Lorna Klefsaas, is mother of four in Motley, Minnesota. Her three older girls struggled with social media as teenagers. 1 daughter even needed counseling from depression that her councilor says was brought on for the most part by her inferiority complex as a result of Instagram. Lorna heard her local radio show discussing a “16X16 Challenge” where someone was given $1,600 for doing something until they were 16 years old. Lorna thought she could help her youngest and only son Sivert with a similar challenge.
“I just wanted to keep Sivert off of it as long as I could”. So when she saw her 12 year old next “I said, ‘Siv, would you ever consider staying off social media until you were 18 if I paid you $1,800?’” He jumped at it!
“I accepted it because it was so much money! I probably hadn’t had more than $10 ever in my life. So, $1800 sounded like a fortune. I remember thinking I would have enough money to buy a house and a car.” It was actually easy he said. “It wasn’t like I had to give something up—I just had to not start.” It was easy till around his junior year. “It was especially hard when I would meet new people. Everyone would ask for my SnapChat. When I said I didn’t have one, they didn’t really know how else to stay in touch with me”.
Even though he really wanted to get on social media he resisted. “It was a matter of pride. And a matter of how much time I had invested. I didn’t want to give up when I had already stayed off for 4—5 years! I really just wanted to win”.
With all the "extra" time he had not being on social media he was able to work on other things. He scored 1000 points in his H.S. basketball career. He rushed for over 2000 yards and most importantly graduated number one in his class. He's attending Northwestern on a full academic scholarship.
One of the first things he did after winning the $1800 on his birthday was launch an Instagram and Snapchat account.
His mom says the goal wasn't to keep him off forever but to allow him time to develop his own sense of self. “I know he will not allow social media to dictate how he feels about himself or his worth”.