Over at The Atlantic, Megan Garber has written a lovely essay on the history of telephone area codes and their cultural significance:
Long ago divested of its original role, the three-digit code now functions as a kind of shared social media handle, a collective identity. It’s no longer something to be remembered—we have our phones for that—but is instead something to be talked about. I meet someone at a party. We exchange numbers. “Oh, 510!” I might say. “I was in Oakland a few weeks ago!”
“And 831!” the new acquaintance might reply. “I love the Aquarium!”
Well worth checking out.