Teen challenged by his mom to stay off social media for 6 years collects $1,800 prize

Social media apps.
(Image credit: Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Sivert Klefsaas is $1,800 richer, and all it took was for him to stay off of social media during most of his teenage years.

When the Minnesota resident was 12, his mom, Lorna Goldstrand Klefsaas, told him if he didn't use social media for the next six years, she would give him $1,800 on his 18th birthday. At that time, Sivert had only downloaded Snapchat and deleted it after a day, so he happily took her up on the offer. "I thought it was awesome," he told CNN.

Sivert held up his end of the deal, and on his 18th birthday on Saturday, his mom presented him with $1,800. Without the distraction of social media, Sivert told CNN, he was able to focus more on sports and getting good grades, while also avoiding "all the unnecessary drama that was on there."

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He's not sure yet what he'll spend his money on, but Sivert did figure out how to break his social media dry spell: he got an Instagram account. There's "definitely a learning curve," he said. "I see my friends fly through their social media apps and I can't do that quite yet."

Lorna is glad her son appears to have a "different perspective" on social media than he might have had otherwise. "We are certainly not against social media, but it's the healthy using of it," she told CNN. "It's about not letting yourself get weighed down by it, or addicted to it, or affected by things that people post."

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.