to have somehting to say about pop culture? Listen to AM radio. Watch “Entertainment Tonight.” Read “Tiger Beat” magazine or Fark.com. I mean, if one were trying to chat up a hot prospect about politics and culture, one could read Pensito Review, of course, but then readers of PR probably don’t have ringtones featuring “Miss New Booty (Edited)” by Bubba Sparxxx.
I wish Moderati luck with their product, especially with generating a need for it. But this seems to be just another senseless technological solution to a nonexistent problem aimed at the 14-24 demographic, a generation already overly dependent on electronics for, not even entertainment, but just stimluli. They have been so thoroughly overloaded by cartoons, music videos, video games, iPods and cellphones that, like some smack-addled junkie, they can’t create a cogent ice-breaker in the competitive social scene. So they look to their little electronic guru to help them “fake” having a brain, a personality and an opinion on whether Paris Hilton is really through with men and is now celibate, fer sure.
We are becoming a nation of pod people, separated by a couple of earbuds and a million miles. It’s no wonder we’ve forgotten how to start a conversation — we’re too busy not listening to each other.