THE BLOG

Where Are the Good Old Days of Connection?

06/18/2015 02:39 pm ET | Updated Jun 18, 2016

You know you're getting old when you yearn for the good old days. When I was in Miami recently, I was standing in my hotel. I stayed at this beautiful hotel called the Shelborn on Collins Avenue. It has a great beach, a great lobby, and a great vibe to it.

But there's something going on with the younger generation of women I saw that scares the hell out of me.

There's a lot of narcissism around, and the female sex appears to be the biggest culprits. It feels like every woman under the age of 30 I run into is constantly taking pictures of herself. You wouldn't believe the amount of women I saw in the lobby taking selfies.

For who, I don't know. I feel like the generation under the age of 30 is not present for the life that's going on around them. The love affair they have with their phones is unreal. Whatever they're doing, they'll be looking at their phone too.

I was at the pool, and I smiled at this girl. Immediately she looked at her phone. She looked up and then she smiled back. It's like some kind of safety blanket. People are literally phone addicts and women are terrible at it. The amount of pictures they take for no reason at all.

The number of times they look at their phone, especially the younger generation. Everywhere we went, I'd see groups of people under the age of 30 sitting at a table, having dinner, and all of them are texting somebody else.

You grew up addicted. If you think about it, cell phones have been around for about 20 years. They've been a part of your life because you've seen your parents do it, but your parents probably were actually talking on the phone. Texting only became really popular in about 2005, and for the last 10 years you've been texting. If you're 24 years old, I can see you've been addicted to that since you were 14.

It's really changed the way we relate to one another. The whole dynamic of us as a culture is different. We're losing the interactions we used to have on a daily basis. Nobody talks to each other anymore. Nobody walks down the street and says hello. People are walking with their phones like they're a homing device.

It's sad. I don't want to feel like I'm old and I yearn for the 70s and 80s again, because I keep moving with the times. But I look at the younger generation and I think to myself, how are they ever going to connect with anybody?

It's sad.

I've said it 1,000 times. If you're single and you're going out, stop the selfies, stop the texting, and start communicating and flirting again. You're waiting for men to walk over, but you've put up another block -- your cell phone.

I can't say this enough, and I write about this so much... put the phone away. Put it away. There should be a national day without your phone.

I was talking to the cab driver on the way to the airport when I was leaving Miami at the ungodly hour at 5:45, and I got the chatty cab driver and he was talking about his kid. He's got a 25 year old daughter that one day he went to go pick up for dinner, about 10 minutes into the drive to the restaurant she had a panic attack.

She goes, "Dad, you need to turn the car around NOW!"

"Why?" He says.

"I forgot my phone." She cried.

"I can't go without the phone. I might get a text, There might be somebody who wants to call me."

He looks at her and says, "I want to see you wait for an hour, maybe an hour and a half. I'm going to ask you to give me your full, undivided attention. She took a deep breath; he saw the anxiety in her. She got a little combative, and then she took another deep breath and then she gave in. I asked him what happened after that dinner.

He said it was the nicest dinner we've had in years because she didn't look at the phone. He then went on to tell me that he was able to see into his daughter's eyes for the very first time in so long.
They related like never before because there was no distraction.

There was no outside force coming in making you answer a text or an e-mail or whoever it might be. We've become Pavlov dogs when it comes to our phone; especially the younger generation. I say we just have a 70's day all over again. Bring back connections with each other.