So here are my observations from yesterday's little experiment...
1) I use email for planning and not really for communication (hence the high number of "local" emails)
2) I use IM and my blog to keep in touch with people who live farther away (makes sense as I don't have many face to face conversations, so IM or blog-reading suffices)
3) While not the inverse power law that was "average" years ago and well-reported on, I actually do have a lot of communication with people in the chicago metro area...way more than I had expected.
4) I almost never make voice calls from my cell phone (it was omitted from this because I hardly ever use it for voice besides coordinating with work colleagues - now mobile data/email/sms that's another story - maybe I should count SMS's)
5) It would be interesting to see how the internet has changed communication-at-a-distance for others as my distribution doesn't match well with prior research in this area. Maybe it's that I went far away for college. Maybe it's the sort of people you meet at MIT who are distributed all over the world. But I wonder how instant communication to anyone has changed the numbers of friends people maintain close connections to and where those people are spatially. I'm sure research has been done in this area. If people have pointers, I'm curious to read more...