White Pages are No Match for a Cell Phone Lookup

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In case you haven't noticed, technological changes that transpired in the last decade have transformed the face of our culture forever. For better or for worse, hardly anyone reads books anymore; especially phone books. C'mon, with each passing day there are more and more cell-phone-only households; and cell phone numbers are not even included in the good old White Pages.

That's because there is such a thing as an on-line cell phone lookup, which takes mere seconds to produce a cell phone number for anyone out there. All you need to know is the person's full name and last known location. Once one starts using such useful tricks as a cell phone lookup, who needs phone books?

That was the question some phone companies recently asked their customers. Based on the majority of answers, they decided to stop mandatory distribution of White Pages. It seemed very reasonable to provide phone directories only to the households that sent in explicit requests. The solution seemed effective, efficient and would save trees, right? After all, who doesn't have a computer nowadays?

Wrong! Turns out, we have completely forgotten about senior citizens. More often than not, that population segment simply does not own - or know how to use - computers (or cell phones for that matter). The elderly and their advocates are fighting the phone book demise tooth and nail. It may appear unreasonable, but it's simply too hard for the older generations to change the habits they've spent a lifetime cultivating. It's as though the world is trying to recycle their lives before they are over.

So, it appears that for now, phone companies and the rest of us will just have to scrape together a little tolerance to last just a few more years. Too bad about those trees, but people come first. I'll just keep tossing my new phone directories right into the recycling bin and run a cell phone lookup whenever I need to find someone's number.

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