Finding the Middle Way

I was driving home from teaching yoga one night, and the thought came to me, “Is our addiction to things like Twitter, Facebook and all the like, and the subsequent urge to completely annihilate our relationships with them, similar to the road the Buddha took before discovering The Middle Way?”

Almost every day, I come across someone’s proclamation to quit Twitter or Facebook, or both. Every other day, I’d read about the power of social media tools in connecting people and changing lives in small and big ways.

Once, in a workshop on Ayurveda and the Indian system of dosha, the teacher, Dr. Robert Svodoba, said emphatically, “We all have our addiction.” He didn’t mention tech toys or tools or any specific drugs. Everything is a drug, so long as we’re psychologically dependent on it. Or, as Pema Chodron would say, so long as we “bite the hook.”

History has shown that the pendulum always needs to swing to the extremes first. The Buddha had to starve himself to near death to find out that Happiness was found in neither hedonistic indulgences or self-mortification. So, I’m just thinking, are we going through this process collectively as a society? Am I as an individual? It sure feels like it.

The lute string must be tuned neither too tight nor too loose to produce a harmonious sound. – Wikipedia, The Middle Way

Facebook Survival Guide for Awkward Adults, and Best Xmas Decoration Evar

These two really, literally, made me el oh el’ed this week.

Facebook Survival Guide for Awkward Adults – What you need to know to avoid embarrassing your kids (and yourself) by Daniel Harrison

First Daniel started out by explaining what Facebook is:

Anyway, it’s fun! The two tricks to getting along well on Facebook are, don’t trust anything, and if you want to remain hip, don’t try so hard. Preserve that hard-won dignity you earned by surviving puberty, the prom, and possibly parenthood.

The rules for profile picture:

For instance, if you’re not an actor or model, use a glamour shot at your own peril. You don’t look reflective, brooding or perky. You look like a narcissistic jerk. Sincerity is (always) hipper than hair gel, you smug peacock.

How to manage friends

Besides, you don’t have to accept or reject “friend requests” as soon as you get them. Wait until the requester does something useful like hit the lotto.

How to update your status

Your sainted Grandma never threw wide the shutters and bellowed, “What up haters? I’m pregnant!” to the assembled townfolk, now did she? Use some judgment — it’s the Internet, not a barnyard.

How to deal with applications

To recap: Applications are irritating; you get them from your friends. And they’re easy to spread inadvertently. This is how venereal diseases roll, too. So there’s that.

And groups

Don’t presume just because a digital Teddy bear was enough to get you interested in curing malaria that we’re equally shallow.

And the best advice of all: Nothing stays in Vegas – nothing!

Best Xmas Decoration Ever

Okay, it’s December, and surely you’ve seen all the typical Christmas decoration going up in your neighborhood, and you’ve probably even seen the house with the Ditto Christmas lights.

But I’m gonna say this one took the cake for making me laugh until I rolled around holding my stomach crying: The Fallen Ladder Decoration (thanks to my friend Brett McCully’s tweet.)

Don't worry, it's a Christmas Decoration!

Don’t worry, it’s a Christmas Decoration!