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john65pennington's avatar

Are telephone directories(books) becoming obsolete, just like home telephones?

Asked by john65pennington (29263points) October 28th, 2010

I just dumped phone books that are obsolete. How many times have I searched for a phone number, in the past year, using these books? Exactly zero. Using the internet is much quicker and a lot less bulky that a heavy phonebook. Free 411 is also available on cellphones. And, just think of the money to be saved, if phonebooks were no more!! I realize that not everyone has a computer. Could the phone companies not just take orders for those that require these books, rather than spending a fortune for millions of phonebooks that meet their destiny in the dumpster? Question: Are telephone directories(books) becoming obsolete, just like home telephone landlines?

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17 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

I got a phone book delivered to me, and it went straight to the recycling bin lol. I have internet on my phone, I’ll use one in case the internet completely shuts down.

john65pennington's avatar

Blackberry, thanks. your answer is exactly my point.

jonsblond's avatar

I rarely use mine, but I’m very happy I had one when we recently moved. We were without internet for a month and I had to rely on the book. I do prefer the internet though.

nicobanks's avatar

I’d say telephone books are obsolete. I disagree that home phones are becoming obsolete, though.

Blackberry's avatar

@nicobanks Yeah, people still need them for home business, although it is hard to avoid them when they add them in the cable packages. My roommates and I had a landline and didn’t even hook anything up lol.

nicobanks's avatar

I think less and less people are using/relying on landlines, that’s for sure, especially in cities. But there’s still plenty of places that don’t have consistent cell phone coverage. My in-laws live only 45 minutes out of the Canadian capital city, and they don’t have coverage. Then there’s people who don’t want to be reached by phone wherever they are. I recently got my first cell phone because I need it for work (I don’t have an office, I work all over the city, “on site” as it were, but need contact with my boss and clients), but I still talk to family and friends on my home phone only (although I do pay for the phone myself, so there’s nothing stopping me from that). Finally, there’s still some condo-type homes that require landlines to be able to buzz a guest into the parking lot or into the building (that kind of thing is probably being phased out, though). And then, yeah, home businesses: with many telephone directories (including online ones) it can be a hassle to get your home business listed if all you have is a cell phone.

I haven’t cracked a phone book in years and years, though, and I don’t know anyone who has. I use the ones they deliver as gifts to my rabbit! (It’s a great toy, so long as it’s made with newsprint and vegetable inks.)

JLeslie's avatar

I still use my phone book.

lonelydragon's avatar

I received a phone book this year, but it was significantly thinner than the one from last year (which was thick enough to stop a bullet). Sign of the times, I guess. I still keep a phone book around because it’s useful to have if the internet is unavailable for some reason.

perg's avatar

I use the phone book if the computers are off and I don’t feel like firing them up. But the best use I made was to tear a couple of useful pages (local govt numbers) and put them underneath a clear plastic sheet next to my keyboard. Makes a great mousepad.

I can’t give up my house phone even though I’d like to. My neighbors and I get terrible coverage – we’re in some kind of dell or hollow.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I like having the phone books when we move because I can look through the restaurant section to see what’s in the area instead of searching online. I can also look to see what local stores are in the area, like stores that I would never have thought to look up on my own.

lonelydragon's avatar

@Seaofclouds Good point about moving. It’s also useful to have that phone book on hand while you’re waiting for your internet service to be hooked up!

buckyboy28's avatar

They are definitely obsolete.

I also was thinking today about how infrequently I use the phone function of my cell phone. I’m constantly sending texts and emails, but I have made probably 2 phone calls this whole week.

tedibear's avatar

I used ours once this year. I don’t know why I didn’t fire up the computer, but I didn’t.

This will take you to the Yellow Pages opt out site.

Blueroses's avatar

Paper directories are useless to me these days. I’m much more likely to choose a local business that has a navigable website rather than a half-page ad in the Dex book. That said, however, Yellow Pages continues to be a huge source of advertising revenue (new directory companies continue to try to get a piece of the pie). The rates are based on distribution, which they count as every residence and business in the area so they are not likely to stop passing out new directories yearly.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

For business I think phone books will be around awhile. Until all phone become smart phones with large displays that can display a Web page very clearly you will have phone books because the display ad can hold a lot about the service a business offers, etc, not just a number. I have a cell phone but I use my phone book several times a month, and the display ads come factor in quite a bit. Plus it also works in a power outage the phone book, that is.

GracieT's avatar

The parents of a friend of mine just filed for bankruptcy and were told to give up their home phone and just rely on their cell phones. I am actually not sure about the wisdom of the idea, though. I know some people who belong to a religion that does not allow them to carry cell phones, and what about the older people who feel uncomfortable with them? I know that some older people are very comfortable with them, but what about those that cannot or will not use cell phones?

wilma's avatar

I use my phone book almost every day. I use my landline much more than my cell phone.

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