Social media has a huge impact on our lives. Instagram made itself accessible to kids as young as 13. While social media can be fun and entertaining, it has adverse effects as well. Self-absorption, addiction to phones, FOMO (fear of missing out), dissatisfaction, comparison with unrealistic standards, etc are the dark side of social media.
Lorna Klefsass is a mother living in Minnesota. She was not against social media because she did let her daughter use it when she turned 12. But she saw how bad it was for her mental health. Lorna says, “She got so obsessed with keeping up her Snapchat streaks that really it was affecting her mood. It was affecting her friendships.”
As a necessary action, they took her phone away for 3 weeks. She acknowledges this by saying, “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.”
Lorna offered her daughter a deal to give her $1600 if she stayed off social media till she was 16. Lorna’s daughter is now is in grad school. She learned the balance between real life and social media. She excels in school and has a healthy social life too. But after witnessing her daughter’s bad relationship with social media. Lorna tried to save her younger kid.
She offered her then 12-year-old son, Sivert, $1800 to stay off social media till he is 18 years old. Why 1800 you ask? Well, they named the challenge ‘18 for 18’. Sivert didn’t know the value of money at the tender age of 12. He exclaims, “Being 12, I didn’t really have that great of a concept of money yet. So, I was like oh sick, yeah, absolutely”.
Sivert is competitive and a sports player. He wanted to buy a car with all that $1800 he would get when he is 18. I’m still calculating which car is available for $1800 this year. He said to himself, “I’m not breaking this.” and then did not.
Lorna acknowledges the efforts it took to keep his promise, especially when at times it would get difficult. She is so proud of her son and her daughter. Sivert turned 18 in March 2022 and received a new phone and an $1800 cheque. Lorna calls this her best investment to date.
Sivert says not being on social media gave him time to focus on grades and football. His friends kept him up-to-date when he didn’t have social media and now he feels mature enough to handle social media.
He says, “It’s hilarious. I feel like I’m like 80. I can’t seem to figure out social media. It’s pretty embarrassing. But I would do it all over again”