Welcome to the Social Phone Numbers

A scene from 'Worst Date Ever, Part 4'.

You don't have to tell me about the hazards of the dating world. I've had dates end in complete disaster (by “disaster”, I mean that she was curled up in a ball screaming at me in front of a busload of art gallery attendees) and I've unknowing gone out with an identity thief (but was saved by the social network of my personal blog).

We've all heard stories about the annoying person who won't stop calling or who won't take a hint. In response, people have turned to technologies to provide some kind of communications buffer, such as the Hotmail or GMail address that one gives to casual acquaintances or potential dates or “social phone numbers”, which are explained in the New York Times article, Here's My Number (For Today).