The Phone Book Is Dead (For Reals This Time)
I've been seeing the meme pop up in my Facebook and Twitter streams that the phone book is officially dead. Of course, anyone who is alive and under 40 has known the printed telephone directory is a relic of a time gone by. So, I wondered if this was actually true or wishful thinking.
Turns out, it is actually true that some companies will stop printing the White Pages directory. Well, everyone saw this coming, right? It sure isn't a surprise. Phone books, like newspapers, have been a losing business for the past decade. The White Pages are the residential telephone listings, and they don't generate any revenue, typically. The cost to publish those was offset by publishing the business listings in the Yellow Pages.
No one I know who posted the death of the phone book in their status update lamented its loss. In fact, most people celebrated it as an end to wasteful use of paper and petroleum-based inks. I think the only people who will miss it are the people who still write checks at the grocery store.
The end of the White Pages, however, probably won't spell the end of the multiple Yellow Pages I get on my front porch every spring. Until now, I got three books from my local phone company: the Yellow Pages, a separate White Pages, and a smaller local White Pages - sort of like a hyper-local version. I usually keep the smaller one and recycle the other two. Some time after that, I get the regional Yellow Book, which is stuffed with ads for businesses I will not patronize. This automatically goes to recycling. Finally, a third book comes that is yet another Yellow Pages, and I begin to wonder who is advertising in all three of these books? How many advertise in one thinking it is another? Then comes the question: Do they know they're wasting their money?Continued on the next page