Saturday, January 19, 2008

The ultimate junk mail

I haven't collected my mail from the front of the house for over a week. I know the little box is bulging and my 2008 parking permits are probably there. I think I'm avoiding the mail because there are also two fresh, brand-spanking new telephone books out there, dropped off by some poor schmuck being paid minimum wage to deliver these yellow booster seats to people's front porches.

This is the ultimate junk mail. I don't want it, I don't use it. I simply walk the yellow books from the front porch to the side porch, where I promptly dispose of them in the recycling bin.

Whose idea was it to create this book that then gets delivered to the home of every person in the world? Apparently it was the idea of the Reuben H. Donnelly Company in New Haven, CT in 1878, followed by geniuses in Britain in 1880, and then Chicago in 1886.

Okay, so maybe in the 19th Century this was useful. But we're now in the 21st Century. I use my computer or my friends for service referrals. Never a phone book. Am I an anomaly? Some statistics say that 70.2% of the U.S. population is now connected to or otherwise using the Internet. I'll concede that there are still 29.8% not using the Internet and maybe half of the 70% don't have home computers so can't use them as telephone references. I don't know how many children figure into this amount, so estimate 15%. That's 1/2 the population that maybe uses the phone book as a reference tool. And 1/2 the population that takes the stupid book off the porch and promptly deposits it into the recycling bin. And, to make matters worse, there are TWO sets of yellow pages, because apparently there is a need to compete in this declining market. OMG! What a waste!


ken said...

wow. Maybe you should switch to caffeine-free coffee or something..

Those books you say you never use actually got referenced nearly 15 billion times last year. And that’s just the print versions. 90% of all adults reference them at least once a year, 75% in a typical month, and 50+% on average month. How about on average 1.4X each week?

The Internet is wonderful thing, but myth that it all we need doesn't hold water. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that the broadband market is about tapped out. There will always be a good percentage of the population that will never have access to the industry’s Internet products. Barely more than 50% of households in the U.S. (about 56 million homes) is the real number, currently subscribe to a high-speed Internet service. An additional 21 million households still use dial-up connections (yes, you read that right – dial-up connections).

Clownface said...

Good to know there is someone out there who is as passionately in favor OF phone books as I am in favor AGAINST phone books.

I'd settle for the option of having this paper delivered to my home - instead of it being deposited against my wishes near my mailbox so I have to deal with the 1,000+ pages of wasted paper.