Once a year, most households receive a large book delivery in their mailboxes. This delivery usually comes in a yellow or white bag. That delivery is a phone book. However, in today’s technological era, are phone books becoming obsolete?
Phone books have long been a staple in our society. They help people find phone numbers, addresses, and businesses. However, for some, navigating the phone book is just too time-consuming. A lot of people simply do a search online, which can save a lot of time.
On the other hand, online searches don’t always find exactly what you are looking for in a timely manner. Some websites require you to sign up your e-mail. Others require you to pay a fee to access the information, the same information that could be found in most phone books free of charge.
In my opinion, the younger generations primarily use the Internet. Using the phone book is not a common occurrence.
However, older generations, did not grow up with computers and cell phones. They actually had to look numbers up in phone books or remember them off the top of their heads.
Nowadays, most people have gotten rid of their landlines in an effort to save money. I remember when I was a kid, I used to know all of my friends home phone numbers by heart. I can still repeat almost all of them today. However, ever since I got a cell phone, there is no need to remember numbers. There are many phone numbers I should be able to recite simply because I have been calling them for years. However, I probably couldn’t even tell you the first three digits. Even though technology has made life easier in some instances, it makes me wonder what the trade-off is. Will future generations have better or worse memories since technology makes information so readily-available?
I would say most households still keep at least one phone book in case of emergencies. Even though many say phone books are becoming obsolete, I still believe it is smart to have one just in case. However, if you do not have a need for one, make sure you recycle it instead of simply throwing it away.
Even though many people think going paperless means going green, saving trees, and helping the environment, this isn’t necessarily the truth. People forget to take into account the impact technology has on the environment. For more information about why electronic communication isn’t more environmentally-friendly than print and paper, check out this fact sheet from twosides.us.
Share your thoughts. Do you use a phone book on a regular basis? Do you think phone books are or will eventually become obsolete? If given the option, would you opt-out of receiving a phone book? Do you recycle old phone books or throw them away?
Check out this article on money.msn.com by Karen Datko titled “Are phone books obsolete? Seattle is setting up a registry so residents can opt out of having the yellow pages delivered to their door.”