Internet comms since 2008 fscking sucks. A random waffling after a few pints will now follow.
E-mail often wrapped in proprietary gubbins under the assumption that everyone uses a specific vendor's interpretation, grouped by subject header under the assumption of pertaining to a single conversation. Chat mostly stuck in a walled-garden of JS or a handset-based app.
I remember setting up an XMPP/SIP bridge which would display XMPP presence updates from staff on our intrnaet... an early internal twitter I suppose. It worked perfectly in the brief moment of 2005-2010 before UX and functionality became prescribed by the development teams of 5 global corporations.
IRC and NNTP? I still use IRC alot for work comms and open source stuff... though new-fangled open source projects (the type that won't exist in 3 years' time) tend to use slack, gitter or discord instead. NNTP just a simple, open, distributed version of reddit. Gmane.org kept me using NNTP for a long-time for interacting on open source e-mail lists but gmane.org is long gone last I checked.
Comms better in the old days, probably not, but absolutely not worse.