Mom Offered 12-Year-Old $1,800 to Stay Off Social Media Until 18 — and He Actually Did It

A Minnesota mom is making headlines for giving her son an offer he (apparently) couldn't refuse: If he managed to stay off all forms of social media until his 18th birthday, she'd reward him with $1,800 for his efforts. Tempted by what he thought was a pretty sweet offer, the boy gladly accepted the challenge and stuck to his promise until finally turning 18 this week. But here's the most impressive part of this story: The challenege started six years ago when he was just 12 years old — and somehow, he's managed to survive this whole time.

Lorna Klefsaas is the "genius" mom at the center of this story At the time, she called it the "18 for 18 challenge," and her then 12-year-old son jumped at the chance to get on board.

"Being 12, I didn't really have that great of a concept of money yet," Sivert recently told KARE 11 News. "So, I was like, oh sick, yeah, absolutely."

Of course, now that he's older (and a bit more well versed in math concepts), he realizes that $1,800 is not the huge sum of cash he once thought it was.

At least, not when you spread it out over a six-year period.

Ultimately, Sivert earned just $300 a year for his efforts And boy, were they something.

Six years ago, in 2015, "staying off social media" likely meant never going on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. But in the past few years — and in particular, since the pandemic — social media platforms have expanded to include Snapchat, WhatsApp, and (of course) the massively popular TikTok.

Still, the teen claims the challenge wasn't that bad And while that may be hard to believe (especially when you consider all the ways in which teens connect these days), it may have somethng to do with the fact that Sivert never had the chance to get "hooked" on social media in the first place.
According to his mom, she created the challenge after her older daughter started getting sucked into Snapchat.

"She got so obsessed with keeping up her Snapchat streaks that it was affecting her mood," Lorna told KARE 11. "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."

(Thankfully, she says her daughter now has a much more "healthy" relationship with social media.)

Most of all, though, Sivert seemed to be driven by his love of competition "He did really dig in," said Lorna. "He was like ‘I'm not breaking this.'"

On the one hand, Sivert did have to deal with feeling "out of the loop" in a lot of ways. But on the flipside, it also kept the teen shielded from a lot of the stress and drama that often goes hand-in-hand with being on social media in high school.

"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 Ooh, somebody did that.’ And I was really spared from all that,” Sivert relayed.

Of course, as soon as he turned 18 this week, he officially got on board
On February 19, Sivert was handed his $1,800 reward, plus a brand-new phone — on which he immediately downloaded Instagram to see what he's been missing out on all these years.

And to his surprise ... it's been a lot to take in.

"It's hilarious," the teen admitted, "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?'"

Watch the video to learn more about the teen's impressive challenge — and how people are reacting to it.

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