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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Aired February 19, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is Piers Morgan Live.
Tonight, the moment we've all been waiting for. Well, I have anyway, a moment three years in the making.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, FOUNDER, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR "O" MAGAZINE: You're good. You are good.
MORGAN: Thank you.
WINFREY: And I'm not just trying to flatter you. Yeah, it's good.
MORGAN: You don't mean that if you want to but ...
WINFREY: It's good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Morgan: She's back, Oprah, along with Editor-At-Large of "O" Magazine Gayle King and CNN's own, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. They're teaming up to battle an epidemic for 60 million Americans. You may be one of them and not know, it's loneliness, and it's not just in your head, it could be affecting your health and could even shorten your life.
Tonight, Oprah, Gayle and Sanjay here live for the hour with a simple remedy and it all starts right now.
Our The Big Story tonight, Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King and Sanjay Gupta take aim against loneliness.
Oprah would join us in a few moments but here with me now, Gayle King from CBS This Morning and CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. OK.
GAYLE KING, ANCHOR OF CBS THIS MORNING: Hello, Piers, hello.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello.
MORGAN: This is a really important issue. And Sanjay, I know that you came up with the concept for this for the magazine. Explain why and explain the key findings. GUPTA: Well, for me you know, sort of thinking about this issue was in many ways thinking about what we can -- anybody could do to try and combat something that we see everyday. And, you know, as a doctor, I was sort of realizing that if someone had a cardiac arrest for example, you might know to go over and start pumping on their chest.
But when we see somebody who is suffering maybe from loneliness, just someone who is off to themselves, doesn't seem to be really be interacting in some way. We usually tend to avoid even more.
So what was the CPR of that? That was sort of the question and that's how this started.
And there was also this idea that loneliness overall was increasing in this country and possibly becoming associated with all of these other physical findings.
Key finding? Loneliness by itself more than obesity, more than chronic alcohol use, more than air pollution leads to early death.
MORGAN: I mean, kind if incredible here, we have this -- the statistics here. Pollution increases your risk of early death by six percent, obesity 23 percent, excessive alcohol 37percent. Researches found that loneliness can increase your risk by a whopping 45percent, more than those other three.
Gayle, I'm astonished by that.
KING: Again, you know, what's fascinating to me about this? I was too and when he first brought it to us at the magazine, it's the type of thing, Piers, that nobody wants to talk about.
People would much rather say that they are depressed.
MORGAN: You're so right.
KING: Then say that they are lonely because you think, if I say I'm lonely, you think I'm a loser, you think I don't have any friends, you think nobody likes me, you think what's wrong me. So when he brought this idea to us and said, "If we could just encourage people to talk to each other and it was so in the DNA of the magazine ...
KING: ... and Oprah is all about connecting people, with a simple word of "Just Say Hello" and that's where it ...
MORGAN: And you've had that inkling reaction to this ...
MORGAN: ... to Oprah's Facebook.
KING: It was just launched yesterday.
MORGAN: Right. And some amazing statistics in terms of response from people.
KING: Yeah, you know, listen, Oprah is all, Oprah Facebook's a lot, she's on Instagram a lot but she said that she has had more hits talking about this than anything else that she's ever posted. It definitely struck a nerve.
MORGAN: We'll have Oprah on soon to discuss this. The bottom line says that people with strong ties to family, this are your words, Sanjay, friends or coworkers have a 50percent greater chance of outliving those with fewer social connections. Again, an extraordinary statistic.
GUPTA: And the thing is that we used to believe for a long time. It was simply because if you had friends, they were more likely to check in on you and encourage you to go to the doctor, you know, encourage you to take care of your health.
But it seems to be more than that. People who are lonely or even perceive themselves to be lonely, perceive social isolation, that's what's called. They actually have changes in the body both within the brain and the body. The brain perceives threats that aren't there, they live with these high stress levels all the time, they don't sleep as well.
MORGAN: Is it just an emotional pain or is it also a medically diagnosable physical pain?
GUPTA: Well, it is a physical pain as well. And what I mean by that, let me be precise, is that the areas of the brain that are responsible for physical pain, those are the same areas of the brain that will light up in someone who has chronic loneliness. They feel physical pain by all times and purposes.
So they are really suffering in that regard but they also because of the increased inflammation, because of the suppressed immune system, they're more likely to die early or have all these different problems.
MORGAN: You've got this video campaign, "Just Say Hello".
We'll look at it and we can take that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WINFREY: When was the last time you said, "hello" to a stranger passing you on the street, to a friend you hadn't seen in years?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Just imagining how most of my viewer feel of Oprah Winfrey and say to me, "Hello".
KING: Piers, don't be surprised if she doesn't do that.
MORGAN: Well, you know her better than me. Does she do that?
KING: Yes, of course.
MORGAN: I could ask here in a minute.
KING: Piers, we should say that. You can ask her when she joins us because she's going to be joining us with Skype. We're working on this campaign with Skype because that's part of the way you can say "hello" by the way, just Skyping with somebody.
MORGAN: Well, I know, I mean listen, I've got three sons who live in England for example. I think without Skype, it would be incredibly difficult ...
KING: Yes, yes.
MORGAN: ... to hold down a job in a different country to my sons. But because of Skype, it's almost like you're in the room.
MORGAN: We're going to discuss the social aspect of that technology in a later segment because that itself can bring up its own problems.
Let me ask you, Gayle. Have you ever been lonely? You're gregarious character by nature. Have you have periods of genuine loneliness?
KING: I know. I had to think about this. I actually did because there is a difference between being alone and being lonely, don't you think?
MORGAN: A lot of people love being alone. I don't like moments when I'm alone.
KING: You know, I like it but I don't want a whole lot of alone time. I really don't. I don't want a whole lot of alone time. But just this past weekend, I had one of those weekends, Piers, where you don't leave the house at all. I did bathe but I didn't leave the house at all.
And I thought, you know, my phone hasn't rang all weekend and I thought, you know, that's kind of odd.
GUPTA: I could have called you.
KING: Yeah, no. Not one person called me nor did I call anybody else. But by Sunday night, I was thinking, you know, God, is there anybody I want to talk to? But I don't really feel times that I feel lonely, I really don't.
MORGAN: I'm always around. Yeah, you just have to e-mail, call.
KING: I really haven't had that, I haven't had it yet.
MORGAN: Sanjay, have you?
GUPTA: Yeah, I've had periods where I've been lonely, you know, and I think that, you know, you go through periods of life where you're very busy and so you don't recognize it as much. But all of a sudden you take a step back and you take a breath and you think, wow I ...
KING: Does lonely mean you're sad, Sanjay? Can you be lonely?
MORGAN: Yeah, you see, I think that's a really interesting point because there must be degrees of this.
KING: Yeah, yeah.
MORGAN: There's loneliness from mourning a loved one, right?
MORGAN: If you lose a spouse for example, there can't be a greater loneliness than what you feel. If a friend dies or leaves the country or ...
MORGAN: ... you're away from your kids, that must be a category of loneliness.
But is that really what we're talking about here or are these big numbers about the number of people who just are on their own.
GUPTA: Right, and so at any given time there's about 60 million people who fall into some category of loneliness either melancholy because of some loss or chronic loneliness and chronic loneliness is chronic. It's not something that just as a weekend or is after mourning in the loss of something or someone.
This is something that just goes on and on and on. You literally have no one that you talk to. There are people that I interviewed for this article who said it is toxic, it is unceasing, it is brutal.
And when they're describing it like that, you get an idea of just how painful that type of loneliness is. There are people that I talked to who said they hadn't spoken to anybody in two weeks.
KING: In two weeks.
GUPTA: In two weeks.
KING: But you know what guys, it's easy to do that though. You go to the airport these days. You can go do it at a kiosk.
You go to the drugstore. You can check out all by yourself. You can go to the bank and use the automated machine.
KING: To work from home, is it?
GUPTA: Yeah, you can work from -- you can do that and you realize that you haven't spoken.
MORGAN: You can order anything you really need online ...
KING: Online without talking to people.
MORGAN: ... without the liberty, without going to old-fashion doors.
KING: But, Sanjay, two weeks is a long time.
GUPTA: It's a long time, and the thing is that, you know, we humans are tribal creatures. Evolutionarily, we survive and thrive because we were tribal. We took care of each of other.
And so, I think from an evolutionary standpoint when you start to lose that social contact, your brain reacts to that. You get sort of relegated to the perimeter.
MORGAN: There's some figure here. Harvard Medical School followed nearly 45,000 people who've had heart disease or were high risk of developing it.
Over four years, they tracked the process of its health and they found that those who lived alone were more likely to die from heart attack, stroke, or other heart related problems than those who live with others.
And we've also have a graphic which is based on your research, Sanjay, which is when you got a good circle of friends, it has the opposite effect in your health. It can be beneficial, fewer colds, lower blood pressure, less stress, better sleep, improved cognition.
I mean, again, really remarkable findings because you would never attach all this kind of thing, good or bad, to simply having good company.
GUPTA: Right. And we've gone probably in the other direction. We sort of diminished the importance of actually having these social connections, but it's a simple thing to do and you know, saying "hello" is sort of that window into people -- loneliness that can help address a lot of these problems.
It's not a fancy new medication, procedure, or blockbuster drug, it's a "hello" and it can make a huge difference.
KING: And, Piers, everybody can do that. That's what I thought was a genius of what Sanjay brought to us. It's so easy and so simple to do. Everybody can do it.
MORGAN: Well, I've been feeling a bit lonely.
KING: When was the last time you said "hello" to somebody you didn't know?
MORGAN: I'm about to do just that, Gayle. I'm about to say "hello" to somebody very, very, very important, as you know, because her name is Oprah.
GUPTA: All right.
MORGAN: We'll answer your question tonight. Tweet us at PiersMorganLive using the hashtag Just Say Hello.
When we come back, the great Oprah Winfrey joins me and talks about how stars like Tom Hanks, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts are getting involved in the "Just Say Hello" campaign.
Hello Oprah. She can hear me. She'll be here any moment live.
KING: She's on Skype.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM HANKS, ACTOR: Hello.
JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTRESS: How are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Babe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey. Hey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's going on?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A hello to anybody is like a warm hug.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a warm hug.
WINFREY: This is what I want you to do, just say hello to a person that you hadn't even thought of saying hello to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN: That's a few of the stars who've joined Oprah, Gayle and Sanjay, the battle of Americas loneliness epidemic and joining me now is Oprah Winfrey the Founder and Editorial Director of "O" Magazine.
She joins us via Skype communicating with us in a modern technological way and I'm here obviously with Gayle and Sanjay. I think we should great Oprah in the way she would like. Hello.
GUPTA: Hello Oprah.
MORGAN: Oprah, how are you.
WINFREY: I'm fantastic. You know what it is interesting about this? I have probably done a hundred of these but I've always on the other side of the camera. We with the Oprah Show in like 2000 something we're the first people to ever use Skype and I remember ...
WINFREY: ... you know, when it was, you know, we're still crapling (ph) and people look like they were on Mars.
KING: Yeah. Yeah.
WINFREY: This is exciting more like moving in slow motion. It wasn't quite synced up.
MORGAN: Yeah, that is very cool and also ...
KING: You look good. You look good.
MORGAN: And talking of anniversaries which I'm just about to. It's three years, Oprah, since you helped me launch this very show.
WINFREY: I know, wasn't that nice of me?
MORGAN: You were. You know what, it was damn nice of you and I've been thanking on air ever since. So I can now thank you in person. You were incredibly kind and generous to me so thank you.
WINFREY: Yes. Because, you know, and since that time everybody else who launches his show says, "But you did Piers."
KING: That's right. It is so true.
MORGAN: Well, there's only one me obviously, Oprah. I knew you would say that to get to me.
Let's talk about loners, Oprah, because when I interviewed you one of the things that really struck me was two things really. You've been through some very tough times in your life and you were very frank and honest about them. And also, when I said to you to name how many people you would consider to be really, really good friends. You said probably less than five. One of whom is sitting with me, Gayle.
Have you had periods of real genuine loneliness in your life do you think?
WINFREY: Absolutely not. As I was listening to you all, I was thinking first of all that 45 percent figure is really striking and it makes me sad and I think this effort on the part of the magazine is a way to try to change those figures for people who do feel that sense of loneliness. But Gayle will tell you, Stedman will tell you that I am really happy being with myself and ...
GAYLE KING: With yourself and your thoughts.
WINFREY: And my thoughts.
KING: She's very happy.
WINFREY: Which Gayle will say, "What are you doing? Are you being alone with your thoughts?"
WINFREY: I really get recharged from being alone. I spend a lot of time -- I mean Stedman's on the road a lot so I spend a lot of time with myself and the dogs and I really enjoy that because I never feel like, "Oh gee, I don't have anybody to do anything with or." and I spend more time alone than anybody would even imagine.
MORGAN: Really? I mean like what? I mean how long could you go without any other contact?
KING: Piers, she could live in a house and never turn on a TV.
KING: I can't imagine but it's true. She -- I've been to her house sometimes and she doesn't even know how to turn on the TV, like "Where is the remote?" She's just not one of these people that's a big TV watcher. So she's not -- it's not something that she's just saying. It's true.
MORGAN: But, Oprah, is that because you -- because of your huge fame and success and so on that you've get so many people who want to piece of you all the time when you're out and about doing your thing. But actually, you really, you know, pride yourself on having time to yourself away from all that.
WINFREY: I think it's that but I also think that as a little girl growing up. I was -- my grandmother's only grandchild growing up and I made peace with myself at an early age and I was really content with myself and with books.
Now, I'm content being alone but if you put me alone and they were no books around and there was no way to have any kind of, you know, engagement with the outside world through books that would be a very sad situation.
MORGAN: This is campaign, Oprah, the "Just Say Hello" we saw a lot of stars there, you're using your star power as always to hook in the biggest names. What is -- from your point of view, the key points of this campaign?
WINFREY: The key point is to let people know that there is power and you're being able to just say, "Hello", thank you Rita Wilson for that."
KING: That's Rita Wilson. Rita Wilson wrote the song.
MORGAN: She did?
KING: Yeah. Rita Wilson wrote the song for us.
MORGAN: I love Rita Wilson.
WINFREY: Wilson did that that there's power in just, you know, it sounds cliche to say that if you just smile with some -- at someone or pay attention to someone but I don't know if I -- I can't remember if I shared this with you three years ago when we talk about the greatest lesson that learned in The Oprah Winfrey Show.
And I learned that early on is that every human being -- and you can back me off on this Dr. Gupta, is every human being is looking for one thing and that is to be validated ...
WINFREY: ... to be seen and to be heard. And what I learned on the Oprah Show is that all the interviews that I did although, you know, thousands of them and multiple subjects, at the end of almost every interview in one form or another, somebody would always lean in and say, "Is that OK?, "Is that OK?" because -- and I started to see that pattern and what I realize is that everybody is looking for the same thing no matter -- if it's, you know, politicians, senators, presidents, Beyonce and all of her Beyonceness are all looking to know, "Did you see me, did you hear me and did what I say mean anything to you." So, just saying hello is a way of validating even a stranger.
MORGAN: And, Oprah, do you actually go around practicing what you preach? I can't imagine you walking down the street, barking hello at random strangers but I absolutely ...
KING: Well, the word, Piers, barking is that it put you in the different ...
MORGAN: Well, I didn't mean it quite a like that, but you know what I mean -- I mean, you know, very well sort of, you know, ordinary people doing it but Oprah Winfrey going around saying "Hello." It could be slightly alarming if are ready for it.
WINFREY: No. But this is what I do to -- if I -- this is -- I try to get people eye contact unless I am on my way to some place and I know that giving eye contact is going to change the situation. So, I think being able to give somebody eye contact, acknowledgment, a nod. Now, I will do more than a nod, because now people say, I thought she had that hello campaign. So, now, I got to do more than just...
KING: But we have opened the door for you. Just say "hello."
KING: I can see it though (ph) Yeah. MORGAN: What's interesting also, Oprah, is that you've -- obviously, since you gave up your hugely popular show, you've now got even more people following you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you got 23 million people on Twitter alone. That gives you this huge, huge collection of people. Many of whom you don't know at all other than through social media. From your experience at social media, is it a force for good or is it also in some way a cover for people perhaps not to interact in the way you just suggested?
WINFREY: Oh, I think it's both and I think it's certainly is a tool that if you choose to use it as force for good, you can. And as we all know, from time to time, you get those Twitter and Facebook folks. You want to use it for -- for, you know, something that's -- lesson the most positive. But I've found it to be extraordinary and being able to connect to people. Just before I came on here, I've been tweeting every five minutes saying, "I'm going to be on Piers."
MORGAN: Well, I know you can hardly contain your excitement. I mean it was quite palpable from your tweeting.
KING: No. But I think a good point to make here is you can start this conversation Piers on social media. But at some point, we're encouraging you to engage. So reach out to somebody through social media. But at some point, pick up the phone, pay someone a visit. Make sure that there's a face to face interaction, and...
WINFREY: And I would say -- say too -- and I dint mean to interrupt you...
KING: Go ahead
WINFREY: ... but I think -- I think that -- and when you're asking me earlier about my own sense of, you know, being alone and loneliness...
WINFREY: ... I don't have that because I have always been the kind of kid who was content with my self. You know, I think that's just my nature, that's not something that happened to me because...
MORGAN: Do you know lonely people Oprah?
WINFREY: Do I know lonely people? No, I really don't because I'm just saying hello to them. I'm reaching out to them and (inaudible) have any reason to be lonely.
MORGAN: Well, I will ask because Gayle is personally your best friend. Since you went a whole weekend recently, very recently...
KING: She was in London.
MORGAN: ... and nobody contact you at all.
MORGAN: ... and "where the hell is Oprah?" KING: In London.
MORGAN: ... and her friends are with me.
WINFREY: I was in your town...
KING: Yes, I just didn't really...
WINFREY: ... I was in town and Gayle, didn't I e-mail you like three to four times?
KING: Yeah, yeah.
MORGAN: How is your British accent coming along Oprah?
WINFREY: Well, it's not that good. I was actually interviewing Russell Bryan who told me not to embarrass my self anymore.
KING: Did he say that to you?
GUPTA: Hey, that's funny.
WINFREY: Well, Sanjay, was that your idea of an English accent? Pathetic Oprah pathetic.
MORGAN: I want to play a little clip. This is in Jerry Seinfeld on last night's Tonight Show. I just want to place into all of this. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY SEINFELD, COMEDIAN: Talking is over. Who wants to talk -- to talk, oh my God, I got to talk. Do I have to talk to this person now? Talking is work. You got to make facial expressions like go with what you're saying, different hand gestures. You got to suck air in. You got to blow it out. Talking is over. It's obsolete. It's antiquated. I feel like a blacksmith up here sometimes to be able to show. If you want, I could text you this whole thing. We can get the hell out of here.
E-mail, text, we love it, because when we communicate to another person, we want them to know I could have called you and I chose not to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: See Oprah...
KING: That's funny.
MORGAN: ... you said you e-mail Gayle repeatedly but ...
KING: That's right.
MORGAN: ... you never pick the phone up. But there's an interesting point there, isn't it? Because when I was thinking about this when I came in today, the amount of people that I now communicate with almost exclusively through texting or e-mail because of time differences and so on. It's just easier, isn't it Oprah, to do that.
Should people embrace that and say, you know what, it's a form of communication. Or is a personal interaction of hearing a voice, seeing somebody, shaking your hand, saying hello, like you said, actually in the end more important?
WINFREY: Well, I think that it depends upon what you're talking about. I mean, I think for, you know, business purposes and for short hand, you can get a lot of things done through e-mail which I'm also so fascinated about it. I mean, you know, I have all these girls that I've -- that are in school and you know, even, you know, it's just surprising to me every time I can Skype or I can FaceTime with them and they're like come on get over it memo (ph). But I get fascinated every time. I'm like, where do those little words come from? Like they -- like travel through the sky and they end up there. But I also feel that being able to pick up the phone which I still do. Gayle and I, you know, been speaking to -- on the phone to each other since we were 21 and 22.
WINFREY: And still continue to do that.
MORGAN: Did you ever argue by the way? Do you have a lot -- have real screaming argument?
WINFREY: Oh, screaming is not a part of my life.
WINFREY: No, I don't scream at anybody. You would be hard-pressed if I can name in my life the number of people I screamed at.
MORGAN: Go on then.
WINFREY: I will not name them.
KING: I will.
MORGAN: Go on Gayle. Throw me a bone here come on, come on. Tell me at least one name you screamed at.
WINFREY: Screamed at and neither one of them are part of my life anymore, but yeah.
KING: That's right.
MORGAN: Really? Only two people?
WINFREY: In my entire life. MORGAN: That's amazing.
WINFREY: I'm not a screamer. Are you a screamer?
MORGAN: Well, I screamed at more than two people. I've had -- I'm not probably even had today.
WINFREY: Well, that's sort of not what just say hello to them.
KING: Is that Oprah screaming?
KING: But, I do think this is fascinating though because, as Oprah just said, someone who doesn't get lonely, but yet, you really do see the benefits of a campaign like this. Because, you know, when Sanjay came to us with the statistics about how debilitating this is for a lot of people, we all jumped on board immediately with that.
KING: Including Oprah. It wouldn't happen with that.
WINFREY: (Inaudible) board and Skyping with you all is because I see the benefit. The man ask me, "Gayle, did I get lonely?"
KING: No not -- no, no and I hear that. I hear that and (inaudible)...
MORGAN: I know what you two pouring out now throughout (ph) the time.
WINFREY: No. (Inaudible)
MORGAN: I want to believe (ph) would that be?
KING: But then he's going into, "Who are you screaming at? I don't think you guys is (inaudible)...
MORGAN: I think it might be you in a minute...
KING: ... just say hello.
MORGAN: ... if you keep talking to Oprah, this all help (ph) could break lose. And I have to break in as a referee. Sanjay, you're the referee here. Let's not have a dispute between girl in open live on air.
MORGAN: But there was a serious point to this Dr. Sanjay...
MORGAN: ... which is... KING: I'm trying to get back to that Piers Morgan.
MORGAN: I should think he's fascinated that Oprah just screamed at two people. It's another bomb shell revelation. I didn't know that, didn't you? I thought I knew everything up to my last interview.
KING: And you know, after now, he's going to track them down.
MORGAN: Sanjay, let's talk about the impact of this campaign -- I think it's a fantastic campaign by the way. And I salute all three of you for running this and for getting so much heat behind it. And as Gayle was saying, a huge attraction now on Oprah social media networks and so on.
MORGAN: Sorry. I think...
WINFREY: On my self that it's the most response ever.
WINFREY: I've stood by that. As I always did like one...
MORGAN: Does that surprise you Oprah?
WINFREY: Yes, it's amazing.
MORGAN: Yeah. Sanjay, what is the -- if you know somebody that you think is lonely, what is the best way to try and make them less lonely?
GUPTA: Well, you know...
MORGAN: Other than just saying hello, what else could be done?
GUPTA: You know, don't minimize just saying hello. You know, I mean, the reality is that there's so much avoidance behavior that takes place. I mean we all know people. Right now, people who are watching, they know somebody likely who lives in their building or at their workplace or something who they would say that's a lonely person, describe them as a loner, whatever it may be. And right now, the typical sort of saying that happen is you -- they just get avoided...
GUPTA: ... they get ignored. So, the idea is that just saying hello isn't where it ends, it's where it begins.
KING: Yes, right.
GUPTA: It's a window of difference.
MORGAN: I know I have to make us slightly more lonely now because Oprah has to leave. And Oprah, you've been an absolute... KING: Oprah, where are you going?
MORGAN: ... absolute stuff...
KING: Where are you going?
WINFREY: I'm going home. I'm going home to be with my thoughts.
KING: OK. Sanjay, and I will hold it down, well represent.
MORGAN: Oprah, you've extended your stay with us much longer than I anticipated as you did last time I interviewed you. You've been very kind again. I thank you again.
KING: She looks like you are something, Piers.
MORGAN: The last time -- I think we have a natural rapport after that.
KING: She must like you.
MORGAN: I do.
WINFREY: Natural rapport.
MORGAN: I'm not sure (inaudible).
WINFREY: Sanjay Gupta, thank you for bringing this fabulous idea to us. And I, you know, I just want to echo what you've said that it starts with hello and being able to extend your self, I think for everybody who's watching around the world -- Piers, isn't this amazing, you're around the world every night?
MORGAN: It is. Thanks again, Oprah.
WINFREY: People -- it is. It's amazing that everybody is watching around the world. If there's somebody that you've been thinking -- of course, "I wonder how that person is doing," or...
WINFREY: ... you see somebody and you think, "well, I wonder if I went up and say hello to them." Maybe that might make a difference in their day. And just say, "How are you doing?" "Hello, how are you doing?"
MORGAN: Well Oprah, ironically, I'm now going to have use a different word which is good bye. But it's been fantastic having you and I really appreciate your time. Thank you very much indeed.
WINFREY: Thank you.
GUPTA: Thank you Oprah.
MORGAN: What a lovely lady over us. Gayle and Sanjay will stay with me. When we come back, I want to talk about some of the things that can a make a person feel disconnected. But first, watch what happens to Steve Martin in the classic film "The Lonely Guy."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes?
STEVE MARTIN: Hi. Do you have a table for dinner?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certainly, sir. How many in your party?
STEVE MARTIN: I'm alone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alone? Follow me sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning apartment, good morning doorway, good morning mat, good morning ceiling, good morning floor. Ready to start the day. Here it is. Instructions to fit in, have everybody like you and always be happy. Step one, breath. OK. Get that one down. Step two, greet the day, smile, and say good morning city.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A clip from the very popular "The Lego Movie" with what might be a pretty good cure for loneliness. Well, back with me now is Gayle King and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Great film to open there, but also a lot of good serious points I think.
KING: It was -- what can I say, your producers have done a great job. Don't you think Sanjay?
KING: Pulling great clips to illustrate what we're talking about today.
MORGAN: We have the best team in show business, Gayle. You know that.
KING: Oh no, I might differ with you all day. I'm thinking CBS this morning.
MORGAN: Of course you are.
Here is a very serious point Sanjay...
KING: Yes. MORGAN: ... away from all this, which is in your research, you worked on a theory that I've seen explored many times on this show which is that many mass shootings in America involved people who are described as loners and indeed many criminal acts of that kind that committed by people who are loners. Is a loner the same as somebody who is lonely?
GUPTA: Not necessarily. There are people who self-imposed. They become loners because they choose to become that way. And that doesn't mean lonely people necessary have chosen that way of life. And as Gayle and I talked about from the very beginning, most people who are lonely are not at all violent. There's not an absolute or any kind of correlation really there at all. What struck me though when I was talking to somebody these experts around the school shootings, we don't -- we know the people who are mentally I'll are more likely to be victims of crime rather than perpetrators, but, this idea of loner or loneliness or some sort of social isolation kept coming up over and over again. And that was what really in some way sparks this whole thing. What was it about that feeling of loneliness, that desperation?
MORGAN: And you can't help thinking Sanjay that if people are able to pick on people and -- who are behaving in that way who appeared to be loners and try and interact with them, I'm sure they do, but if tried harder, you could perhaps avoid some of this trying to this happening because it's the disconnection. But sometimes -- and then the blurring of fantasy and reality, they comes from it.
GUPTA: When you are lonely and you're not interacting, basically, you lose social context.
MORGAN: And playing video games and anything.
GUPTA: Whatever it maybe, you would otherwise be a harmless innocuous things suddenly is seen is a big threat. You're seeing that living on the periphery. Everyone else is in the inside. They're getting all the access to the resources of the society. You're on the outside sort of looking in. You're stressed all the time. You don't sleep well at night. Your cortisol levels are always high. These things have a toll on your body and your mind.
MORGAN: Gayle, what do think of this?
KING: Well, you know, what I think, I think in this age of Instagram and Twitter, we're always posting all the great stuff we're doing. I'm here, I'm there, I'm out with friends.
KING: No one's going to send you a picture, Piers, of laying in the bed in a fetal position. Or where they just don't feel particularly good about themselves or that they are, you know, what gets me is you can be a very well known outgoing social person and still feel that you don't have any friends.
KING: That you were still not kind of ...
GUPTA: You could be surrounded by people.
KING: Yeah. You could -- that's exactly right. You can be surrounded by people and still feel "I'm all alone" and that's the people that we're trying to talk to today. I have a friend of a friend who had a baby recently and she said, "You know, I have a great husband, I love the children" -- it was their second baby -- she said, "but I'm just feeling very lonely."
KING: How could you be feeling lonely? "I just want somebody who will talk to me."
KING: You know, now, when you look at this woman on the outside she looks great, she's attractive, she's successful, you know, and her marriage looks great from the outside looking in, but here is somebody who is lonely. And that's the people that we're talking about today.
MORGAN: Let's take a short break. And we're going to bring in somebody actually who can give us a first person encounter of what it feels like to be lonely. A young woman who seems to have it all despite that you were describing there that feels the real pain of loneliness. I want you to hear what she has to say and to get your reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARRIE BRADSHAW: The thing is there are some things people don't admit because they just don't like the way it sounds like, "I'm getting divorced." I'm lonely, I am. My loneliness is palpable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A poignant moment from Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw saying it out loud. She's lonely.
Well, back with me now Gayle King and Sanjay Gupta. Also joining me is Frances Reimers, the Senior Account Executive from PCI communications. (Inaudible) fighting her own battle with loneliness. Frances, welcome to you.
FRANCES REIMERS, SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, PCI: Thank you for having me.
MORGAN: So I'm looking at you and I'm seeing somebody who's clearly successful. You're very beautiful. You seem to have all things in life going for you. Why you're lonely?
REIMERS: Well, it's really -- it comes about by just everyday hustle and bustle and even though I have a great family and great girl friends, I think over time we just kind of disconnect ourselves. And I just -- on occasion, you'll go through periods of life where it just feels like you're very isolated from everyone around you.
I travel a lot. I work long hours and slowly but surely overtime, you just become disconnected and...
MORGAN: And is there something, Frances, that you feel you can tell people, you can tell your friends or family, "I'm feeling lonely" or as we discussed early, is there a weird stigma around the word lonely on loneliness that means people don't really talk about it? They prefer to say I'm feeling down or depressed.
REIMERS: Right. Well, I feel like I can talk about it because I have zero filter, whatsoever, but I do -- I do feel. I do feel that especially amongst type A, career-driven women that talking about being lonely or feeling disconnected is very taboo.
I think that there is very much stigma that surrounds, especially this cohort of women because it kind of points to -- well if you're lonely, then you don't have it all. You really haven't achieved it all, so it's not talked about, it's not discussed. And even when it is, it's talked about in a very passive way, a very kind of "Oh yeah, I'm feeling very melancholy today and life goes on". It's really not addressed wholeheartedly.
KING: And nobody calls what it is.
MORGAN: Gayle is it a problem that affects more women than men, do you think?
KING: I think that's a better question for you.
MORGAN: Sanjay, what do you think?
KING: But I would think so.
GUPTA: Yes. I think the numbers are higher for women. I mean -- and it varies by age group as well, you know. People on their 40s seem to be the affected the most by this. They say -- I don't know exact what the demographic break down was in that age group, but women, by slightly more, but men are affected by this as well.
It's very hard to measure for a lot of the reasons Frances is talking about. I mean, people don't talk about this openly. There's a researcher, John Cacioppo, who's in the article, who's by, done the most research on this and to get some of his data, it involves, actually, having people share some very...
KING: Very (inaudible) thing. That's why I'm so impressed with Frances. Number one Frances, bravo to you for talking about it. We were so thrilled...
REIMERS: Thank you.
KING: ... when you agreed to do an interview in the magazine because, as you see, she's very articulate, very smart. But now that we've seen your face on the Piers Morgan show that people will recognize you, are you worried about that? Did you have any trepidation about coming on and now showing your full face? And you look good.
KING: Are you worried?
REIMERS: No. I think -- I think, no, absolutely not. I feel it's extremely important that we talk about this. I had a lot of friends and colleagues and Piers reached out to me when they heard that I was part of this and say, you know," I have felt this way, too, bravo for bringing this to the surface."
I really hope that people who see the magazine article or maybe see what's being talked about on Twitter or even at home tonight that it really gets the wheels and their brains turning. And it encourages them to pick up the phone and talk to that, that old friend or, you know, you didn't want to go that friend's wedding this summer, go. Have those persons to person relationships. Get back in touch with people because, really, we're only given so much time.
MORGAN: And we're getting and let's just check my phone. I mean, absolutely extra ordinary response, probably the same to Oprah experience and you, Gayle, with -- when you run the article.
Yeah, a lot of people sending something, how to deal loneliness is insightful and have some taboo or stigma as the subject. It's Jared Rigby (ph) bravo into speaking about it.
Interesting question here, though, I have one for you, maybe, Sanjay. This is from a guy called Richie (ph). D.Richie might be woman. I'll check (inaudible), maybe. One of the younger generation don't seem to communicate except through social media. It's time -- only now disadvantage. But it could work both ways. What if you're not text savvy at all and you've been excluded from the wider group at school or college or wherever it maybe?
GUPTA: Yes that interesting. It could come both ways. I don't want to minimize social media. I think social media, as Gayle said, is well, can be a really interesting beginning step to profound social connections. In fact, there was a staff that John shares that says online marriages and marriages that started online actually had a better rate of success than marriage at (inaudible) line.
MORGAN: Is that right?
GUPTA: Yes. I thought that was interesting statistics.
KING: I think it, too.
GUPTA: But I think -- but, you know, it has to be followed up with some genuine social connection. And by the way, if you're looking somebody in the eye, you know, we talk about Skype, we joke around, but you get to look your sons in the eye when Skyping them... MORGAN: Yes.
GUPTA: ... that's very different than texting. It's still -- even technology.
MORGAN: My youngest, for example, he is 13, but he likes to coming from school, call me on Skype and I just hang around in the background and you come and go. We'll go have a tea, you'll come -- today, you're probably on with me for an hour and a half.
KING: But it wasn't seen in your own screen.
MORGAN: I wish you don't even bleatingly (ph) there for about 20 minutes. But he likes doing that.
KING: I like that.
MORGAN: And I like it, too. He's like he's on the roof.
KING: Yes, I like. My son's in China and I Skype with him quite often.
MORGAN: So it's in the (inaudible)?
KING: Yes and it's very different than picking up the phone just to be able to see your son's face.
MORGAN: Yes, I totally agree.
KING: But listen this is the thing, Piers. This has happened to all of us. You're on an elevator with a group of people and we all are looking at our smartphones. You can be on the elevator with six different people and no one is communicating.
KING: And one of the things I like that we did in magazine is, you know, we give you different things, encourage you different ways to engage with people.
So I tried this today at the Hearst building. I said to the group in the elevator, "You guys want to hear elevator joke?" They we're like, "Sure go ahead."
MORGAN: What was the joke?
KING: I said, "What did one elevator say to the other elevator?"
MORGAN: Go on.
KING: I think I'm coming down with something. See, isn't that coming?
MORGAN: Well, it's terrible. I mean, that's full of jokes (inaudible).
KING: No, but it reached out. It's so terrible that it's funny.
MORGAN: If it makes you feel happy, then probably bonded the rest of the elevator.
KING: It did, it did.
MORGAN: Every thing this gal's joking tells somebody...
GUPTA: That joke will be told to many elevators tomorrow right there.
KING: Yes, I think so too.
MORGAN: We're going to take a break. Frances, we'll leave you. I thank you so much Frances Reimers.
KING: Bye Frances.
MORGAN: ... for joining us. You've been a delight to have on the show and...
REIMERS: Thank you so much.
MORGAN: ... I wish you all the very best and ...
REIMERS: Thank you.
MORGAN: ... I'm sure that loneliness will be tinge now by your vastly popularity.
REIMERS: Thank you. I appreciate it.
MORGAN: Sanjay and Gayle, stay with me. When we come back, let's take some questions from people at home. Tweet us at Piers Morgan Live Hashtag Just Say Hello. We're getting an avalanche of your responses, so please join me.
KING: It's Rita Wilson's. Please read the song.
MORGAN: As we (inaudible).
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I'm happy. Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. Because I'm happy. Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now, don't be lonely. Gayle King's singing next to you. I mean, it's fantastic.
KING: Don't you feel like a room without a roof. That's Pharrell song. I love it.
MORGAN: I love Pharrell. He's with me last week.
GUPTA: Great guy.
MORGAN: A great guy, great hat. But recently, I have on twitter and facebook, huge response. Julie Garfell (ph) says and I quote "I've been suffering from ill health and for almost two years, I got my one little nephew and niece say hello. It brighten ups my day. I love them so much. Kids are in their own little world.
I can read to that. Look, two-year old girl and she's here to say hello, is she. And he can make everything feel different, so....
KING: Yes, she can change everything, yes.
MORGAN: ... if you're lucky enough to have children, you probably don't have this acute loneliness that comes from literally being on your own.
Sanjay, interesting question. Where is that holiday for you to say I always feel a bit down on winter? How much in the season's plant on to (ph) people's mood? I would have a follow up to you which is right now, you know, if you're in one of the storm there, just like New York and you have these snow storms, if you're at home on your own, you can't get out for days on end, that, and yourself must make you feel very lonely?
GUPTA: Yeah, you know, it can. You know, these are...
KING: We can help those people.
GUPTA: Now, here's to stable, but that in no more than situational loneliness...
GUPTA: ...like things, like that. And -- but you know, there is this concept that you know that that's going to end at some point. There's only - it's going to end at some point for those people. And that's a very different sort of blush on loneliness versus people who just don't have any light at the end of the tunnel. They don't see this getting better anytime soon, so yeah.
And in the seasons, there's things seasonal affective disorder where -- when you have shorter days, you're more likely to give, you know, not as a brighter mood that could contribute to this but again, that goes away. This is much more like chronic loneliness.
MORGAN: If you really have getting from Twitter, (inaudible) to Gayle but it's so simple to campaign. Just say hello.
MORGAN: A number of people have said, what a great idea...
MORGAN: ... to just say hello to people...
MORGAN: ... who you think may just want to hear someone say hello.
KING: Yes. And say hello, hey...
MORGAN: What about yourself? What about for other people?
KING: No. But hello, how are you, how are you doing, what's up. However you want to do it. It's just -- the point of the whole campaign is just to make a connection with someone, someone that you know and you haven't talked to in a while or more importantly someone that you don't know that you think could use -- that could use some engagement. That's all they're asking.
GUPTA: This is also for the people who are saying hello, as well. People receive the greeting but also the greeters themselves...
MORGAN: I can see what a both ways, right.
GUPTA: People got a lot of that.
KING: Me too.
MORGAN: Just Say Hello is not just about if you're feeling lonely saying it to other people, it's the other way around as well. It's a two-way screw.
GUPTA: You're empowered. You've done something for someone. You've done that chest compression as well.
MORGAN: Let's take a short break. Come back for our final segment. It's been the first time I really said "Won't buy" (ph), isn't it?
KING: Yeah, really.
MORGAN: I'm not lonely at all in here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I'm happy. Clap along if you feel like ...
MORGAN: Gayle King and Sanjay Gupta are back with me now. I want to thank them both. They're one of my special guests and, of course, Oprah Winfrey. I'm going to say an amazing response on Twitter. I think you really had a nerve (ph) here. I want to carry on helping you guys with Just Say Hello. Thank you for being so forthright about...
KING: Thank you.
GUPTA: Thank you.
MORGAN: ... such as an important issue. Let's me just give you a quick couple of plugs. Dr. Sanjay, your show is Saturdays in CNN and of course Gayle, CBS This Morning at weekdays at CBS. Thank you both very much, indeed.
KING: Thank you.
GUPTA: That's good.
MORGAN: It's really good to see you.
GUPTA: Thank you.
MORGAN: And thank you for getting Oprah here again.
KING: Thank you.
MORGAN: Gayle's my go-to girl for Oprah.
KING: Yeah, right.
MORGAN: That's all for us tonight. Anderson Cooper starts right now.