At the Wisconsin State Fair, uscellular had a major display promoting “screen sanity” to modify the time people spend on their phones. People were able to make bracelets with beads to remind them of their commitment to limit screen time by pledging to have device-free dinners, silencing notifications, having digital downtime, limiting mindless scrolling, or deleting distracting apps. Fairgoers could also vote on which of these areas was their nemesis by putting beads into a giant display (mindless scrolling was far ahead). The booth also had a demonstration version of resources that parents could use for age-appropriate audiences to help set the tone with the younger set.

The statistics they shared were sobering — the average person unlocks their phone 150 times/day, 85% of people check their phones while with friends and family, and one in three wakes up during the night to check their phone! The uscellular display urged people to “set their phone for human connection” and to “do more things that make you forget to check your phone.”

In addition to the actual content of their message, it was interesting to see a cellular phone company spend so much to encourage people to limit the use of their product. Maybe the company is a good citizen, or perhaps it fears upcoming regulation if something isn’t done to offset the downside of so much screen time.

My mentor used to say: “Too much of a good thing is still too much.” It obviously rings true for cell phone use. Think about where your organization needs to be proactive. Do you need to take a stand on something that may be in your short-term disinterest to focus on the impact it has in the long term? Striving for sanity is a noble goal.

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