Fandango’s Flashback Friday — November 19th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 19th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted eleven years ago today, on November 19, 2010, on my old blog.

White Pages Going Dark?

Some people in New Haven, Connecticut are not happy that regulators in many states are granting telephone companies permission to stop publishing those once ubiquitous White Pages phone books.

It seems that the thick book chock full of residential names, addresses, and phone numbers — those of your neighbors, friends, and perhaps colleagues — is the latest victim of 21st century technology.

Why? Well, for one thing, more and more people are dropping traditional landlines and are opting for getting by with just their mobile phones. And cellphone numbers are not published in the White Pages books. It also seems that the number of new orders for landlines has been declining significantly over the past decade, while existing landlines are being discontinued at a rate of nearly 10 percent each year.

In addition, most people these days, according to the telephone companies, are leveraging the internet to find phone numbers, rather than flipping through the pages of the telephone book. As a result, these thick White Pages books often go unused, simply taking up space on kitchen counters, languishing atop refrigerators, ending up stuffed into junk drawers, or being immediately tossed into recycling bins.

Telephone companies are also touting the positive environmental impact of eliminating the publication of paper telephone books: less paper, less ink, and less recycling. It is interesting that the telephone companies don’t seem to be talking about how the elimination of the White Pages will potentially lower their costs and, thereby, produce higher profits. I wonder why that is.

So far, 16 states have granted (or are currently considering granting) permission to the telephone companies to cease publishing print versions of the White Pages. The likelihood is that more states will follow suit in the near future.

Yet, unlike the White Pages, business directories, often referred to as “The Yellow Pages,” seem to be thriving. According to the Yellow Pages Association, an industry trade group, more than half of Americans still let their fingers do the walking.

So exactly why are the folks from New Haven, in particular, so upset by the possible demise of the White Pages? It’s because New Haven considers itself to be the birthplace of the White Pages. The New Haven District Telephone Company published the first telephone subscriber listing on February 21, 1878, about two years after the telephone was invented. It had fifty names…and no, mine wasn’t one of those fifty. I never lived in New Haven.

So New Haveners are apparently pissed off that their one-page sheet of telephone subscriber names from 1878, which over the decades evolved into the thick, annually published book of names, addresses, and telephone numbers, and had become a household fixture all across the nation, has been rendered obsolete, thanks to the Information Age and the internet.

Damn you Al Gore!

25 thoughts on “Fandango’s Flashback Friday — November 19th

  1. Mister Bump UK November 19, 2021 / 4:36 am

    I presume you went theway of nothing being published?

    It’s funny because in my voluntary work I meet elderly clients, even older than you :). who have never even owned a computer. They are totally screwed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bushboy November 19, 2021 / 1:06 pm

    The first phone book in Australia was one sheet with forty-four numbers. The phone books – White and Yellow Pages – stopped being printed here in 2019

    Liked by 2 people

    • donmatthewspoetry November 19, 2021 / 6:56 pm

      Do you remember your first number?. It would have been a black dialup phone? Or dare I venture to ask a vintage hang-on-the wall?

      Liked by 2 people

        • donmatthewspoetry November 20, 2021 / 4:52 am

          Well done. I still have our black bakelite. J1245

          You don’t forget an old telephone number do you? And where the phone sat……

          Liked by 2 people

          • bushboy November 20, 2021 / 11:47 am

            On the buffet/dresser in the dining room just beside the door to the loungeroom and kitchen

            Liked by 1 person

            • donmatthewspoetry November 20, 2021 / 1:22 pm

              ring….ring…..Ours on a small table in the hall. Chair next to it………

              Liked by 2 people

  3. Fandango November 19, 2021 / 4:23 pm

    Since my post was written 11 years ago, by now the Yellow Pages may also be a thing of the past.

    Like

  4. Carol anne November 22, 2021 / 12:06 am

    The same thing is happening here! Nobody uses white pages any more. Our telephone company doesnt publish a telephone book nowadays. We all just go online to get any number we need!

    Liked by 1 person

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