The Angry Asian Showdown at the Social Media Corral

The "Angry Asian Man" (Phil Yu) and "Angry Asian Girl" (Lela Lee) are involved in a dustup that some say has "damaged the Asian-American community." Here's my take on the social media firestorm. My takeaway: depending on social media to connect us is a really, really big mistake. The medium itself is inherently flawed and beyond repair.

Goodbye Facebook, Hello World

I deactivated my Facebook account, after 8 years. Here's why. Stay tuned for more discussion of the Facebook experience. I've explored the good, the bad and the ugly - and concluded that Facebook is totally unnecessary.

Je ne suis pas Facebook - #Facebook, a Benighted Community?

Recently, the discussion over Charlie Hebdo turned heated on my Facebook feed. I felt ostracized, and I realized that Facebook could not bring me closer to others, and instead caused attachment to opinion and argument. Here's how "je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) became "Je ne suis pas Facebook" (I am not Facebook). Is it time for you to deactivate?

#Blacklivesmatter: The Problem with Online #Anger

The deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and many others continue to inspire unrest online and in the real world. Our newsfeeds often turn "wall to wall" anger. How should we deal with our need for justice and our deep need for peace? A Buddhist Psychiatrist's thoughts. (photo by author)

Why Are Images Considered Sacred or Offensive by Some?

Some Muslims are offended by images of the Prophet Mohammed. What is the history of offensive images in modern religions? Why have people considered images so powerful? Why could the killers' reactions be an example of the images "punching up" not "punching down," as critics of Charlie Hebdo have proclaimed? (This is a photo of an early symbolic representation of Buddha)

Attached at the Hip: iPhone Separation Affects Us, And How!

An elegant study at the University of Missouri just confirmed what many of us can attest to anecdotally: smartphones may effectively be an extension of ourselves, causing us anxiety and possibly making us dumber when we hear them but are unable to answer. Clearly, we have welcomed technology into the boundaries of our selves. What do we do now?

Nonemployed Men vs. Women: Social Media Misses the Point

A recent NYT time-use article about nonemployed men and women was shared by many people in my feed. Most people used it to reinforce snap judgments, stereotypes and preconceived notions about men and women – specifically that men are self-centered and lazy, and women are selfless and hardworking. Here’s why that’s insulting and inaccurate.

Charlie, Fanaticism and the 'Bond of Opinions'

After tragedy, many are raising questions about the limits of free speech and at the same time condemning the language of violence. Underneath both—what Buddha called the "bond of opinion," which rages on social media and in political polarization the world over. How can we understand our inner opinion-maker, and what should we do about it?

Taylor Swift: Buddha-Diva? #shakeitoff

Here's how I think Taylor Swift channels ancient Buddhist wisdom - just in time to #shakeoff2014. A couple of Buddhist stories illustrate the message.

Interstellar: Less Than Stellar

What is important to think about when you're contemplating the end of the Earth and possibly humanity? Here are some thoughts.

Anger and Injustice From Birth to Death

Does injustice rule our days? The Buddha saw suffering in birth, old age, sickness and death. We can see injustice in all of these as well, from discrimination against pregnant women, to the case of death-row inmate and mentally ill person Scott Panetti, to the death of Eric Garner. What is the antidote? A psychiatrist reflects on injustice, anger and the way out.

Lookism and #AlexfromTarget

One month ago, 16-year old Alex Lee went from ordinary life to internet celebrity. What does this tell us about the human mind and online behavior? #AlexfromTarget is a very teachable moment for ourselves and our children.

The Social Network is an IndigNation

Research suggests that anger is more viral than happiness, sadness or disgust. What does this mean for our new public space on the internet? An excerpt from my 99 cent ebook on anger, with all proceeds going to domestic violence nonprofits!

#dvchallenge – Let’s Get at the Roots of Domestic Violence!

What are the roots of domestic violence? We need to understand, if we are to stop this widespread and prevalent issue. My new book explores the topics of Anger and Domestic Violence at length. Also included is a bonus essay on Internet Rage. Buy the Kindle e-book for only 99 cents—all proceeds go to support Domestic Violence nonprofits.

The Apple Watch: Just in Time for Carousel?

What does it mean to have powerful technology integrating with our bodies? The Apple Watch represents a deeper incursion on our boundary than we've seen before. Here are some psychological and existential questions.

We Need a Surgeon General's Warning for Social Media!

A growing body of psychological research points to the hazards of using social networks. Is it time for a warning label? Our disagreements are a case in point. Here's how we divide ourselves into choirs and preach to them, and a reality check to find our way out.

Mindfulness at the Movies: A Letter to Momo

A Letter to Momo is a wonderful movie sure to please children and adults, featuring a girl heroine working through the loss of her father. It also illustrates some important benefits of mindfulness at work.

Mork Calling Orson

Poetic and personal reflections on the passing of Robin Williams. The power of the mind, understanding suicide, and invoking compassion and relatedness. "Floating Brilliant Gone" is the title of a book of poetry by Franny Choi - but could also reference Williams and the loss of anyone dear.

Where Are You From?

Is this a racist or ignorant question? It's a question that bugs me and other people of color. Here's what I think of it and how I respond, with a Buddhist flair.

Facebook: Weapon of Mass Manipulation?

Recently published research in the prestigious PNAS reveals Facebook "researchers" are toying with our emotions. Is Facebook making some of us crazy or crazier on purpose?

Susan Cain’s Quiet: Is Asian American Silence “Golden”?

Susan Cain's bestseller QUIET contains harmful and misleading stereotypes about Asian Americans.

Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Introvert Apocalypse!

We haven’t had the Zombie Apocalypse yet (I think), but Susan Cain may have set off the Introvert Apocalypse. Introverts all over the world have risen up in revolt, demanding validation and basking in the sudden glow of approval and recognition. But this antidote to modernity has some significant issues.

Trauma, Victim Narratives and the Way Out

Making sense of the Isla Vista shootings from the lenses of gender, race, culture and psychology.

Top Pacific Heart Stories of 2013-14

The Pacific Heart reached some milestones this last year—going viral and going deep on several topics from technology, Facebook, and Twitter to issues affecting Asian American men and women. Here's a recap of the most viewed blog posts of the last year, my third year of blogging for Psychology Today.

Do Shame and Exclusion Mediate Dissatisfaction on Facebook?

I just watched Douglas Rushkoff's excellent documentary "Generation Like" on Frontline. Where is the quest for popularity leading us? And what about the flip side of the quest, exclusion and shame?

Underscoring Amy Chua

Amy Chua always works hard to outscore all of us. I'm here to underscore her, in every possible way. An analysis of the psychological argument of the new book, and what Chua and her husband Jed Rubenfeld might be up to, and offering an alternative cultural project.

We Will Never Be Gurus

Bruce Wagner's new book of fiction "The Empty Chair" offers an eye on spiritual seekers, the twists of fate, and perhaps a gloomy lesson on self-centeredness and nihilism as Eastern Spirituality moves to the West. With a riff on "Royals" by Lorde!

Spike Jonze’s Her: Existential and Emotional Questions

Spike Jonze's "Her" is an interesting and provocative film, coming at the right time in our dalliance with technology. The film highlights several important existential questions, and yields some important insights about relationship and the emptiness of our ever-more-isolated age of technological "connection."

10 Reasons Why Facebook Is Not the “Happiest Place on Earth”

I've looked at almost 100 research articles, and thought deeply about "the second biggest country on Earth", Facebook. Here are 10 ways that the "Facebook Bardo" takes you away from your best self. For more, help me get my book on the psychology of social networks through a Buddhist lens published. Details in the article! Thank you!

I Have Met The Internet And It Is Not Us

The revolution will not be televised - but it might be tweeted, according to a new generation of hashtag-activists. But internet discourse is problematic - and perhaps, ultimately, isolating. I look at some of the psychological and social issues. (With a mention of the new hashtag conversation around racial solidarity, #BlackPowerYellowPeril.)

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