Of Plugged In Phones And Area Codes

I spent most of last night moving phone numbers between my old Motorola RAZR and the my new Samsung Blackjack and between Helaine’s old phone and her new Motorola RAZR.

You’ve probably heard that your contacts can be electronically moved from phone-to-phone. Sure, but only in theory. In the real world it was pencil and paper and hundreds of characters on tiny keys. I have around 120 entries in my ‘book,’ many with multiple numbers.

About halfway through, all I could think of was, “You’ll never be able to move that thumb again.” I’m assuming emergency rooms are filled with new smartphone owners who get carried away. It’s easy to overdo it.

I learned a few things while entering all those numbers and letters. I have three entries for people named Harold, but only two Johns (plus a Jon). I have more cell numbers entered than home or business numbers. I also have lots of entries where someone’s area code no longer matches their actual physical location.

We’ve reached the end of the line for plugged in phones – what is referred to in the telco biz as POTS, for plain old telephone service. I can’t imagine why Stef, for instance, will ever have one.

The concept of area code is dissolving as well. Why change your number when you move? That meant something back when long distance was costly. Now, in this cellphone world, long distance calling is often included at no additional charge. Even when you’re paying, it’s only pennies.

It also means 212 isn’t necessarily going to New York City.

It used to be, a phone number couldn’t have a 0 or 1 as the second digit. No more. The same goes for 0 or 1 as the middle digit in area codes, which were once required. 561 should not be an area code!

How long has it been? It still looks wrong to me every time. Even my cellphone number, beginning with 710, just looks wrong.

I am lost without the phone book in my cell phone. My mom still has a worn address book she’s used for years. Extra pieces of paper have been shoved in where the allocated space for individual letters has been filled. Mine’s electronic with less finite restrictions!

If you die, you live on forever in my mom’s book. Not so when you’re digital bits being carried in my pocket.

For years, the most powerful and organized people were known by the Rolodex they kept. Past tense on that too.

All of this effort with the new phone was to prepare it for the trip we take early tomorrow morning. It’s ready. I am too.

Our plane leaves at 7:00 AM. Most likely, my next post will be from somewhere in the Desert Southwest. They’d damn well better have cell service!

2 thoughts on “Of Plugged In Phones And Area Codes”

  1. Geoff,

    If I remember correctly, you could’ve dropped your numbers onto your SIM and put it into the new handset, carrying over your numbers…

    On another note… When I worked there 3-5 years ago, we could pick your newly assigned cell number out of a pool of numbers for a particular city. Your cell prefix is New Haven. All numbers assigned then were from the same city and company. It was originally assigned to SNET Wireless, then Cingular, and now AT&T. With # portability, you could carry that number to any other cell carrier or to other cities. Now, with even further advances in technology, AT&T has merged thier landline number pools with cellular pools. Rob [whom you met recently] has a cell phone with a Meriden Landline prefix.

    What will they think of next?

  2. Remember a 2-3 years ago we were ALL protesting that dialing a “local” phone number would require 10 digits.

    Now, I’m hard pressed to tell you any of the 50 + phone numbers I have in my cell.

    Will you keep a hard copy of these numbers??????

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