March 19, 2014
The Pacific Heart is 3 years old! In human terms, that means my baby bloggy has been potty trained and is looking forward to jumping soon! I’m not sure what the developmental stages of blogs or bloggers are, though. There’s usually a quest for popularity and validation, which seems closest to the Ericksonian stage of Identity vs. Role Confusion, a hallmark of adolescence. There’s a wish to transmit knowledge in an entertaining way, and that seems like Generativity vs. Stagnation. But preening for the eyes of an adoring public could be healthy or unhealthy narcissism. I’ve never got a shortage of blog topics, but I do have a shortage of time. I typically put at least 3-6 hours into a blog post, and sometimes significantly more. I get a very small amount of income based on number of views, which I invest back into my other writing activities. Most significantly, I wrote a book this last year, about the psychology of social networks through a Buddhist lens. FACEBUDDHA: TRANSCENDENCE IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS will is <fingers crossed> en route to publication. A relationship mosaic, exploration of psychological research, and my own analysis, my readers and I agree that it is a fun and informative exploration of modern day issues. Sylvia Boorstein, noted Buddhist teacher says “I think the book will be inspiring to many, many people.” Follow me on Twitter, Facebook or sign up for an occasional newsletter to be the first to know about publication.
Here are my top blog posts of the last year.
Yes, Katy Perry’s Performance Was Racist. Here’s Why. This post went viral and stimulated a lot of discussion and over 14,000 likes on Facebook. I followed it up with two other posts discussing the issues further, and those were also highly viewed. (Parrying Perry, More Thoughts on the Katy Perry Controversy, and Katy Perry: Apologize. There’s no “loving form of racism”.
Yellow Fever: The Exotification of Asian Women. This blog post examined stereotypes of Asian American women through a film, Seeking Asian Female that aired on PBS last year. Linked to that post was another high performer, Asian American Women Artists Exploding Stereotypes.
Spike Jonze’s Her: Existential and Emotional Questions. I enjoyed the movie Her, and it raised many questions about relationship that I’m still thinking about.
10 Reasons Why Facebook is Not the Happiest Place on Earth. A tidbit summary from my upcoming book.
The Psychology of Collecting. My performance at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco blended poetry, psychology, neuroscience and Buddhism to understand the drive to collect.
Underscoring Amy Chua. A rebuttal of Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld’s latest book, The Triple Package.
In addition to these top performers, there were other favorites of mine. I wrote a couple of posts (Hashtag Wielders Unite and I Have Met The Internet and it is Not Us) considering the psychology and culture of hashtag activism. And I also participated in a book discussion about Andrew Solomon’s Far From the Tree in three blog posts. I also discussed shame and exclusion on Facebook. More Pacific Heart Book Club to come. Like us on Facebook to find out more.
Looking back, I guess the theme of the year was relationship. To community, technology and family. I hope you enjoyed my work—and I look forward to providing more in the years to come.
Thanks to my editors and readers. Sometimes I write about controversial topics, and this triggers backlash that my editors undoubtedly have dealt with. Through it all, they’ve remained exceedingly professional and supportive, as have my fellow bloggers here at PT. Thanks to all of you for creating community and dialogue.
© 2014 Ravi Chandra, M.D. All rights reserved. Subscribe by RSS above. Sign up for a quarterly e-newsletter to be the first to find out about my upcoming book on the psychology of social networks through a Buddhist lens, Facebuddha: Transcendence in the Age of Social Networks, at www.RaviChandraMD.com. Facebook page: SanghaFrancisco-The Pacific Heart. Twitter @going2peace. Thanks for your shares on Facebook, etc.!