Today, the NYT is running an good overview of number privacy and temporary numbers - Here’s My Number (for Today).
In an age of information oversharing, the mobile-phone number is one of the few pieces of personal information that people still choose to guard. Unwanted incoming calls are intrusive and time-consuming and can suck precious daytime cell-plan minutes. And the decision to give out a cell number can haunt you for years, as people now hold on to the numbers longer than their land-line numbers.
The article namechecks a few services, such as Jangl, but the underlying ethnographics, notably changes in how relationships are formed and maintained, are of much more interest.
I’d be fascinated to learn how these behaviours are varying across cultures. in Pakistan, I know people carry handsets for different relationships - friends, family, spouses…. a telco’s wet dream ;)