UScellular encourages people to take the ‘Phones Down for 5 Challenge’ during Screen Free Week

In honor of Screen Free Week this May 6-12, UScellular is encouraging everyone to take the “Phones Down for 5 Challenge”, a UScellular “Built for US” initiative meant to inspire people to take a break from technology for 5 days, 5 hours, or even just 5 minutes.

Screen Free Week is organized by the non-profit organization, Fairplay, and is an annual event that encourages people to take a break from screen-based entertainment.

Smartphones are an essential part of everyday life that help us do so many things, but in a recent UScellular survey*, nearly 75 percent of respondents said they spend at least an hour on social media every day, with 24 percent spending 3-4 hours per day. Nearly a third of respondents said they want to take an intentional break from their phone, making Screen Free Week a great time for people to spend some time away from their screens and reset their relationship with technology.

“We encourage everyone to take a break from their devices during Screen Free Week to connect with what matters most,” said Brandi McCune, director of sales and operations at UScellular for New England. “By taking the Phones Down for 5 Challenge or taking a break in a way that works for you, our hope is that everyone can make the most of their screen-free time and foster a healthier relationship with technology.”

In addition to Phones Down for 5, UScellular has created the following tips to help your Screen Free Week be a success:

• Put Your Phone in US Mode. UScellular created US Mode to help users better utilize customizable native focus settings on their smartphones. US Mode allows you to set time limits on social media apps, disable non-human push notifications, eliminate red notification bubbles for apps and enable pre-set quiet times.

• Reconnect with Family and Friends. Talk about your favorite memories with your partner. Take a friend you haven’t seen in a long time out to dinner. Invite your neighbors to a game night with board games. Try making a brand-new recipe or dish for your family. Make experiences that are unique and impossible to duplicate if you were glued to your phone.

• Have More Parental Control. UScellular recently partnered with Bark to help parents and families navigate life with their digital devices. With Bark, parents can monitor their child’s social media activity, manage screen time and help prevent digital dangers including cyberbullying, unsafe websites and more with real-time alerts. Upon checkout, use code USCCARES to receive one month free.

• Be a Creative Genius. Painting and drawing are activities that not only allow you to express your creativity, but they also provide a sense of accomplishment and relaxation during your unplugging session. If you’re feeling crafty, you could also make your own jewelry, furniture, or decor for your home.

• Unplug with Your Kids. Establish healthier digital boundaries with your children with UScellular and Screen Sanity’s Smarter Start Toolkit. It includes educational and actionable tools, tips and an agreement for both parents and kids, so everyone can use technology in a more thoughtful way.

• Get out. Work out. Chill out. Take a break from being on your device by spending time outdoors and getting some fresh air on a walk or bike ride. The Great Outdoors offers plenty of exercise options as well. Try going for a run, hitting up the neighborhood pool, or shooting some hoops. If technology plays a significant role in your self-care regimen, be sure to substitute it for peaceful activities during your screen-free time.

*Between Nov. 28 and Dec. 6, 2023, a total of 1,000 online interviews were conducted among a nationally representative sample of U.S. consumers between 18-41 years old by Consumer Insights, in partnership with PureSpectrum.

UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to help customers stay connected to the things that matter most. The Chicago-based carrier provides a strong, reliable network supported by the latest technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. Through its After School Access Project, the company has donated more than $23 million in hotspots and service to help youth connect to reliable internet. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, visit

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