There are a number of studies that show younger people connecting more via instant messaging and SMS than other forms of communication. The Digital Chosunilbo reports that this transition has covered Korea under a veil of silence:
There are also those who claim that the internet is making us withdraw socially from those around us, with communications that are less emotionally rich than face-to-face contact. This article provides one of the first theories of why messaging might be doing the same thing:
Most of the research in this area suggests that those crazy kids are doing it because they can have multiple conversations simultaneously; if this article is correct, and indeed we message-to-be-cool, I’d have to agree that we’re headed in a socially scary direction. The emotional effects of messaging definitely warrent some more attention (via Smart Mobs).