"...we didn’t know it at the time, but now it seems that the atomization of area codes was a prelude to the microtargeting that fuels political campaigns and advertising: it refined our perceptions of who people are. When I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, it and all the rest of L.A. was 213. You had to travel a long way to get out of 213, which might have subtly enforced the fallacy that L.A. was actually a coherent city rather than a mere patchwork. Sure, there were always ZIP codes to differentiate fancy neighborhoods from nondescript ones, but a phone number was and is part of an introduction—it’s a calling card in itself, not merely numbers on your actual calling card. You give people your phone number if you like them, not your ZIP code."
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