UScellular has introduced US Mode, a free program to help smartphone owners use their devices in a healthy manner. It is available to all smartphone users, regardless of their carrier.

The “US” portion of the name US Mode is apparently meant to be double entendre, referencing both “UScellular” and “us.”

The program will enable users to set time limits on social media apps, disable non-human push notifications, delete red notification bubbles for apps, enable establishment of quiet time and customize app displays, the company says.

“As technology has advanced, it’s become apparent, that we’ve entered a time where we need to reset the relationships with our smartphones,” Eric Jagher, the senior vice president and chief marketing officer at UScellular, said in a press release about UScellular US Mode. “It can mean completely disconnecting for a period of time or using the tools we’ve created through US Mode to create that balance. Either way, we want to be that catalyst for people to get back to US and building better relationships with technology.”

UScellular conducted a survey in support of the program designed to show how obsessively people are tied to their devices. And the company proved its point. Things people would rather do than lose their phone: go on a terrible date or sit next to a crying baby on a plane (65%); get stuck in traffic every day of the week (62%) or show coworkers an embarrassing childhood photo (76%).

US Mode is part of the carrier’s “Built for US” brand platform that began in February with the “Phones Down for Five” challenge. The program asked participants to not use their device for five days, five hours or five minutes.

UScellular used this year’s Super Bowl in Arizona to illustrate peoples’ reliance on their smartphones. An AI application estimated how many attendees were looking at their phones instead of the turf at important points of the game.

The app estimated that:

  • More than 16,000 fans missed touchdowns throughout the game.
  • During halftime, 6,182 fans were watching their phones instead of the show.
  • In the final stretch, 4,347 fans were looking at their phones instead of the winning field goal.

Tickets averaged about $8,500, according to a Sporting News estimate.

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