Phone books are no longer resorted to when one urgently needs information. Sure, there was the time when my husband left the toilet paper roll on the floor, directly below the waiting empty roll, for the 74th time in a row. But for its actual aim of providing information to me, I cannot remember when I last used it. In this day and age my computer is always so much closer than the phone book, although it cannot be denied, it is much harder to throw across a room when frustrated.
But yet I keep the thing around, try to conceal the ugly thing with my decor or what have you. I have to keep it out and in plain sight for the whole world to recognize that yes; I have a phonebook available for your information pleasure. Heaven forbid I lose another useless monstrosity. Right, because something that is 6 inches thick and could be injurious when thrown appropriately could be lost easily. But seriously, do you think I know where it is? No, because I never use it.
Just about anything that I need from it can be found on the Internet. The people that want to be found will be in the phone book, but I can search for them online as well. And if they don’t want to be found, well, I am not going to find them in either place. But every year, Bell undeviatingly drops one off at the end of my driveway, and within minutes, it ends up – somewhere – just in case I have an immediate phone number emergency where 911 does not apply (I have that one memorized, anyway).
Gone are the days of letting our fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages. In fact, even the Yellow Pages are on the net as well. The Yellow Pages can’t be knocked; they still remain one of the most useful information services out there. When looking for local information on businesses or services, it is my first resort.
But I don’t step up my strength training program by flipping through hard copy information. I log on. In fact, it is faster for me to check up my pizza place on the Internet than to find the phone number in the book. With the emergence of websites like Craigslist or web directory sites, I have so many choices available to me within seconds if I need information. Craigslist and web directories operate very similarly to the Yellow Pages, with a few extras. Craigslist is primarily a classified ad site, but it can give a whole lot of useful information.
Not only can I find local business information, but can also look for housing (which will come in handy for my husband if he attempts the toilet roll conundrum one more time), look for work, social activities, or other kinds of community classifieds information. What makes it even better is that I can avoid having to look at unnecessary ads while I am doing so, as I am in so many other places on the Internet.
In fact, Craigslist is so easy to use, and now, hugely popular, having over 15 million users a month, that even my online Yellow Pages are becoming out-of-date. The information on Craigslist is also current information, which is often not the case with the Yellow Pages, online or otherwise. And now, with eBay controlling some of its shares, it is quite a success despite the formidable opposition of information providers like Google and Yahoo.
As phone books lag further and further behind in the race to provide information, Internet sites doing the same are moving ahead fast.