How many of you remember Vitaminwater’s ‘Scroll free for a year’ challenge? It basically dared people to remain smartphone free for a complete year in order to bag the prize money worth $100,000. This particular New York woman who was selected into the challenge has already gone eight months without her smartphone and is only four months away from getting the grand prize.
Vitaminwater stirred the online community last December when it announced a strange and unique challenge. Thousands of applications flooded in for getting selected as the perfect candidate for spending a year without using their smartphone. However, the only person that was selected and got to try this challenge was Elana Mugdan.
Elana Mugdan is a 29-year-old fiction writer from Queens, New York. She is already into the eight months of the challenge and claims that the experience has been an eye-opener and freeing. She says that it has allowed her to determine just how determined she had become on her smartphone. She says that there were times when she missed her beloved companion but intends to go on living without it even after the challenge is over.
Mugdan said, ‘I’ve decided that I will never go back to smartphone use once the one-year contest is up. I don’t think I can be trusted with the technology — if I have access to a smartphone, I suspect I’ll go right back to abusing it, wasting time, staying up all hours of the night on it, and getting addicted to social media, and I really don’t want to go back to all that.’
Upon starting the Scroll Free For a Year challenge, Elana Mugdan had to give up her iPhone 5s for a Kyocera flip phone that she could only use for the sake of calling and texting. She still has access to her laptop, desktop PC, and even high-tech devices such as Amazon Echo. However, not having access to her smartphone has made a few situations a bit harder than she’d ever imagined.
She says, ‘Once, I almost got stranded in the SeaTac airport because the phone number I’d written down was wrong, and I had no way of looking up the right one, no way of calling a cab or Uber, and no one in the state who could help me.’ Nonetheless, she says that she has been able to overcome these situations and believes that the last eight months without her smartphone have actually been one of the best times of her life.
If she is able to go on for four more months, she will win $100,000. However, as per the rules, she will have to take a lie-detector test to prove that she didn’t cheat during the Scroll Free For a Year challenge.