In the United States, 95 percent of Americans have cellphones and a majority say they couldn't imagine life without their phone, according to Gallup. More than half of smartphone owners check their devices several times an hour.
On Friday, March 10, billionaire Richard Branson joined thousands of people around the world to celebrate the National Day of Unplugging. For the holiday, which was created by Jewish cultural organization Reboot, participants disconnected from their cell phones and computers for 24 hours.
Starting at sundown on Friday evening, Branson and the rest of his Virgin.com team refused to blog, post or even look at social media until 6 p.m. Saturday.
"I really believe that being in the moment is the key to happiness and success, and being constantly glued to your phone can have a big impact on your relationships," Branson wrote in a recent blog post.
"While I love technology and social media, a text or a tweet can never replace the real value of conversation," Branson said.
Branson said he already tries hard to focus his attention on whoever he is with by listening and taking notes while he is in meetings and catching up with his family when he is at the dinner table. "It's all too easy to miss out on the important moments in life because you're too busy staring at your phone," Branson said.
According to Harvard Business School professor Leslie Perlow, disconnecting from your digital devices may be difficult if you're a "successaholic" — or someone who is addicted to achievement and success — as she argues in her book "Sleeping with your Smartphone: How to Break the 24/7 Habit and Change the Way You Work."