1.5 min readBy Published On: December 19th, 2021Categories: Features0 Comments

How is this still a thing?

Yesterday, I walked out my front door and discovered sitting on my stoop, a plastic bag containing two new phone books.  Not one, but two.  Apparently, they are still in print.  Who is still using the phone book?  Doesn’t everyone in the world have a smart phone that they can easily google or better yet, ask Siri for a phone number, address or best Italian restaurant in a 10 mile radius?  It’s 2020. Seems very wasteful right?

So why are they still in print and getting delivered?

Well, some regulations have been attempted to phase out the yellow pages, but many companies have fought against them – usually out of self-interest. Phone books are full of ads which make these companies money. In the city of Boston, this company’s name is Dex Media.  Even though phone book revenues are starting to dwindle, companies still make a decent amount of money. Ironically, ad rates are usually calculated on the number of phone books distributed, not people actually using the phonebook.  (Hmmm….sounds similar to the stacks of local papers you see collecting dust waiting for the recycle bin.)

Back in 2010, Seattle passed the first ordinance requiring phonebook companies to let residents opt out of getting the yellow pages.  The company would also receive a penalty for each unwanted phone book delivered.

When is Massachusetts gonna do that? If you don’t want to get the phone book, you can opt out by visiting here!  I have a feeling that just like “Do Not Call” lists, the phone book will be landing on our stoops again next year.

For now, do what everyone in the neighborhood will be doing, throwing it the recycling bin.  Unless maybe some people save them for other reasons…  Everyone knows, phone books don’t leave bruises.

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