|When paper ruled|
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Let your fingers do the walking
White pages for regular folks, yellow pages for businesses, blue pages for government. If you lived in a really fancy part of the world, they put them all in the same book and endless hours of fun awaited children on Sunday afternoons who had grown tired of the dog-eared encyclopedia volumes in the basement. Or so I've been told.
These days, I can't even imagine what it would be like to revert to paper when complex answers are now just a voice command away. But part of me still misses the gravity of a big old phone book. It brought me comfort knowing it sat in its designated spot in the corner of the kitchen, ready to answer whatever question you could throw at it. New phone book day was a strangely happy day in my world. Or so I've been told.
As I ponder a planet whose definition of work for many of us now revolves around assembling bits into various value-added forms from our physically distanced home offices, then sharing them with colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders in similarly physically distanced home offices, I ponder what we've lost in the shift from physical to virtual.
It was inevitable, of course, and no one can argue that it hasn't created opportunities phone-book-kid-me couldn't have dreamed of. But there was something visceral, powerful, real about letting your fingers do the walking, about feeling the flip of the super-thin pages across your fingertips, the tiny breeze they left in their wake.
It'll never hold a candle to the efficiency of today's tech-based tools. But efficiency doesn't necessarily leave you with memories like this.
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