Mom Pays Her Son $1800 to Stay off Social Media

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Mom Pays Her Son $1800 to Stay off Social Media

By Movieguide® Contributor

With the problems of social media filling Congressional hearings, parents are anxious to find ways to protect their children from online dangers.

One mom took a creative approach to keeping her son off of social media, and it paid off – for both of them! 

Lorna Klefsaas challenged her son Sivert to stay off of social media until he was 18 years old. If he could do it, she would give him $1,800. Sivert, who was 12 at the time, took his mom up on the offer. 

“Being 12, I didn’t really have that great of a concept of money yet. So, I was like, ‘Oh sick, yeah, absolutely!’ “Sivert told KARE 11

Both Sivert and Lorna knew his competitive spirit meant he would complete the challenge. 

“I wouldn’t say there was ever a time where I thought I was about to break,” the teen told CNN. “As it went on, it was more of a pride thing.”

Movieguide® has previously reported on the negative effects social media can have on people, especially children and teenagers: 

Teenagers who spend more time on social media have increased depression, according to recent studies. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study placing suicide as the second leading cause of death amongst individuals aged 10-34.

Social media is not the direct cause but rather the correlation between the spike in depression and its use. The basic human to human interaction has been lost on many levels through social media.

Cyberbullying affects 60% of all students. This leads to one in four girls self-harming, and one in ten boys doing the same.

The documentary THE SOCIAL DILEMMA also explains some of the pitfalls of using the platforms on a regular basis:

THE SOCIAL DILEMMA mixes investigative style interviews of some major Big Tech, social media whistleblowers with dramatized scenes to reveal social media’s effect on society and the dangers it poses for the future. The movie includes interviews from tech developers, psychologists and former social media employees. It illustrates what they say through a narrative portion that zooms in on life in an average American household.  THE SOCIAL DILEMMA is a compelling, timely look at some of the nefarious ways, or even involuntary ways, Big Tech controls its user base through provisions like instant information and search engines. The movie’s dramatic portion sometimes distracts from the interviews, but otherwise reinforces the interviews. However, THE SOCIAL DILEMMA still presents a revealing perspective on Big Tech and the addictive qualities that social media has on many children and adults. It provides several scientifically backed solutions to slow the tide of social media’s negative physiological and psychological effects. Due to some depictions of riots, a couple references to evolution, an obscenity, and a discussion of suicide in THE SOCIAL DILEMMA, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.  

For Lorna, the financial incentive paid off.

Even though most teenagers would find the challenge impossible, Sivert says he would do it again. “I thought it was awesome,” he laughed. “I thought, ‘Ah what’s 6 more years?'”

Lorna’s creative idea came to her after she watched her oldest daughter struggle with the negative effects social media was having on her life. 

“She got so obsessed with keeping up her Snapchat streaks that really it was affecting her mood. It was affecting her friendships,” Lorna said. Getting her away from social media “was like an intervention” but it ended up paying off in the end.

“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 said.