Mother Promises Son $1,800 on His 18th Birthday if He Stays off Social Media — and He Does

"I'm proud of him, because there were a few times where it was harder," the Minnesota mom told KARE 11

Sivert Klefsaas
Photo: Courtesy Lorna Goldstrand Klefsaas

Could you stay off of social media for six years if it meant earning a nice chunk of change?

One Minnesota mom challenged her son to do just that — and he succeeded.

Sivert Klefsaas, 18, is $1,800 richer now after going without social media since 2016. He was 12 when he began what his mother Lorna Klefsaas called the "18 for 18 challenge," according to KARE 11.

"Being 12, I didn't really have that great of a concept of money yet. So, I was like, 'Oh sick, yeah, absolutely!' "Sivert said with a laugh.

Despite the tall order, Lorna told the station that she "knew for sure" that her son would complete the task.

"He did really dig in," she explained. "He was like 'I'm not breaking this.' I'm proud of him, because there were a few times where it was harder."

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Sivert Klefsaas; Lorna Goldstrand Klefsaas
Courtesy Lorna Goldstrand Klefsaas

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The idea for the challenge came after Lorna watched her eldest daughter struggle with the effects social media had on her life during her teenage years, KARE 11 reported.

"She got so obsessed with keeping up her Snapchat streaks that really it was affecting her mood. It was affecting her friendships," Lorna told the station. The mom said pulling her daughter away from social media "was like an intervention" but was ultimately worth the effort.

"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.

After hearing about a similar "16 for 16" challenge on the radio, Lorna formulated the "18 for 18 challenge" in hopes of seeing her son avoiding the same problems many other teens face on social media, per CNN. (Sivert is the youngest of four children, according to the outlet.)

At age 12, Sivert was not yet enthralled by social media when his mother put him to the test. The young man told CNN that it was not hard for him to stay on task either, especially when "unnecessary drama" arose.

Lorna noted that she never felt the need to check on her son's compliance. "He's so competitive, it was definitely more for proving a point," she told the outlet.

Finally, Sivert claimed his prize on Feb. 19.

"I wouldn't say there was ever a time where I thought I was about to break," he confessed to CNN, noting that his friends would keep him in the loop about any new news or trends. "As it went on, it was more of a pride thing."

Not only did Sivert complete his mother's challenge, but "he would do it again," too.

"I thought it was awesome," Sivert told CNN Tuesday, "I thought, 'Ah what's 6 more years?'"

Among the first social media platforms Sivert is exploring is Instagram, though he admittedly has a bit of a "learning curve" to overcome. "I see my friends fly through their social media apps and I can't do that quite yet," he told CNN.

Speaking with KARE 11, Sivert said he can't "seem to figure out social media" just yet.

"It's hilarious. I feel like I'm like 80," he quipped, adding, "It's pretty embarrassing. I'll be with my friends, and they are like, 'what are you doing?' "

Still, Lorna is proud of her son's accomplishment. "We are certainly not against social media, but it's the healthy using of it," Lorna 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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