If the phone book could talk – 3 things it might say.
I opened up the mailbox today and pulled out a 7 x 8 inch book, about an inch thick, with the words ‘phone book’ printed across it. I brought it back into the house with me. My husband glanced over and inquired, “What is that?” I shrugged and said, “I think it’s a phone book”. I headed to the recycling bin to toss it, along with some other junk mail and wondered if anyone used phone books anymore.
When I was growing up, many decades ago in Kansas City, the phone book was substantial. It was big, bulky and weighted a ton. It was used as a door jam, step stool and always, a makeshift booster seat. My grandmother crocheted a cover for it. It was prominently displayed on the side table, along with the rotary dial telephone.
Recently, I watched a movie called The Intern with Robert De Niro. Interesting enough, his character was a retired VP of a phone book company. The business he worked for is now gone, the building that once housed it is inhabited by a successful startup, where he is now an intern. When he mentions to his twenty something coworkers that he used to work for the phone book company, they give him a look of confusion. Like…”What’s a phone book?” or maybe, “You are really old!” Actually, I can understand the youngster’s bewilderment because the majority of us don’t use phone books anymore. Most information is accessible on your phone, tablet or computer. Why would you go looking though a book?
That got me to thinking….if the phone book could give some sage advice what would it be?
- Keep up! Technology is here to stay. Choosing not to learn how to use a cell phone, computer or even social media is going to put you further behind and out of touch with your children and grandchildren. We don’t want to be thought of as antiquated. If you don’t understand technology then ask for their help, take a class or watch a YouTube video. There are many ways to learn. I found this fun quote on Pinterest by Sue Fitzmaurice, “To my children: never make fun of having to help me with the computer. I had to teach you how to use a spoon”! Enough said.
- Don’t get stuck in the past. Billy Joel musically stated, “the good ole days weren’t always good…” . You may remember the past being a simpler, easier time but that might be because you were a kid and didn’t have the responsibilities of an adult. With today’s technology you can Skype or Facetime your grandkids from thousands of miles away and watch their face as they tell you a story. A restaurant phone number can be looked up in a matter of seconds. Along with the number, you are provided with directions and the menu. Pictures can be shared in real time. Who doesn’t like that?
- Don’t be afraid to move forward. Several years ago we got rid of our house phone. The decision was a little hard. We had the same phone number for almost two decades. You almost felt like it was part of your identity. I think my grandma had the same phone number for almost 40 years. But the reality was we didn’t use it. The voice mail was filled with solicitors and political surveys, not personal messages. Anyone who knew us called our cell phones. We were paying for something we simply didn’t use anymore. So we got rid of it and haven’t even noticed.
The sage phone book would tell us to remember the past but enjoy and participate in the now. The only downside being, we have to actually purchase a booster seat!