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Yesterday's reference material is today's recycling.
Yesterday's reference material is today's recycling.

A phone book? Really?

There are moments in time when one convention comes to an end and another begins. For instance, in the beginning of the 20th century there was a point where cars outnumbered horses. And within that transition there were a lot uncomfortable changes. Horse traders lost jobs, car dealers got jobs and the smell of horse poop was replaced with exhaust.

These moments are marked by events when you suddenly realize they're happening.

Like yesterday, while leaving the house, I nearly tripped over a glossy, orange bag with AT&T printed on it. "A phone book?" I thought. Why the hell do I have phone book on my porch? (And before you leave a comment about people who still use phone books for whatever reason, know that I get it.) But honestly, at what point do we see our last phone book? The two days that I have mine are made up of one day on my front porch and one day on my dining room table until it finally goes into the recycling bin.

Each year it becomes more obvious that this, of all printed material, is dead. Now if AT&T handed out primitive Kindles in little orange bags, I'd think, BOOM, they'd have something – and each year was just an updated download.

And I don't even have a land-line. So, does everyone in town just get one? Did you get one? I'm sure at one point it was an excellent profit center for yellow page advertising, and that could still be the case. But the audience for all of that advertising has surely bottomed out in the past 10 years.

So, there it sits on the porch – future recycling fodder in a future poopy bag.

Talkbacks

lhuebner | Oct. 11, 2011 at 3:46 p.m. (report)

How do you think my husband reacted when he sucked up an entire phone book into the snow blower a few years ago? Let's just say that if we see anyone drop a phone book on our sidewalk again it will end up hitting them in the head as they walk away. I believe there is a "opt out" website but I was not able to get it to work. Shocking, I know.

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KProchnow | Sept. 30, 2011 at 12:38 p.m. (report)

Mikey, Mikey, talk to your elected representatives-- phone companies are REQUIRED to burn all those trees and produce all those books. That law was a great idea once.

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