I expect this is not a pet issue that many people share, but I used to spend some time wondering about the respective limitations of being blind and deaf. I'd heard a couple people saying that it'd be better to be blind, which I thought was weird, but being able to hear allows you understand and be understood with people in a way that's probably impossible to replicate outside of fluent signing, and maybe not even then.
Anyway, it occurred to me last night that the events of the last ten years have really helped deaf people out. It's a common lament that kids spend too much time online chatting, blogging, "Facebooking", gaming and god knows what else. Most of this is intensely social and by now it's mainstream. It's also a world with which deaf people can engage on a completely level footing.
This is a small development in the larger scheme on things, and it's possible that the negative consequences of the general trend outweigh the positive, but as far as it goes it's a really heartwarming development.