^Why its important to talk to babies: an early experiment putting babies into the "Pit of Despair" as its called resulted in their deaths. It is quite revealing.
In the 13th Century, Salimbene wrote about experiments run by Emperor Frederick II, who was a curious but cruel ruler: ' Like Psammetichus in Herodotus, he made linguistic experiments on the vile bodies of hapless infants, "bidding foster-mothers and nurses to suckle and bathe and wash the chidren, but in no wise to prattle or speak with them; for he would have learnt whether they would speak the Hebrew language (which had been the first), or Greek, or Latin, or Arabic, or perchance the tongue of their parents of whom they had been born. But he laboured in vain, for the children could not live without clappings of the hands, and gestures, and gladness of countenance, and blandishments. " '
This is important for us too. Facebook, and online talking and listening is just as valid as talking and listening to people "in real life". Now banned experiments like the one above that unfortunately get carried out on purpose or accidentally even today, show that while the body is important, communication is the difference between life and death.