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Sarah Michelle Gellar partners with UScellular to encourage everyone to unplug for a day

Sarah Michelle Gellar red carpet close-up 2024
Pascal Le Segretain / Getty

At this point, it’s probably safe to say we all spend way too much time on our phones. In a world where it feels impossible to steer clear of our mobile devices longer than a few minutes, it can feel even more impossible to unplug from it all. In fact, as of 2022, social media users across the globe spend an average of two hours and 27 minutes on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook each day. In more cringe-worthy news, Americans are now checking their smartphones about 14 billion times a day.

This is why Sarah Michelle Gellar and UScellular are partnering to promote the Global Day of Unplugging on Friday, Mar. 1. The 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. In other words, barring any emergencies, we’re all gonna go ahead and put the phone down for a day.

Gellar spoke with Motherly about her partnership with UScellular, her own tech boundaries at home with her kids, and how moms everywhere can take advantage of unplugging.

M: Can you explain UScellular’s mission to our audience, and how you became involved?

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SMG: The idea is to create a healthier relationship between our lives and technology. As we live in this busy world we rely so much on these devices that we are losing the human connection. Our idea of a partnership with UScellular is to take this day on March 1 to have a Global Day of Unplugging so that we can really reset our relationship and how much time we spend and do it in a way that will ultimately be healthier for our lifestyles.

Go to uscellular.com/unplugging and share UScellular’s Global Day of Unplugging image on your social channels by March 1. For every share, UScellular will make a donation to Unplug Collaborative. You will also see tips and resources to help you disconnect.

M: You have a teen and a tween—and as we know, it’s practically impossible to keep them from being ‘in the know’ when it comes to technology and social media. How do you set boundaries with your own kids? Do you have any tips for the moms who read Motherly?

SMG: I do think that boundaries are very important. Kids need that. I know that for my kids we use all of the timer options on the phone and they get the time that they get and then it will shut off because it will remind them “oh I have been on this for this long and I need to take a break” and so it’s forcing self-regulation on them that hopefully they can then learn to do on their own.

But, they don’t have that skill set yet so it’s about teaching them that. And social media is incredibly hard. I have tried to explain to my kids that the rules are different in our house because their parents are public figures so unfortunately for my daughter she was last to get social media, but she also understood why and we just take her through it. When she first got Instagram she was only allowed to post after she showed us so that we could help guide her to what’s appropriate and what’s not (that song is not the most appropriate to have) and really you have to use it all as a teachable moment.

M: You’ve talked before about how important it is to be present with your family. How do you prioritize that and actually make it happen?

SMG: Because it’s the little moments–dinner. Covid really showed us that too, having those family meals are so important. Not every day of the week is that possible, but we try a good five out of seven if we can to really sit down at the table together and have a meal and have those connected moments on the weekends. We just make sure to carve out that time to spend together and take that break.

M: How can we participate in the National Day of Unplugging in ways that benefit us as mom?

SMG: You can get outside and exercise whether you have your child with you or not. You can push a baby in a stroller (by the way, babies make great weights too and you can work out) you can go to the zoo, go to the Botanical Gardens and do those things that you never have time to do because you will realize how rewarding those moments are. Even a little self-care at home goes a long way.