I'm certain this scenario is common in many households.
People hardly speak to each other these days. I mean, actually talk. Most communications now occur in the form of emails, status messages, and 140 character statements - all of which can be easily misinterpreted if the right words aren't used.
Compounding the issue, particularly in public, is the ugly spectre of harrassment. Men are reluctant to say anything for fear of being misunderstood or thought of as creepy. Women are careful about what they say for fear of saying something that a man might construe as her leading him on, or worse, insulting him.
Certain subjects are now taboo or thought of as "triggers" for those who have experienced trauma of some sort or have controversial opinions. There were several people I knew who would become extremely loud, judgmental, and even racist during any conversation about politics or immigration.
It doesn't stop there.
Good communication goes hand in hand with learning. To learn something one must be able to discuss ideas coherently. Sadly there are those who refuse to do so because it conflicts with their own pre-conceived notions, and they resort to attacking anyone who tries to present them with a different point of view.
A comment on a recent David Gerrold rant about the views of the extreme right in the U.S. reads: "We are in the midst of a crisis, and the Constitution and our democratic system of government is under attack. It's clear that day by day they become bolder and less concerned about hiding their perfidy, their treasonous acts against the American people. They clothe themselves in religion and false doctrine, sow doubt and fear, attack the free press and the 1st and 4th Amendments, stack the courts, obstruct all progress."
Think about how much better the world would be if more people stopped hiding behind a screen (of any kind) and just talked to each other. About anything. Who knows, they might actually learn something.