Updated: 9:34 AM PDT, March 23, 2021
If you were offered $2,400 to put your cellphone away for 24 hours, could you do it?
Unlike the ice-bucket challenge, when a bucket of ice is dumped over your head for charity and it’s over within seconds, the “24-hour digital detox challenge” is a little different.
The premise of this challenge, created by reviews.org, a company that tests home-services and products, whose employees describe themselves as “tech experts” who like to “geek out” about technology, is two-fold. First, there are no cell phones, no television, no gaming consoles, no computers, no laptops, no smartwatches, no wearable tech, no smart home devices, no smart speakers for an entire day. Then there is the written portion (we’ll get to that later).
So in other words, no Instagram, no Snapchat, no TikTok, no Facebook, no Twitter, no LinkedIn, no YouTube, no Netflix, no Hulu, no Fortnite, no Mario Brothers, no Mortal Kombat, no Zoom, no Skype … you get the gist.
Oh, and no selfies — that counts too!
“If you’ve got the desire to ditch your devices for a day but still need to get paid, this is the perfect opportunity for you,” the company writes on its website.
One item participants are permitted to use is a microwave. (So go ahead and enjoy as much microwave popcorn as you like).
If you think you got this, now’s your chance to apply. Go to reviews.org and answer the company’s $2,400 question: “Why are you right for the challenge?” In at least 100 words, explain why you are “their” person.
Besides being someone who likes to challenge themselves, the ideal candidate is someone who is “definitely into tech,” according to reviews.org.
Those candidates that are selected will be sent a safe to store their electronics in for a 24-hour period and also a $200 Amazon gift card. The intent of the gift card isn’t so you can purchase “more electronics,” but should go towards a tech-free “survival kit,” that you will create (here’s a hint: think of the days pre-internet when board games, word games and puzzles were really neat). Some survival kit suggestions the company offers include a typewriter to replace computers, writing paper to replace texts, and paints and brushes.
But, don’t book that vacation just yet. Here’s the second part:
What you do during the 24-hours of being disconnected is up to you. After the challenge, participants will submit their screen time reports to prove that they truly went a full 24 hours without their tech. They will share the contents and experience they had from their survival kit and give feedback on how it felt — but they’ll do so while holding the coveted “2021 Digital Detox Challenger” title, according to the rules.
If you’re wondering what prompted this challenge in the first place, the company found that U.S. teens were spending an average of more than seven hours per day on screen-media for entertainment alone, according to a 2019 report by the nonprofit Common Sense Media, CNN reported.
That being said, screen time has become a growing health risk, which has heightened during the pandemic as more people work remotely and students attend classes and study online
That is a lot of time that can be spent elsewhere. Or, as the company said: ”We have a feeling someone out there needs a break.”
Clever. Right? If you’re still interested, you’ve got a few more days to apply. Candidates must be at least 18 years old and must be legally authorized to work in the United States.
Applications will be open until March 26. The detox challengers will be announced on March 29 on the company’s Youtube channel.