Thursday, December 06, 2012
Last of a dying (yellow) breed
When I arrived home one morning last month and found this on the front step, I have to admit I just stood there and stared at the thing for a couple of minutes. The yellow pages were once, very long ago, a kitchen staple. In the pre-commercial-Internet era, this pub WAS the Internet, a gateway into what was out there and how to find it. We'd keep it stored alongside the white pages, and the two were frequently hauled out whenever we needed to reach out and touch someone.
But that was then. Today, changeable information no longer lingers in dog-eared annual publications. It's updated in real-time, accessed from whatever device happens to be closest at hand. Like the TV Guide before it, this chunk of a dead tree seems to have no place anymore. Yet here it was, mysteriously in front of my house.
I didn't immediately chuck it into the recycling box. For all the limitations of paper as a near-real-time medium, nothing tops a meandering browse through the low-quality newsprint. It's like a virtual cruise through parts of your community that you haven't seen in a while. Or ever. And no electronic tool will ever replicate the experience.
Something tells me we'll miss this when it's gone for good.
Your turn: Will we? Why/why not?
One more thing: Thematic. Mellow yellow. Here.