Why is there no
White Pages for Cell Phones?
Do you remember how
easy it used to be to find someoneís phone number: you would
just open up your local white pages and browse by last name
until you found the person you were looking for. In case you had
a number but didnít know who it belonged to, you could get a
reverse phone book from your local library or police station
(later, you could easily get a reverse phone book online).
Times have drastically changed though. First, a lot of people
donít even have landlines anymore. Instead, all of their calls
are made from their cell phones. Phonebooks donít list cell
phone numbers so it may be very difficult to find the number of
a person you want to contact Ė or figure out whose number it is
that keeps calling you.
There are many reasons why a national cell phonebook doesnít
exist. First, it is the nature of cell phones to be transient.
You canít match an address to a cell phone like you can with a
landline. If a person moves to Arizona from Ohio, that person
probably wonít bother to change his cell phone number
(especially since almost all cell phones get free long distance
anyway). Without an address or even a city to match up a phone
number to, the potential for confusion gets very high. Just
imagine if you want to find a John Smith in a national cell
phonebook. Youíd have thousands of numbers to sort through!
The real reason that there arenít cell phonebooks though is
simply because people value their privacy. Cell phones came out
in a different age than landlines and now people are very
reluctant to make their personal information known. Many people
even opt out of having their landlines listed in phonebooks,
even though the phone companies generally charge a fee for this.
It is rather ironic that people are so adamant about the privacy
of their cell phone numbers since cell phones are used in
Even though there arenít any public cell phonebooks, there are
many private companies which have compiled reverse cell phone
directories. There are even many private companies which have
massive databases which let you look up cell phone numbers and
then match them to online profiles, such as on Facebook, and
provide email addresses as well. Because of all the privacy
issues surrounding cell phones, there are only reverse cell
phone directories and no way to lookup a personís name and find
their cell phone number.
If you have someoneís name and want to find his/her cell phone
number, you will probably be out of luck. But, if you get a cell
phone number, then the privacy issues are considered void Ė that
person did call you after all. You can then sign up to one of
the reverse cell phone directories and for a one-time or monthly
fee, can find out who has called you.