In context: Could you go without any technology for 24 hours? Most people in the US would have struggled with that challenge even before the pandemic. As Covid forces us to rely ever more on tech for work and play, it sounds like a task few could, or would want to, complete today. But what if it included a $2,400 incentive?
The 2021 Digital Detox Challenge, a competition run by review site Reviews.org, seeks tech-loving participants who desire to ditch all devices for a day. Virtually everything electronic has to be given up: smartphones, TVs, laptops, wearables, smart home devices, though you can use a microwave.
This isn’t a case of merely ignoring modern gadgets for 24 hours and being handed $2,400. If you’re chosen to take part—expect plenty of applicants—you’ll need to use the provided $200 Amazon gift card to buy a techless survival kit. This should include chip-free items for getting you through the day, such as books, board games, and writing stationery.
Additionally, participants must give feedback on the experience and review their 24-hour survival kit. The challenge also involves submitting screen time reports to prove you went 24 hours without tech.
According to the rules, “You’ll have 14 days from accepting the challenge to pick a day that works for you, so you don’t have to skip school or work (unless you want to).”
Applications close on March 26, 2021, so best hurry if you’d like a chance to take part. The chosen challengers will be announced on March 29 on Reviews.org’s YouTube channel. It's open to those aged 18 and older who are eligible to work in the US—there's also a separate Australian challenge.
According to a recent phone-addiction report, three out of four Americans consider themselves addicted to their handsets, and the majority of people check their mobiles once every nine minutes (or 160 times per day). We also spend an average of 56 hours and 42 minutes per week watching TV. This writer once went a month without a smartphone—not out of choice—and it was awful.
Image credit: Sinisa Botas