I’ve just switched cell phone companies in preparation of my move to the 1001th Plateau. There’s something liberating about cleaning out one’s phone list – “Sorry crazy Vietnamese graduate student who went psycho the day before our group project was due – you aren’t coming with me to the new phone plan.”
I’m keeping my old phone number with me, and I’ll be taking with me to the coast an area code that is identified with Chicago. Is this part of my identity? Switching numbers, I noticed how many of my friends from grad school and Chicago kept their own home area codes; is this information about them?
I was giving my phone number to an undergrad (ahem) from the chicagoland area, and she said “oh you have a Chicago area code, lucky.” Her area code was 217, identified with Champaign, and she mentioned not wanting it when she moves to Chicago. And, of course, there is “708”, which perfectly describes an area of city better than any study. When we all move around the country and world as fluidly as Capital, will this be one of the few anchors that identity us with a specific place?