Why is it so Important to know Your Area Code?

Why is it so Important to know Your Area Code?

Your telephone number’s area code indicates the country and state where it is located. All numbers, including cell phones and landlines, have an area code. But where does the area code come from? Are area codes important? Are my area code and phone number still required to be updated if I move?

Our best bet is to take a look back at the history of the area code to find the answers.

What Year Did Area Codes Begin?

During the middle of the 20th century, area codes first became popular. Before that time, all calls were made through telephone operators. They directed calls based on vocal instructions. This was one of the very first jobs outside of the home filled predominantly by women. When you called someone, you did not just tell the operator who you wanted to call, but where to find them physically, i.e., the address.

There are still some of these old-fashioned phone exchanges lingering in popular culture today. The Ricardo family’s phone number appeared on the show I Love Lucy in the 1950s as “Murray Hill 5-9975.” Do you get it? They had a number of 5-9975, and their address was within the Murray Hill phone exchange.

What are the Numbers and Letters in Area Codes?

At first, this system may appear confusing, and that’s because it was. Phone directories grew as telephones became more widespread. There were simply too many phone exchanges in the 1950s, and not enough human operators to serve them.

An innovative idea was put into place rather than relying on switchboard operators. Number-to-number dialing would be the way of the future. There will be no more names or letters, only numbers for future dialing. As well as reformatting existing phone numbers, such as the fictional “Murray Hill 5-9975” of the Ricardo family.

Numbering Plan for North America

The North American Numbering Plan standardized the process of dialing numbers, which led to today’s area codes.

In addition to the United States and Canada, other US territories such as Guam and Puerto Rico are included in the North American Numbering Plan. The NANP does not apply to Mexico.

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Area Codes and International Calls

Almost every region of the United States requires that you enter the entire area code for the number you wish to call or text.

Historically, this wasn’t the case, but as new codes have been added and layered on top of existing codes, as well as 10-digit dialing becoming more common, it has become a standard practice.

You need both the area code and the country code when calling a US phone number from abroad.

There is a country code of +1 for the United States. Therefore, to call a US phone number from outside the US, you’ll need to dial it in the format [country code] [area code] [local number]. That would look like this: +1 [3-digit area code] [7-digit local number].

Is My Area Code Important?

It might! Area codes are important for many reasons.

If you transfer your hometown area code to a new location, they can create a sense of nostalgia. Moving doesn’t necessarily mean changing your area code; getting a new local number, as well as landlines and dial-up internet, is a thing of the past.

There might also be a status symbol associated with your local code. Some codes are in high demand because they are rare. Some regard Manhattan’s area code 212, for instance, as a symbol of belonging, a piece of virtual real estate.

A phone number can imply ties to a prestigious (or impoverished) area, much like ZIP codes. Hence, many people pay attention to what their area code says, and we’re not just talking about text messages. You may want to change your phone number if you move to a new location, though it is not necessary. Pew Research found that nearly half of urban adults in the U.S. have a cellphone number from elsewhere.