Phone book is less valued now

Our new telephone book arrived at the Fort Frances Times.
We usually received a book for every phone in the business and that count would be 21 phone books. There also are 10 business lines coming into the building.
But this year, the phone book company has determined the Times only requires one book. My guess is that the sellers of listings in the phone book are realizing that the value of the telephone directory is becoming less valuable.
If you want extra copies, there is a $60 per book charge.
I can understand why. In the books that arrived at our office in February, 2014, there were 221 pages of phone number listings for homes and businesses. That declined to 208 pages in February, 2015, 186 pages in 2016, and this year to 171 pages.
Even the number of yellow pages has declined.
Today, as more families have multiple cellphones, the need for that landline to a home is disappearing. With cellphones, you no longer have a listing in the phone book.
If you acquire a landline from Shaw or Tbaytel, that number no longer exists in the phone directory. However, if you transfer your landline number from Bell to the other carriers, your current number still can be found in the older phone books.
There are many benefits to losing your directory listings. The most important benefit probably is that companies doing survey work or people trying to sell you something no longer have your number and the number of nuisance calls disappears.
But with fewer listings, how do you call someone if you don’t know their phone number? How do you respond to a birthday invitation that your six-year-old son has received at school?
How do you contact a volunteer to help out at a community event? It becomes a real and vexing problem.
The telephone book historically has been the data device that allowed people to connect with one another. You didn’t have to write a number down; you simply looked it up in the book.
The phone numbers you commonly used often were memorized.
And if you don’t receive a phone book because you are not a Bell subscriber, how do you call the Civic Centre about your taxes. How do you find the phone number for your child’s school or how do you find the number for the hospital, clinic, or dentist?
I find that more people use cellphones and I have to record their numbers in my contacts list. And the contacts list has to sync with my computer both at work and home, as well as my tablet.
The phone book used to be on my desk and in the desk beside the phone at home. It was so much simpler.

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