The chat system is a major flaw in the design of the universe. Generally, all communication is proximity-based. There are technological workarounds that let you speak to someone remotely, and you can modulate your volume, but the lack of normal user-defined chat channels is a major problem.
Take parties or bars, for example. I do not like being in a room with twenty-plus people, all of whom are shouting to be heard by the people immediately around them. Why can’t we set this to a series of chat rooms so that people are not talking over each other? Even if the IRL server has a limit on how many channels it supports, could we at least get a few per zone? That would keep the noise down, and it would have the added benefit of not forcing people to be next to each other if they want to communicate. Bob could stay in the conversation while he goes to get a drink, and you could send a tell to someone across the room without using a shout.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the new system of cell phone-based tells. It is a great improvement over the old system. I just think we could do so much more if we got past this spatially defined paradigm that our chat system seems stuck in.
Also, my wife thinks I’m no fun at parties. Curse my sensitive hearing!