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UScellular Encourages Knoxville Consumers to Participate in Global Day of Unplugging

March 1, 2024

New survey shows that a third of people want to take an intentional break from their phone

UScellular is continuing to foster healthy relationships with technology by encouraging Knoxville residents to participate in Global Day of Unplugging on Friday, March 1. Global Day of Unplugging is an annual awareness campaign that encourages people to take a break from technology and celebrate human connection over digital engagement.

“Our mission at UScellular is to connect people to what matters most, but there are times when the technology helping create these connections can have unintended consequences in our lives,” said Thomas White, director of sales for UScellular in East Tennessee. “We encourage everyone to join us on Global Day of Unplugging to take a break and reset their relationship with technology.

It’s well-known that Americans are increasingly dependent on their smartphones for essential daily functions, entertainment and connection, but data from a December 2023 survey commissioned by UScellular suggests that people may need a break. According to the survey, 41% shared that they could use some time away from their phone and nearly a third of people want to take an intentional break from their phone.

Additional survey findings reveal:

  • 56% of people have experienced “phubbing” or the act of being ignored by someone you are with because they are on their cell phone.
  • Nearly 75% of people spend at least an hour on social media every day, with 24% spending 3-4 hours per day.
  • More than half of people spend at least one hour texting every day, 63% spend at least an hour web browsing and nearly half spend at least an hour mobile gaming.

For every person who shares their participation at, the company will make a donation, up to $50,000, to Unplug Collaborative, the nonprofit that organizes the Global Day of Unplugging and works to make tech-free experiences meaningful and accessible to all.

Actress and producer Sarah Michelle Gellar also is lending her voice to the campaign to encourage her social media followers and consumers to participate.

To help people participate, UScellular suggests activities focused on human connection over digital engagement, including going on a hike or walking your dog, volunteering for a local nonprofit or going on a road trip with friends or family.

UScellular launched its “Built For US” campaign in February 2023 to lead the conversation around developing healthier relationships with technology. This includes a variety of programs and tools such as:

  • The “Phones Down for 5 Challenge,” an invitation for people to take a phone break in a way that works for them.
  • US Mode, an effort to help smartphone users better utilize customizable native focus settings on their smartphones.
  • In partnership with Screen Sanity, the company introduced the “Smarter Start Toolkit,” a free, downloadable kit for families looking for guidance on building better digital habits. 

For more information about UScellular’s efforts, visit

About UScellular

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 pledged to provide hotspots and service to help up to 50,000 youth connect to reliable internet. Additionally, UScellular has price protected all of its plans, promising not to increase prices through at least the end of 2024. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, visit