I cannot remember when I last used a phone book to look up a number. I now look up everything online and the arrival of personal digital assistants and smart phones with built-in directories means that all the phone numbers one regularly uses are immediately stored and accessible, and others can be looked up easily.
It used to be the case that once every two years we received a bulky white pages phone book and a yellow pages phone book. What surprises me is that I now get more phone books than before. It seems like every few months or so I get some book that either caters to a particular geographic area or to some market. I have not really studied them to understand what market they are targeting because these books go straight into the recycling bin. I get that not everyone has access to the internet and paper books are still needed by some. But what puzzles me is why we have more of them than before.
Another item that I get that I don’t want are the annual wall calendars. Again because of smart phones, I don’t need or look at wall calendars anymore. And yet, the end of every year brings in the mail wall calendars with nice pictures from various vendors and organizations that I have dealt with. I have tried offering them to others but have found no takers and so these also go to recycling. The only wall calendar we have is in our kitchen and that is only because every year our daughter gives us one that for each month has a different photograph of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels like Baxter and we hang it up only for the photographs, not to keep track of the dates.
But the thing that bugs me most are the ‘gifts’ that charities (most of them ones I do not subscribe to) send me, in the form of cards, maps, notepads, and other things that I neither need nor want. I give to charities because I believe in them and not out of guilt for getting a gift. In fact I get irritated with those that waste money on sending gifts. I would rather they spent it on good works and thus am less likely, not more, to send money to them because of these gifts.
These gifts are quite glossy and well produced and likely not cheap to produce. It must be costing a bundle to send them to so many people. I am guessing that all these operations have marketing people who say that this is a good thing to do but it definitely does not work with me and I suspect that I am not alone or even in a minority.