Should I get a NYC phone number?

So that’s the question du jour. Should I get a New York number for my cellphone or keep my Oregon number? I can keep the Oregon number active, so that’s not an issue.

The question is about getting work. I feel like the area code on the phone is becoming a sort of non-issue these days as more and more people switch to cells. On the other hand, it does instantly label me as an out-of-towner.

So what do you think? Switch to a 646 number or stay with the 503?

Edited to add: Thanks for the comments everyone. I decided that the continuity was probably worth more than the “local” number. Especially since I realized that I can just forward my 646 Skype number to my cellphone. It’s the best of both worlds. So, the 503 number stays.

Did you know you can support Mary Robinette on Patreon!

11 Responses

  1. -e-

    646? Gee, that barely seems more local than 503 in a way… Frankly, I think that, since people have to write down the area code any way (now that there are so many in NYC), you may as well keep the 503 number. I do understand the status element of the area code though. I always took perverse pride in my “vintage” 212, which clearly set me apart from the arrivistes.

  2. Chris Billett

    This is actually something I think about every now and then, as I only have my mobile phone (numbers in the UK are generic) and am trying to get involved in the thriving Brighton New Media scene…

    I myself, despite having no 01273 landline, always look for companies that do. For reasons of ethics and ease, I try and source from local businesses, so I guess I’m saying do get a New York number just in case it helps. It certainly won’t damage anything, unless you have business in Oregan, right?

    (The only issue is you wouldn’t have the same area code as cool bands like Blitzen Trapper and The Decemberists! Haha.)

  3. Livia Llewellyn

    I don’t see it as an issue. I know many people living in the NYC area who keep their original numbers, so it doesn’t instantly label you as an out-of-towner, IMO.

  4. Wordly

    Change! I think anytime you’re asking about changing, you might as well go for it. An adventure, a shrugging off the old, a new stepping out, a letting go of the past and embracing the future…well, there’s just no end!

    All that in a phone number, wow! 😀

  5. Chris Billett

    Saw Livia’s comment and thought I’d add that my opinion is of course very English, n’ the culture might be completely different as you have cell phone area codes and we just have landline ones.

  6. Mary Robinette Kowal

    Remember that I’m a freelancer. That’s really why I’m thinking about swapping numbers.

    Rose: I’m here for at least two years.

    The situation is this. My old phone is with T-Mobile To-Go, which means that I can keep that phone number active as long as I keep money on the account. My new phone is also with T-Mobile and comes with it’s own number. I can port my 503 number over to the new phone, but forwarding would be too expensive.

  7. Aimee

    I ponder the same thing myself… the reason I’m reluctant to change is that I’ve had this number (and the Vermont area code) since 2002 and a lot of people have this number — folks I don’t know if I could get in touch with to update them. So for a “just in case random person X wants to get back in touch with me” reason, I tend to want to keep the 802.

    My back-up reasoning is that most people are calling me from cell phones anyway… but I do feel bad for the few people who call me on landlines…………….

    I’m best, I think, at waffling, rather than deciding. 😉

  8. -d-

    I’m a little slow this morning because the Wednsday Night Picking was here last night, but it sounds like you are saying that you can have two phones at the same price as one phone? So what’s the problem? If you are really wanting to look like a local you are going to have to get a land line number.

  9. Mary Robinette Kowal

    I talked to a bunch of industry people at a friend’s house this evening and the consensus was that the area codes don’t matter anymore and that the continuity of keeping the number would be better in the long run.

    Plus I can have my skype “local” number forward to the cell if anyone really needs a 646 area code.