Andrea — tell me that this isn't personal (or this or this). It's not the same as face-to-face communication (which I'm guessing is what you're comparing online communiation to). However face-to-face comunication also can't hold many conversations in parallel, circumvent time with its asynchronicity, nor reach as wide of an audience. (Can you imagine holding a conversation with 4,000,000 people? I can't.)
The benchmark here isn't face-to-face conversation, it's conversation in general. There are too many different ways for us to communicate to hold everything in the light of face-to-face.