GREENVILLE, N.C. – Celebrated the first Friday in March, National Day of Unplugging is a day to disconnect from digital distractions. UScellular is encouraging eastern North Carolina area residents take this a step further with a personal experiment called Phones Down For 5.

Phones Down For 5 is part of the company’s recently announced “Let’s Find US” initiative. The goal is to inspire people, who on average spend more than five hours a day staring at their phone screen, to reset their relationship with technology. Phones Down For 5 challenge asks people to voluntarily stop using their phones to reveal how addicted they are to it. The challenge is built on a simple action: taking a phone break for 5 days, 5 hours, or even just 5 minutes, to reset your relationship with technology.

The company is inviting everyone to participate in Phones Down For 5 by going to to set a personal goal and share their experience using #PhonesDownFor5.

“Phones Down For 5 allows us all to address the serious issue of over-connection with technology and lack of connection with one another,” said Jeremy Taylor, director of retail sales and operations for UScellular in eastern North Carolina for UScellular. “Our goal is to help people connect to what matters most. We invite the eastern North Carolina community to have a reset moment with technology, the first step in having a healthier relationship moving forward.”

Additionally, UScellular offers tips at to successfully make the most of the Phones Down For 5 challenge. Highlights include:

Out of sight: Put your phone somewhere you won’t be readily able to see it, like a drawer or cabinet. Keep it in your purse or bag while in your car. Consider putting your phone in airplane mode or turning off notifications so you won’t be tempted if you hear it buzzing.

Ask yourself: how important is that notification, really? We’ve all been there: you hear the sound of a text or notification and get the urge to immediately drop everything you’re doing and check your phone. But most notifications are not urgent and only a small percentage actually require your immediate attention. Change your notification settings to get them batched at a certain time or turn on only the ones you deem the most important.

Spend time with people you love: Grab dinner with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Have a meaningful conversation with your partner. Invite your neighbors over for a board game night. Cook a complicated recipe with your family. Create memories that you can’t replicate when you’re focused on your phone.

Get creative: Draw, dance, write, paint or get creative in the kitchen. Use your phone-free time as an opportunity to reconnect with your creative side and sharpen your brain.

Get out. Work out. Chill out.: Spend some time outdoors, getting some fresh air and being in nature. It’s good for your mental and physical health.

Disconnect Wisely: Needs may dictate not being able to disconnect completely—and that’s okay. The goal is to find what works for you. One option could be to move tasks you typically do on your phone to a computer (e.g., email, surfing the internet, scrolling social media). This can help you stay connected as needed but not necessarily be connected everywhere you go.

How did it feel: Take a moment to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Journaling can be a helpful habit while you’re doing a digital detox to process what you’re feeling while you’re offline. What was positive about putting your phone down? Did you pick up any new hobbies or positive habits? Did your life and relationships improve? What would you do differently next time? What you learn from trying to disconnect thoughtfully will help you get closer to success the next time you try.

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