I heard this word “phone book” the other day and I could swear I’ve heard about that before. Is that like a social media website for smartphones to connect to each other or something? What is PhoneBook? -- Madeline from Orlando, Florida
No, it’s not a social media network for phones... Believe it or not there was a giant dictionary sized book made of toilet paper thin pages that people used to keep in their homes. This book had their personal phone number listed in it with everyone else’s and was distributed to every residence in the city. Ironically, in today’s oversharing society, the idea of giving your phone number to everyone in your town seems crazy. These days it’s much more understandable to share intimate details of your life with everyone on the internet which basically means the entire world. I suppose the phone book was sort of the Facebook of the past. It was the one way people ignored their desire for privacy and said “Fuck it, if someone from my past wants to get into touch with me they can go ahead and just call my house.” Now it’s “I hope everyone from my past adds me on Instagram!” As a society we’ve moved away from the telephone call and gone to text communication. In doing so, a lot of the intimacy involved with a phone call is being compensated for in the expanse of details we share about our lives through text. So it may seem we have lost all sense of privacy and communication, but things are almost completely the same when you consider how crazy a phone book was.
|Phone books, or as homeless people refer to them "Public jizz rags."|
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