Is Social Media Inevitably Sociopathic?

The U.S. Supreme Court just overturned the conviction of a man who used violent language against his estranged wife online. Social media is inherently disinhibiting. What are the social, biological and evolutionary bases of cyber-disinhibition? What hope is there to control our online behavior? Here's an argument to keep our relationships primarily IRL (In Real Life).

#rednoseday: Mental Health Is Social Equity!

Thursday, May 21 is the first Red Nose Day in the U.S. Here are some thoughts on what emotional problems are worsened with socio-economic inequity and why.

9-Man Doc Showcases Chinese-American Male Identity in Sports

A talk with the creator of "9-Man," an award-winning documentary about a version of volleyball played in Chinese American communities for a century.

Ex Machina: Oedipus Ex?

Ex Machina opens wide this weekend. What does it mean to us to create life technologically? What does it say about our fears and hopes? Thoughts on Ex Machina and Her.

Top Pacific Heart Stories of 2014-2015

The Pacific Heart celebrated some milestones this year, including a viral Op Ed in The New York Daily News last weekend! Here are my top blog posts of the last year.

Slut vs. Stud: Monica Lewinsky and the Shaming of Girls

Monica Lewinsky is creating another cultural moment - her recent TED talk has garnered over 500,000 views in a few days, and rightly calls for a culture of compassion to combat cyberbullying and shaming. The soon-to-be-released film The Sisterhood of Night also explores shaming and cyberbullying in the lives of teen girls. Here are some thoughts on both.

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.

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