How Assigning Unique Ringtones for Emergency Communications Can Save Your Life


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Assigning unique ringtones for emergency communications is a great way to ensure you never miss an emergency alert due to messaging fatigue – a condition often experienced by smartphone users overloaded by constant notifications from multiple sources every day.

Years ago, if you wanted to communicate with somebody, you would pick up the phone and call them, write them a letter, or even go round and speak with them face to face. These days, we have smartphones. These are supposed to make our lives easier, but with so many options for communicating with people – and only so many being appropriate to communicate with certain people in certain ways – many smartphone users are overloaded by constant notifications from multiple sources every day.

With friends contacting you by Facebook Messenger, parents sending you SMS texts, the boss sending you emails, Twitter sending you notifications, and random contacts in WhatsApp groups and Google Hangouts keeping in touch, it is not difficult to see why many smartphone take a break from their mobile phones and have a “digital detox”. There is even a “National Day of Unplugging”, which this year takes place from sundown to sundown on March 9th and 10th.

Messaging Fatigue has been an Acknowledged Condition for Years

Messaging fatigue is not a new phenomenon. Mobile marketing companies identified it as an issue at the beginning of the decade and, in 2013, a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health found alert fatigue was becoming an issue for the healthcare industry. More recent research in Australia concluded that modern messaging options were adding a new layer of stress for the 18-25 age group, as they were expected by their peers to be online all the time.

The issue with messaging fatigue is that, when people are overloaded, they tend to ignore the tone of an incoming notification and the risk exists they could miss an important message. For people who have registered their smartphones as a means of contact with emergency alert services, they could miss a message telling them to evacuate their property or make preparations to safeguard themselves against severe weather conditions. In some cases, the missed message could cost them their lives.

One Solution is Assigning Unique Ringtones for Emergency Communications

One way to avoid missing emergency alerts due to messaging fatigue is by assigning unique ringtones for emergency communications. The process for assigning unique ringtones for emergency communications is relatively straightforward and much the same regardless of the smartphone´s operating system. All that is required is that the number from which the emergency alert will come is added to the contacts list and the ringtone to be used is added to the smartphone´s music list.

Thereafter, you access your contacts list (contact app on iPhone), selects the number from which any emergency alert will come and tap edit. Select “ringtone” and “add from device storage” and then select the tune you have chosen to assign to emergency alerts. Provided the selected ringtone is one you will recognize as representing an emergency event, assigning unique ringtones for emergency communications can save your life.