Our Smartphones, Our Selves: How to Be a Happy Human in the Digital Era with Dr. Ravi Chandra and Amy Blankson

Original Air Date Wednesday, October 17, 2018 

If you have ever looked up from your smartphone and were surprised at how much time had passed, you are not alone.

Not only can social media be a time suck but studies show it affects our moods, influences our decisions, and changes our relationships. But there may be a way to harness technology and use it for our own benefit. Lisa welcomes authors, Dr. Ravi Chandra, and Amy Blankson to discuss their latest books about the potentially good and bad sides of technology.


Dr. Ravi Chandra — Do We Have an Attachment or an Addiction to Our Devices?:

  • Dr. Chandra shares the core principles of his book Facebuddha: Transcendence in the Age of Social Networks. [2:57]
  • Why migrating to the online world is akin to the culture shock of emigrating to another country. [4:19]
  • Is it possible for social media to hack our brains in this digital age? [9:09]
  • Finding self-satisfaction and compassion in the angry world of the internet. [15:12]
  • Are governments trying to limit voter turnout by dispiriting people online? [23:31]

Dr. Ravi ChandraRavi Chandra, M.D. is a psychiatrist and author in San Francisco. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and in 2016 was awarded a Proclamation by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for his community and humanitarian work. Facebuddha: Transcendence in the Age of Social Networks is his debut nonfiction work and a 2017 Nautilus Book Award winner. He writes blogs for Psychology Today on psychiatry, spirituality and culture, and for the Center for Asian American Media, on film. He is a published poet, and author of a fox peeks out: poems, and a short book of essays on Asian American Anger.

Ravi Chandra M.D. Website
@going2peace on Twitter
Ravi Chandra on Facebook

Amy Blankson — What aspects of technology do you value?:

  • There are challenges but we CAN be happy humans and make technology useful to us in this digital age. [27:28]
  • In Amy’s book, The Future of Happiness she calls people out to be conscious consumers when it comes to apps and gadgets. [29:45]
  • Learning discernment and stepping out of the system. [34:38]
  • Strategies for balancing productivity and well-being in this digital era. [39:51]

Amy Blankson has become one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between positive psychology and technology. She is the only person to be named a Point of Light by two presidents (President George H. W. Bush and President Bill Clinton) for creating a movement to activate positive culture change. A sought-after speaker and consultant, Amy has now worked with organizations like Google, NASA, the US Army, and the Xprize Foundation to help foster a sense of well-being in the Digital Era. Amy received her BA from Harvard and MBA from Yale School of Management. Most recently, she was a featured professor in Oprah’s Happiness course. Amy is the author of two books: The Future of Happiness and an award-winning children’s book called Ripple’s Effect.

Amy Blankson Website
@amyblankson on Twitter
Amy Blankson on Facebook

This episode is generously sponsored by Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life

A guidebook for learning how to harvest happiness through self-mastery. Happiness waits for no one and sometimes we all need support. What is getting in the way of your happiness right now?



On Becoming a Virtuoso of Life

On Becoming a Virtuoso of Life

On Becoming a Virtuoso of Life with Kenny Werner Original Air Date Wednesday, February 22, 2023  Many people criticize their abilities. Whether it is taming an instrument or their voice, they judge themselves in lieu of experiencing the joy of the music they aspire to...

read more
Cultivating Dignity and Selfhood for the Deeply Forgetful

Cultivating Dignity and Selfhood for the Deeply Forgetful

Cultivating Dignity and Selfhood for the Deeply Forgetful with Stephen Post PhD Original Air Date Wednesday, February 1, 2023  Age-related memory loss is a natural part of the aging process. Some people experience a more deeply-rooted memory issue, such as...

read more