Teen Stayed Off Social Media For 6 Years To Win $1,800 In Prize

The 18 for 18 challenge could be a new buzz.


Social media addiction and overuse are nothing new. But what’s new is that a mom challenged her son to stay off social media until he turned 18. As a result, the son, Sivert Klefsaas, pulled it off to win $1,800.

In 2016, Sivert’s mother, Lorna Goldstrand Klefsaas, challenged her 12-year-old to let go of social media. He had only used Snapchat for about a day before accepting the challenge and deleted it afterward.

Lorna told CNN that she got the idea from a challenge she heard over the radio, called the “16 for 16” challenge. As the name suggests, the kid gets $1,600 if they don’t use social media till they’re 16. So Lorna created her own “18 for 18” challenge, and Sivert claimed $1,800 on his 18th birthday.

Teens & Social Media

A screenshot of Lorna Goldstrand Klefsaas' Facebook post
A screenshot of Lorna Goldstrand Klefsaas’ Facebook post

It is no surprise that social media can have a negative impact on children, especially teens. Instagram’s internal research showed it had a negative impact on children. And even when its parent company Facebook, now Meta, tried to spin it off, it just got worse.

Lorna’s challenge to her son wasn’t entirely against social media. She shared pictures of Sivert completing the challenge on Facebook. She said, “it’s about not letting yourself get weighed down by it [social media], or addicted to it, or affected by things that people post.”

Lorna also said that her son would have a different perspective of things at 18 compared to how he thought of things when he was 12. Lorna added that Sivert is the youngest of her 4 children. Her 3 daughters used social media while growing up, and “it was affecting their mood, their friendships and was kind of a depressant.”

Social media today has eventually become a large echo chamber that wants you to stay there just a little longer. So Lorna’s concerns about addiction and social media being a kind of a depressant are not unfounded.

Now that Sivert is 18, he has already joined Instagram and says the app has a learning curve. While he may have some difficulty getting used to it, he’ll eventually pick it up.

What do you think about teens using social media? Should 18 be the minimum age limit to allow social media usage? Or do apps like Instagram help kids cope with their lives? Do let us know in the comments.

Manik Berry

Manik Berry

With a Master’s degree in journalism, Manik writes about big tech and has a keen eye for political-tech news. In his free time, he’s browsing the Kindle store for new stuff read. Manik also adores his motorcycle and is looking for new routes on weekends. He likes tea and cat memes. You can reach him at [email protected]
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