Zen 511: How close do you have to sit to someone before email becomes an unacceptable means of communication?

Today, one of our developers announced - via group email of course - that he was leaving.

Many people responded to the thread, but mostly it was his fellow codeheads and java hobbits who with fulsome sincerity wished him well and suggested they all get together for a couple of drinks to see him on his way. The email banter flew back and forth for a few minutes, then gradually died down.

Nothing unusual there. Except that everyone who responded was either sitting next to or directly opposite/behind the guy who said he was leaving. They were quite literally within touching distance. And not one verbal acknowledgement was uttered.

I'd suggest that some of these guys could be conjoined twins and they'd still choose email.

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