We’ve all seen the social media posts that ask whether you could live without your smartphone in exchange for a set amount of money. Well, if you’ve ever scoffed at those challenges as “too easy,” now’s the time to put your mouth where your money is. Vitaminwater is offering the chance to win $100,000 in exchange for doing without your smartphone for a whole year.
To enter, simply post on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #nophoneforayear and #contest, and say why you need a break from your phone, and what you’d do with all your free time. You could also probably say what you’d with the money, too, if you like.
If you’re selected to take part in the contest, then Vitaminwater will give you a call on January 22, and deliver a 1996-era phone (with contract) that you’ll be able to use for communication purposes. During the 365 days from that point on, you won’t be able to use a smartphone or tablet — whether your own or a friend’s. In Vitaminwater’s own words, if texting is a pleasant experience or you can get on the internet, then it’s a smartphone and you’ll be banned.
On the plus side, you won’t be banned from using laptops, and smart home devices like the Google Home or Amazon Echo are just fine. Any eligible winners will be required to take a lie detector test at the end of year, and people who make it six months before failing will also be able to claim a $10,000 prize — which isn’t bad either.
With recent studies indicating modern children can spend up to six hours immersed in digital and social media, it’s becoming increasingly evident to some that it might be time to take a digital detox. Studies also indicate that almost half of millennials check their smartphone every 20 minutes, and 8 in 10 use their phone to complete everyday tasks — which has led some to proclaim millennials have no chance of beating this challenge.
While ditching phones entirely seems a bit much to most of us — they’re just so darned useful — we could probably all do with cutting down on the time we spend on our phones. Both iOS and Android now have tools to help cut down on your time spent in the digital world, while you can also find a variety of third-party apps that do the same thing.