A Foolproof Hack to Understanding Anyone (for iPhone users only!)

Every year as the month of December nears its end, the calendar fills with celebratory engagements. Holiday parties for family and friends, and lunches and dinners for clients and business associates. In all settings, I constantly strive to better understand my companions and I’ve developed an easy hack that has proven both fun and insightful.

One of the quickest ways to get to know someone is by understanding how they choose to spend their time. Our smartphones, so often tightly tethered to our daily routines, is constantly recording our activities. Follow these basic and easy-to-follow steps with your closest iPhone-equipped friend and don’t be surprised when you learn a few new things about them:

Step 1: Go to “Settings” and scroll down to “Battery”

A Foolproof Hack to Understanding Anyone (for iPhone users only!)

Step 2: Under Battery, click on “Last 7 Days” in the middle of the screen and you’ll see a list of the most used apps on the iPhone:

A Foolproof Hack to Understanding Anyone (for iPhone users only!)

I’ve shared my own screenshot to illustrate how this exercise can lead to interesting observations. Over the last 7 days, my top apps are Email (23%), Twitter (19%), Instagram (13%), Backgammon (9%) and LinkedIn (6%). I rely heavily on Twitter for news and mostly follow journalists and business thought-leaders. The service frequently breaks stories faster than any of the major news outlets, thus giving me an edge in water-cooler chatter. I was surprised at how high Instagram ranked and now realize that I might have a social media addiction. That said, I love following my wife’s food blogging account (@missythefabulous) where I get sneak peeks at what’s for dinner when she cooks during the day. Backgammon is my stress reliever – I love the short intense games and the app allows me to take a mental break during particularly stressful moments. I wield it as a soft mental reset.

And there you have it. Try this hack with friends, colleagues, and family and see what you learn. I’d love to hear your thoughts and encourage you to comment below or email me at gmarans@savills-studley.com

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