You know the story, you wake up in the morning, go to the front door to hear what that “thud” was that you heard, only to find your nice, new Phone book(s) likely with a separate book of yellow pages as well. Now what do you do with this throwback to the 1980’s?? Perhaps you prop up a computer monitor with it, or you could stack it with those from previous years and use them as a step stool in the shop. I’m sure you have loads of ideas, most of which have nothing to do with searching for a phone number (I used Goog 411 in the past and now there’s many useful local search apps like WHERE, Yelp, Schmap and others).
For those of you who know what I mean, check out this from Ban the Phone Book, a resource devoted to getting rid of the book. The Ban the Phone Book petition has received over 40,000 signatures and the group has compiled a top 10 list of top 10 reasons to pull the plug on white page… enjoy: And be sure to leave a quick comment in the form at the bottom stating an idea for a good use of old phone books…
1. Very few people depend on them. According to a 2008 Gallup poll, only 11 percent of households relied on the printed white pages phone books in 2008, down from 25 percent in 2005.
2. They create unnecessary environmental waste. Less than 20 percent of consumers recycle their white pages phone books, which explains why an estimated 165,000 tons of white pages phone books end up in landfills every year.
3. Better contact information is online for free. Ban the Phone Book has found that 78.5 percent of US adults prefer using online directories, their inner network of friends and family, search engines, and social networks over the white pages phone book.
4. They waste taxpayer money. Ban the Phone Book estimates that eliminating the white pages phone book could save an estimated $17 million in taxpayer funded recycling fees annually.
5. The information is often wrong. Printed phonebooks are out of date by the time they arrive. It takes many weeks to compile the telco information, manufacture, and deliver the books. Moreover, they’re only updated and delivered annually.
6. They are painfully slow to use. The paper is absurdly thin, the font is teeny tiny, and they use bizarre acronyms for cities (Seatl? Shr ln?). Scanning is difficult, particularly when common misspellings like MacDonald and McDonald are pages apart.
7. They are only useful for the small area you live in. According to the Yellow Pages Association, there are over 25 different phone books for Los Angeles alone. By contrast, you can easily search statewide or nationwide online.
8. They contain information for landline telephone numbers only. More than 1 in 5 consumers have abandoned landlines in favor of VoIP or wireless only. Antiquated phone book listings are depleting rapidly. And even for those with landlines, it’s often more convenient to connect via mobile numbers and email. You can add your cell phone (making it visible or hidden), email, and social networking links to your WhitePages listing on the web so that you control how you want to be contacted.
9. No remote access. Want to call a colleague to let her know that you’ll be late to her dinner party? Hope you thought ahead to bring that cumbersome brick called a phone book. Online people search is available on all web-enabled mobile phones. After looking up a number, you can typically call instantly by selecting the numbers on the screen, and from most mobile apps, you can easily add the number to your address book.
10. Which John Smith? There are 53 traditional phonebook listings for John Smith in New York, New York. Paper phone books lack the identifying information available online including age range, company name, etc. to help you connect with the right person.