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David Wygant Headshot

Why Technology Steals The Magic Of Childhood

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Maui, Hawaii, is probably one of the most beautiful places in the United States.

There's so many things you can see, so many sensations you can take in. Whatever direction you're looking at, there's something gorgeous staring right back at you. You see the rolling green hills, the large dense trees, the fluffy clouds and the varying shades of green across the landscape.

You turn around and you see the sea. You see the way the waves ripple, you see the different sizes and textures of the waves, you see the many different colors. You've got every single color imaginable to look at.

There are so many things to take in: people talking, not talking, couples looking at each other, holding hands, couples feeding each other...

So when I was sitting at lunch at the Four Seasons, I couldn't help but notice the little boy obsessed with his iPhone. He was maybe nine -- not even -- maybe seven or eight. And he could not stop staring into that phone, playing games or doing whatever he was doing with it.

20 minutes go by and his eyes didn't move once.

Obsessed.

His mom and dad were sitting there having lunch, not talking to one another, just being in their own space. The kid was in his space too, but he wasn't in the world around him at all.

He wasn't talking. He wasn't participating. He wasn't forging memories based on creativity. He was missing out on everything: the waves, rolling clouds, the green grass -- everything.

We're giving birth to a generation of people that are going to be unable to function socially with one another because they'll have nothing to talk about except what they've seen on the iPhone or the iPad.

It appears that we're giving way to a generation of people missing out on the most beautiful things in life because they constantly have to be entertained by little tiny thing called an iPhone.

Now don't get me wrong: I love Apple and I think their products are wonderful. But I think that they and all of the other technology-based companies are slowly creating one of the most unsocial generations we've ever seen.

It's a generation of people that can't connect and can't see the beauty of what's around them in life.

It's a generation that's lost.

I coach people all the time who are more comfortable texting or emailing me than talking on the phone. Or they'd rather just talk on the phone than meet me in real life.

If I'm coaching someone in my city of Los Angeles, I'll at times demand that we talk face-to-face, just so I can pry them from their smartphones or iPads or computer screens.

A large part of me wanted to walk over to that family in Hawaii, take the kids phone and launch it into the pool, then smack the parents around with the lunch menus and say, "Hey! Talk to your kid! Be a family. Look each other in the eye. Smile."

But that would be imprudent of me, no?

We're becoming a fast-food, fast-technology, digital generation of over-sharing consumers with no real social skills.

And it's time to save ourselves.

Forget about reading the New York Times on the subway to work. Talk to someone.

Forget about playing Angry Birds on your phone while waiting for your coffee at Starbucks. Call your girlfriend and say "Hi".

Forget about going over your business emails while your wife is preparing dinner. Play with your kid.

Forget about the technology for a few moments each day, lest we forget about what we're creating -- a lost generation.