I think that this direction of this thread in this conversation touches on a fundamental human desire, the desire to connect and be understood.
SMS Messaging has many limitations (and advantages). Conversations solve some of these, but words aren't always the best medium to express thoughts either.
Sometimes movement, art, touch, or silent and present eye-contact can communicate more than any conversation ever could. Will all this in mind and knowing that something like 70% of all communication is non-verbal (including what Josh mentioned his experience at that party - and much more), what does that mean for designing better conversations.
Interestingly when I went to look up the 70% statistic I ended up here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_language ...and unearthed another layer which seems relevant: the difference between public and personal space. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_space
The diagram on that page breaks down pubic space, social space, personal space and intimate spaces... what if many of life's miscommunications were based in a lack of shared norms for how to communicate which space we're in? How could we design around that?