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"You're talking about replacing a high bandwidth, instant communication channel with a low bandwidth, asynchronous communication channel?"

No, actually I'm talking about replacing yelling a question across an entire office space with simply sending them an IM. The IM method also doesn't require tracking them down, and as you mentioned basic politeness, I think yelling for somebody when you have no idea where they are or what they may be doing is rather impolite. You could be disrupting a conversation they may be involved in elsewhere for example.

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