Teenager wins $1,800 from mother for staying off social media for six years

midian182

Posts: 8,041   +89
Staff member
In brief: Most people these days would struggle to stay off social media for six days, and that’s especially true with teenagers. But one 12-year managed to resist the temptations of TikTok, Instagram, and all the other platforms for six whole years, for which he was rewarded $1,800 from his mother.

CNN reports that in 2016, Lorna Goldstrand Klefsaas challenged her 12-year-old son Sivert to stay off social media until he reached 18, with the promise of a cash prize on his birthday if he managed the feat.

Lorna says the idea came from a challenge she heard on the radio called "16 for 16" that involved a mother giving her 12-year-old daughter $1,600 on her sixteenth birthday if she stayed off social media until that time. Lorna offered her son the same challenge but changed it to six years and added an extra $200—18 for 18, essentially.

Luckily for Sivert, he didn't use social media very much when he took on the bet—the only app he had was Snapchat, which he'd deleted a day after trying it. "I wouldn't say there was ever a time where I thought I was about to break," he said. "As it went on, it was more of a pride thing."

Sivert said his friends helped keep him up to date with all the latest trends on social media. He also appreciated being able to avoid the "unnecessary drama" that often goes with Facebook, Instagram, etc. There were other benefits, too, including having more time to focus on grades and sports.

Asked whether he will jump into the world of social media now the bet is over, Sivert says he has already joined Instagram, though the years away have left him less assured than most teens. "There's definitely a learning curve," Sivert said. "I see my friends fly through their social media apps and I can't do that quite yet."

The challenge was partly prompted by Sivert's sisters, who Lorna said got "too engrossed" in their apps while growing up. "It was affecting their mood, their friendships and was kind of a depressant," she said. It was reported last year that Facebook understood the negative impact Instagram had on teenage girls' mental health.

Back in 2019, this writer struggled to last a mere three weeks without social media. Its absence did get slightly easier as time went on, but I admit to being relieved upon returning to its addictive embrace.

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hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,537   +2,521
I don't care for social media and the prize is kind of weak.
Luckily for Sivert, he didn't use social media very much when he took on the bet—the only app he had was Snapchat, which he'd deleted a day after trying it.

Easy money for doing literally nothing.
 

veLa

Posts: 1,163   +833
I get what you are saying. To me, it just does not seem like that big of an incentive for 6 years.
For real though. If he had become an influencer in that time period, he could have brought in a lot more. What's $1800 these days, a single paycheck to someone with an adult job?
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,537   +2,521
For real though. If he had become an influencer in that time period, he could have brought in a lot more. What's $1800 these days, a single paycheck to someone with an adult job?
lol You got could have been an influencer from "deleted snapchat the next day?" Not every kid is a youtuber. Shocking I know.

I think we're done here.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,443   +5,765
I mean, could I do it? Yeah. I dont use social media. Closest I get is posting on techspot and the like. Social media is honestly worthless, you are SO much happier without it.
He also appreciated being able to avoid the "unnecessary drama" that often goes with Facebook, Instagram, etc
What you mean you didnt get wrapped up in the constant barrage of politics and social justice and cancellings? How can you survive without those?
For real though. If he had become an influencer in that time period, he could have brought in a lot more. What's $1800 these days, a single paycheck to someone with an adult job?
Hey look if you dont want $1800 I'll gladly take it off of your hands. That $1800 is a paycheck for someone making about $32 an hour. At 18 I would have killed to get that.
 

Phaetos

Posts: 99   +76
And how did he prove that he never used any social media after they made the deal? Did she just take his word for it? Did she use scrapers on the internet to look for signs of him creating accounts? Did she check his phone randomly in the day to see if an app was installed?
 

arrowflash

Posts: 517   +596
If this was 12 year-old me and my parents when I was a kid, my reward for staying off social media would have been $0, and the reward for not honoring the deal would've been all devices confiscated. Or the belt. No social media back then, but I went through this with video game consoles when my parents thought I was going overboard.

I'm not sure rewarding your kids with a significant amount of money (for a 12 year-old) for this is responsible parenting and a good way to build character.
 

MyIOnU

Posts: 87   +217
Just give your kids a phone w/o internet access. If they are still living under your roof, they have to follow your rules.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,397   +2,020
For real though. If he had become an influencer in that time period, he could have brought in a lot more. What's $1800 these days, a single paycheck to someone with an adult job?
That's like saying he could have won the lottery in that time-frame if only he had been allowed to play.
 

MyIOnU

Posts: 87   +217
You know why younger generation keep getting worse? Because we are lacking disciplines. We should bring back the old spanking as well.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 442   +355
For real though. If he had become an influencer in that time period, he could have brought in a lot more. What's $1800 these days, a single paycheck to someone with an adult job?

And being a successful n influuencer is not easy work (unlike this).
 

psycros

Posts: 4,260   +6,093
Social media needs to die out ASAP. Its the worst kind of soul cancer. Email and IMs are fine for personal communications and message boards are great for groups. I have friends in their 40's and 50's who've been turned into raging narcissists by Facebook..its painful to watch.
 

GamerNerves

Posts: 175   +108
Social media is a broader term by the day, but those medias where you just get fed news articles you don't want to read and people boast with their achievements or beauty, are worthless. You are happier without them, it's up to you to decide if you want to be happier. Rich social life is not on the social media, it's superficial and pretentous.
Sad that the kid of the article was in just for the money, her mother did wisely though.
Good things can and have happened on social media, but those are exceptions to the rule unfortunately.
 

lazer

Posts: 437   +131
Great idea, social media takes up so much time that could be used reading a book or visiting or talking to friends or making real friends.

sad, that today has dived down into every one on their stupid smartphones.....
 

ScottSoapbox

Posts: 343   +601
$1800 is 6 weeks pay *part time* at subway. Seems a little weak for 6 years without social media. I don't use it much myself but 6 years is a long time.