3 Minute Monday – Distraction, Miniskirts & Masculinity

3 Minute Monday

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I’ve been thinking about how tech use impacts our conversations.

Conversations are the most human and humanising thing that we do.

It’s where empathy is born, where intimacy is born.

Because of eye contact, because we can hear the tones of another person’s voice and sense their body movements.

It’s where we learn about other people.

But, without meaning to, without having made a plan, we’ve actually moved away from conversation in a way that research shows is hurting us.

89% of Americans say that during their last social interaction, they took out a phone.

82% said that it deteriorated the conversation they were in.

Basically, we’re all doing something that is hurting our interactions and making them more shallow, as we desperately try to find more depth & meaning in relationships.

If you put a phone on the table in during a social interaction, it does two things:

First, it decreases the quality of what you talk about, because you tend to talk about things where you wouldn’t mind being interrupted.

And secondly it decreases the empathic connection that people feel toward each other because we realise that all parties see each other as less of a priority.

So, even something as simple as going to lunch and putting a phone on the table decreases the emotional importance of what people are willing to talk about.

And it decreases the connection that those people feel toward one another.

If you multiply that by all of the times you have your phone on the table when you have coffee with a friend or are at breakfast with your child or are talking with your partner about how you’re feeling, we’re doing this to each other multiple times per day.

A good solution here is to create sacred spaces where you won’t use your phone.

Make the kitchen or dining room or car or restaurant phone-free zones.

Just leave your phone in the car or in your bag when you’re spending time with your friend or partner or kids.

Maybe even suggest that they do it too.

The tweets will be waiting for you when you’re done, but you can’t rerun a cherished conversation which you were too distracted to enjoy.


I do a podcast which has had 25 million+ downloads. You should subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

This week’s upcoming episodes:

Joe Navarro – the ex-head of the FBI’s Non-Verbal division gives his best advice for effective communication, body language, detecting deception and de-escalating conflict.

John McWhorter – why is the modern world so obsessed with race? Does Anti-Racism hurt black people? Who is pushing a Woke Racism agenda?

Carl Zimmer – what is “life”? What defines the edges of something being alive or dead? What crazy extreme examples of living creatures have we discovered?


Society’s expectations of men.

A 2014 study suggests that women and men implicitly expect 3 things from men:

1. Must be a fighter and a winner
2. Must be a provider and protector
3. Must maintain mastery and control at all times

“If you break any of those rules you’re not a man.”

The researchers asked a carefully designed set of questions to both men & women across the UK & USA.

(h/t Rob Henderson)

Girls who hit puberty early underperform at maths.

Hitting puberty earlier is genetically heritable.

Research suggests that girls who inherit this trait tend to do worse in maths.

Not due to the Early Puberty Trait interacting with numerical ability.

But because girls who look more womanly get more attention from boys in maths classes, which reduces the girls’ likelihood of choosing to specialise in maths.

Why the miniskirt got its name.

The miniskirt was named after the Mini Cooper, not the skirt’s size.

The designer, Mary Quant loved Mini Cooper cars and named the garment after them.

She said that car and skirt were both “optimistic, exuberant, young, flirty,” and complemented each other.


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Big love,
Chris x

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Have managed to avoid assassinating anyone in Florence so far. Still 2 days left of the trip though.


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