Monday, May 3, 2010

Death of the Phonebook

Alas, another “end-of-an-era” event in my lifetime (they seem to be mounting up…) The phonebook is on its way out. Yes, that go-to pub of the past that not only provided info for connecting via the telephone -- but also gave strong men something to tear and thousands of youngsters a boost at the Thanksgiving table -- is about to become extinct. With the growing adoption of the internet in every household… sentiment gives way to sensibility and Donnelly has announced that the good book is going bye bye.

Some staggering facts: Before the presses stop, calculations estimate the number of phonebooks printed each year equal three (yes, 3) books for every single American – man, woman, and child. The Yellow Pages currently generate nearly $15 billion in ad sales. I’m certain budgets for print will quickly be obligated to digital ad sales without a second thought. And finally – with the disappearance of the paper (and ink, chemicals, and resources to run the presses) bio-waste will be greatly reduced and the ever talked about carbon footprint will shrink. Hmmm… along with jobs for thousands of pressman, cameramen, bindery personnel, and the like.

I have to confess, I haven’t used a real phonebook in years – but for some reason I’m going to miss it when it’s finally gone. Not because I’m against technology – but I somehow believe that along with the disappearance of the phonebook may come the depletion of another old friend, conversation. Feel the same way? Gimme’a call… or – on second thought – just shoot me an email. I guess that’s just the way it goes.