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.

5 comments:

E Davis said...

This does not bode well for the dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, newspaper, ...

Art Teacher said...

But what will visiting toddlers sit on when we can't remember where we stowed that old booster seat?

Eric Carlisle said...

Technology has stolen away a little bit of the romance of looking up and actually having to remember a phone number. It used to be something, like birthday or mailing address, that you could just recall. Now we're on autopilot - "just call me and I'll hit 'save'". It's ultimately a convenience, but I think I'll miss having to remember numbers. At least, just a little bit.

Joel said...

Local pizza parlors and Medical Malpractice lawyers will probably be the hardest hit.

Ashley said...

I think that the "romance" of looking things up has definitely been lost, but that the printed word as a whole will always be with us. There's something about sitting down with a book or a magazine and feeling the pages in your hands - something technology can't compete with. You'll never catch me sitting seaside on a beach with my computer, but I'll always have a book.