Do you feel exposed when using social networks? 2:07
(WABNEWS) — If someone told you they were going to pay you $1,800 not to use social media for six years, would you do it? You could do it?
Sivert Klefsaas did.RELATED
“I thought it was unbelievable,” Sivert told WABNEWS on Tuesday, “I thought, ‘Oh, what’s 6 more years?'”
In 2016, Lorna Goldstrand Klefsaas challenged her 12-year-old son Sivert to stay away from social media until he was 18. If he completed the challenge, she would award him the money on his eighteenth birthday. On February 19, 2022, Sivert claimed the award from him.
Lorna was inspired by a dare she heard on the radio called “16 for 16,” in which a mother gave her daughter $1,600 on her 16th birthday if she stayed off social media, she told WABNEWS. She decided to up the ante to two years and $200 more.
Sivert said that it wasn’t very difficult to live without social media, and that he didn’t think much about it during those six years. At 12, Sivert didn’t use social media much anyway. The only app he had before the bet was Snapchat, which he deleted a day after trying it out.
“I wouldn’t say there was a moment where I thought I was about to break off (the engagement),” he said. “As it progressed, it was more of a pride thing.”
He also had his friends to stay on top of the latest information or trends. “I managed to avoid all the unnecessary drama that was there,” added Sivert.
Lorna said she never had to check to see if any apps had been surreptitiously downloaded. “It’s so competitive that it was more to prove a point,” she said.
It also meant he had more time to focus on his grades and sports, Sivert told the WABNEWS affiliate, kare.
Now with $1,800 more, Sivert told WABNEWS he hasn’t thought about what to buy (when he was 12, he joked he’d buy a house), but it will probably be something for his dorm room at Northwestern St. Paul University. which he will attend in the fall.
But you’ve already decided on your first foray into social media: install Instagram.
“There’s definitely a learning curve,” Sivert said. “I see that my friends fly on social media apps and I still can’t do it.”
After Sivert’s success, Lorna ironically shared the challenge on Facebook. She said it had been one of the best expenses of her life. Other parents have seemed interested in trying it too, she told WABNEWS.
“Of course, we’re not against social media, but it’s about using it in a healthy way,” Lorna said. “It’s about not being overwhelmed by them, or addicted to them, or affected by the things that people post.”
She added that she thinks her son has a “different perspective” on social media now than he would at 12.
Sivert is the youngest of four brothers, and his three older sisters used social networks during their childhood. Lorna said there were times when she felt her daughters “were too engrossed” in her apps and feeds.
“It affected his mood, his friendships and it was kind of a depressant,” he said. When one of her daughters was 16, Lorna took her phone away for this reason. Lorna says that her daughter thanked her after she did it, since she improved her mood.
“For some reason, kids and adults are very comfortable behind a screen,” Lorna said, referring to the kind of comments people post. “I’m so glad (Sivert) didn’t have to read any of it.”