Are you willing to give up your smartphone for a week? There’s a RM10k reward for one lucky winner

MOST Malaysians are seemingly permanently glued to their smart devices. Enter a restaurant, public transport or even the office and the common scene will likely be of people staring into cyberspace via their mobile devices.

Let’s face it. The smartphone has become an appendage that many people just cannot live without.

But are you willing to ditch your smartphone for a week in return for a possible cash reward of RM10,000?

This is the challenge posed by StudyNext who is inviting the public to be part of its Smartphone Sabbatical Challenge.  On its website, StudyNext explained the reasoning behind its initiative:

“It’s becoming more widely recognised that smartphones can cause harm. Since they started making their way into the hands of the general public, depression and anxiety rates have skyrocketed, increasing by more than 50%.”

“At StudyNext, we believe that while smartphones can be great learning tools, there’s so much more to learn through experiencing our physical world and being present in the moment with our surroundings. With that, we’re looking for someone to take a Smartphone Sabbatical by leaving their smartphone behind for a full week.”

With some experts having referred to smartphones as “experience blockers”, Malaysians are most likely to have missed out on numerous life experiences given they are considered to be the third most-addicted nationality to their smartphones in the world.

Meanwhile, the chosen candidates for the Smartphone Sabbatical Challenge will have to detach themselves from the apps and constant notifications of their smartphone.

The goal is to be more present in the world around them rather than scrolling through TikTok for hours on end or checking their e-mail every time they get a notification.

“They will have to put their smartphone in a lockbox and use a dumbphone (ie a flip phone) for seven days after which they will share their experience,” StudyNext further explained.

It may sound like a lot to give up given the reality is that many people cannot function without their smartphones. The feeling is as if they have undergone an amputation!

As highlighted by the organiser of this social experiment, the successful candidate can invest on a new-fangled smartphone with the prize money.

If you think you are game for the challenge, apply here. – June 25, 2024

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