Sivert Klefsaas was 12 years old when his mom Lorna promised to pay him $1,800 if he could stay off social media until he was 18.
Lorna coined it the “18 for 18 challenge,” after hearing a story on the radio about another mom who had started a “16 for 16 challenge” for her daughter.
“Being 12, I didn’t really have that great of a concept of money yet. So, I was like oh sick, yeah, absolutely,” Sivert laughs. “He was going to buy a car,” his mother Lorna adds.
“Oh, I had plans,” Sivert laughs.
“He did really dig in. He was like ‘I’m not breaking this.’ I’m proud of him, because there were a few times where it was harder,” Lorna says. “I knew for sure he was going to make it.”
And on his 18th birthday, Sivert was able to keep his promise. Lorna admits it is the best money she has ever spent, as she witnessed how Sivert’s older sister struggled with social media.
“She got so obsessed with keeping up her Snapchat streaks that really it was affecting her mood. It was affecting her friendships,” Lorna explains.
“I mean, it was like an intervention. She was really, really upset, but it was not even three weeks later that she thanked us and said she was so happy to not have her phone.”
Lorna says her daughter is now in grad school and is doing well and has a healthy relationship with social media. However, the mom of two wanted to see if she could save her youngest child Sivert from going through the same hardship.
“You just hear about all the stuff that goes on and just with my friends and with school, and like, ‘oh somebody said this about you’ and ‘oh somebody did that.’ And I was really spared from all that,” Sivert explains.
However, one of the very first things Sivert did on his 18th birthday was create an Instagram account.
“It’s hilarious. I feel like I’m like 80. I can’t seem to figure out social media. It’s pretty embarrassing. I’ll be with my friends, and they are like, ‘what are you doing?'” Sivert laughs.
However, the teen admits he would do it again.
“On the whole I would say totally worth it. I mean, I would do it again,” Sivert says.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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