Rant/Question -- Telephone Books!?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Chupa Chupa, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #1
    <Rant>
    It's 2010 -- do people still use telephone books? It's Jan 7 and I've already been saddled with new phone books from several publishers. They just drop them on my doorstep like an unwanted child - wrapped in a thick plastic bag of course. I of course immediatey drop them into my recycling bin as I don't know anyone who would want to adopt them.

    If I need professional services I ask people I trust for referrals or, if desperate, research on-line. If I need an individual's phone # I Google it. I'm sure this routine is typical for most people these days. So why in this "eco-minded" era are companies still dumping unrequested, unwanted phone books on people's doorsteps? Think of all the energy wasted and pollution created to make and distribute them to an entire metro area -- then the additional energy wasted when people immediately toss them out.

    I find it ironic that paper product manuals - which can be useful - have gone by the wayside in the name of environmentalism but crappy paper phone books are still with us like cockroaches.

    How come the companies don't just put them in PDF form and let people d/l them, and if someone wants a physical paper copy they can call and request one. </Rant>
     
  2. Lloyd Christmas macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #2
    Most of the older generation, like the Greatest Generation (born from 1910 to mid 1920's), Silent Generation (born during the Great Depression) and the Baby Boom Generation ( born during World War II till 1960) don't see a need to learn how to use a computer. Im sure some in the Baby Boom generation have an ability to use a computer but the people nearing the age of 80 whats the point.I know my grandparents don't even own a computer or a cell phone. They don't see a need to either. Thats why you still get a phone book. Lloyd
     
  3. Chupa Chupa thread starter macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #3
    My parents are in their 70s and they don't use phone books either. They use Google just like everyone else, and they are not particularly tech-savvy. At any rate that doesn't really answer the question why people who want a paper edition can't request one and leave the rest of us alone.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    Agreed, I think the need for phone books are long gone. They just clog up our landfills. In fact, when I get them, I just put them directly into the recycle bin
     
  5. instaxgirl macrumors 65816

    instaxgirl

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #5
    Not sure what country you're in, but a third of UK households still don't have internet at home.

    Plus a phone book is free, a computer and internet access is not.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    A phone book is certainly not free. Just because you don't get a bill for them doesn't mean the phone company has not built the cost of maintaining, printing and distributing them into your phone bill.

    Personally I'd love to see getting a phone book as an option that you pay for. Don't need it, don't get one and don't charge me for it.
     
  7. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #7
    I don't have a landline and I still get phone books. :confused:
     
  8. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #8
    I don't know how it is in your area, but many people's names don't come up on google with phone numbers around here.
     
  9. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #9
    I don't know where your phone books come from, but around here they aren't published by phone companies. They're ad-supported and handed out by publishers independent of the phone companies.

    They still go in the trash, though.
     
  10. Ca$hflow macrumors 6502

    Ca$hflow

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Location:
    London, ON
    #10
    I don't use my phone book. My parent use thir's thought. They're in there 80's.
     
  11. Chupa Chupa thread starter macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #11
  12. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #12
    If advertisers are still buying ads in them, people must be using them.

    Mine go right into the recycling bin.
     
  13. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast
    #13
    This.

    A lot of numbers aren't online. Heck, I've even seen a few businesses with no website or email address whose number can only be looked up in a phone book (small Mom and Pop shops in cities I've visited).
     
  14. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #14
    Another this. There are several good restaurants and small businesses I like that don't have a web presence and don't show up online. The phone books make a good fallback.
     
  15. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #15
    I still use a printed phone book on a regular basis. I also look up phone numbers for businesses online, on their web sites. I do have a phone on the computer desk. But, if I'm in my house in a room where there is no phone book or computer, and I want to call a local number, I go get the phone book.
     
  16. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Location:
    A series of tubes
    #16
    A couple of years ago I received with my paper phone books an exact digital version of my local yellow/white pages on a CD. You can see an online example here. I like to use the desktop version on my work PC. Unfortunately, I haven't received any more of these CDs since 2008, and the Mac version I got years ago no longer works. :rolleyes: I often feel that online searches and online "yellow pages" sites just aren't as good as a real phone book when looking for certain types of businesses.
     
  17. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #17
    If you're unsure of how to spell someone's name, a phone book can be a better place to look than online. If you want a list of ALL the restaurants in an area, a phone book can be quicker than looking up online. If you want similar businesses from a given area, the yellow pages often do a better job than online searches.

    There will be a time, probably soon, when phone books are completely irrelevant. I don't think that day is today.

    mt
     
  18. IntheNet macrumors regular

    IntheNet

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    #18
    Attempts to digitize documentation are worthwhile for those who choose to use them but let's not do away with hardcopy books especially data compilations such as phone books! Resources such as phone books are useful and necessary and still have a demonstrated need in society; not wholly for the "older generation" specifically but as a educational resource for all.
     

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