Entertainment

VitaminWater Wants to Pay You Not to Use Your Smartphone

Beverage company plans to award $100,000 to one lucky person who is able to avoid a time-sucking device for a year

Image Credit: Screengrab

VitaminWater wants to see if they can find someone willing to give up his or her smartphone for a full year in exchange for $100,000.

Earlier this month, the beverage company announced its “Scroll-Free for a Year” challenge. They’ll select one person and give that individual $100,000 if he or she can go 365 days without using a smartphone; and if the person can last more than half of the year without a device, the person will be eligible for a $10,000 prize.

“This means you cannot physically operate, caress, hug or otherwise be physically affectionate with anyone’s smartphone,” the company’s public statement, in part, read.

The contest’s official rules say the “winner” the company selects to compete in the contest will be able to use a “1996-era cellular telephone” for communication purposes.

And while the chosen person may not use a smartphone or tablet, he or she will be allowed to use both laptops and desktop computers. The person can also use “voice-activated devices that are not smartphones” like Google Home and Amazon Echo.

At the end of the 365-day period, the contestant will be subjected to a polygraph as part of the verification process.

Related: Smartphones and Young People: Three Troubling Impacts

People can enter the contest via Twitter using the hashtags #nophoneforayear and #contest — and by telling VitaminWater what they will do instead of scrolling through their phone for the course of the year.

People can enter the contest up to four times per day and the entry deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

Here are some examples of the entries so far.

Certainly, VitaminWater will choose someone who is on the phone on a regular (constant?) basis — and not someone who can live without a phone with ease.

However, those who are not dependent on their smartphones these days are few and far between.

For instance, a 2014 Bank of America survey found that nearly half of U.S. adults (47 percent) admitted they could not last a full day without their smartphones.

In 2017, the New York Post found that the average American checked his or her phone 80 times per day — or once every 12 minutes. One in 10 people surveyed checked it once every four minutes — or about 240 times per day.

For more on the VitaminWater contest, check out the video below:

Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.

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