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Need a digital detox? Win this contest and you'll get paid to take one

TechRepublic logo TechRepublic 3/23/2021 Brandon Vigliarolo
a person sitting on the keyboard of a laptop computer: Getty Images/iStockphoto © Provided by TechRepublic Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you've ever thought about getting away from your tech for a day, but need the motivation to do so, is having a contest that's just what you're looking for. 

a person sitting on the keyboard of a laptop computer: Male hands using smart phone and laptop computer © Getty Images/iStockphoto

Male hands using smart phone and laptop computer

A recent report from the reviews website found that three-quarters of Americans consider themselves addicted to their phones, which they check on average 160 times a day, while also consuming an average of nearly 57 hours of TV per week. With those alarming statistics in mind, is hosting a contest in which it will select a single person to attempt a 24-hour digital detox. If successful, the contestant will be awarded $2,400. 

It won't be easy, though: In order to digitally detox by the contest's standards, the contestant will have to go 24 hours without a cellphone, television, gaming consoles or hand-held devices, computers, smartwatches and other wearable tech, and smart home devices like smart speakers. In essence, if it has a display or connects to the internet it's verboten for the day. Emergencies are an exception, of course, and microwaves are allowed for heating up meals.

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The contestant gets to pick a day that works for them (so no need to take PTO), and will send a time locking safe big enough for a smartphone and a $200 Amazon gift card to put together a "techless survival kit." Some of the items recommends are board games, a book, some paint and brushes, a typewriter or other analog entertainment products. 

The ideal candidate, said Trevor Wheelwright, is someone "burnt out from doomscrolling on [their] phone," terrified of a dead device battery, obsessed with social media, or too distracted by video games to achieve a real-world goal. "We're looking for someone who is definitely into tech but willing to challenge themselves," Wheelwright said.

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What the contestant actually does during the day is up to them, but they will be expected to give feedback on the experience, write a review of their survival kit, and provide proof that they went the full 24 hours by providing screen time reports. 

Applications are open now, but the window closes at 7 pm ET on March 26, with the winner set to be announced on March 29. As mentioned above, only one person is being selected, and the application requires convincing the team that you're the right person to choose. U.S. residents can apply here, and there's an identical contest going on in Australia, so Australian residents can apply here. If you're outside one of those two countries, sorry: You'll just have to do your digital detox without the expectation of any reward besides knowing you managed to do it. 


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