In addition to the importance of connections to others via the social networking opportunities (Twitter, Facebook, this blog, etc.), there is no substitute for the rich interaction of face to face conversation and sharing.
For families, it's my wife and I driving our son 1 1/2 hours to drop him off for an overnight summer camp interview process; and then driving another 1 1/2 hours just to have supper and a conversation with our daughter and "that boy" at their college. After our brief time together, we will turn around and drive 3 hours back to Charlotte - late, to be sure, tired undoubtedly, but a very important part of parenting - even for a 20 year old. Because of crazy work schedules, that drive time will probably be a time of significant conversation for my wife and me.
For friends, it's being able to call someone who has the tools and know-how to diagnose a dryer that's not drying. The benefit: learning a little more about how things work (while your 16 year old son watches intently) and discovering that it will be a $40 part versus a new dryer. While the man talk is going on in the laundry room, the woman talk is going on in the kitchen as my wife and my friend's wife talk about what color to repaint the kitchen in the upcoming renovation work there.
For a different sort of friend, one who began as a acquaintance in ministry, but transitioned into a client, and now is a brother to share life and "stuff" with, its a relaxed conversation over a meal. Stories abound, laughter ensues, and life goes on - the better for the one hour conversation.
For business, it's a primary way to interacting with prospects, interested parties, and clients. Yes quick emails work; phone calls are necessary; even snail mail and other hands on media have their part in the conversation of business. But being able to look across the desk, or table, eye to eye, that's communication of the richest sort.
So, I'm an introvert who really gets into the digital communication - but face time is authentic community on the deepest level.