For most young folks, a mere six days off social media will sound like the stuff of nightmares. So how about six years?
That’s exactly what Minnesota teen Sivert Klefsaas managed when his mom Lorna challenged him to ignore the likes of Instagram and Snapchat until he turned 18.
Keen to avoid her son getting too wrapped up in the addictive apps, Lorna set the challenge on his 12th birthday and promised to pay her son $1,800 if he succeeded.
Sivert collected the cash prize on his 18th birthday on February 19, CNN reported.
Surprisingly, winning the bet sounded like a breeze, with the teen telling CNN: “I wouldn’t say there was ever a time where I thought I was about to break. As it went on, it was more of a pride thing.”
Certainly it helped that Sivert had only had limited experience with social media when the challenge began (he’d tried Snapchat for a day before deleting it), making it hard for him to miss what he never really had.
He said his friends kept him up to date of any developing trends and news coming from the apps, with the abstinence allowing him to “avoid all the unnecessary drama that was on there.”
The teen said pursuing the challenge also allowed him to spend more time studying and playing sports.
Sivert’s mom said she got the idea for the bet after hearing a mom on a radio show talking about the “16 for 16” challenge, where she planned to pay her daughter $1,600 if she stayed off social media until she was 16.
Lorna said she’s not against social media, but was concerned about the healthy use of it and “not letting yourself get weighed down by it.”
So, you may be wondering, now that he’s turned 18, has Sivert dived headfirst into the world of social media? Of course! He’s already joined Instagram, an app that he says “definitely [has] a learning curve.” “I see my friends fly through their social media apps and I can’t do that quite yet,” he said.