Vitaminwater is going to pay a New York woman $100,000 if she can finish a year with only a flip phone, proving that our society has gotten so addicted to smartphones and social media that we forget that’s how everyone on earth lived only 12 years ago.
Elana Mugdan, a 29-year-old fiction writer from Queens, was the lucky winner in a “Scroll-Free” contest sponsored by Vitaminwater. The sugar-water company made a deal with Mugdan: Trade in your iPhone for a flip phone, stay off tablets, pass a lie detector test in Feb. 2020, and we’ll fork over the cash.
It’s easy to forget that before Steve Jobs somewhat unwittingly released a permanent change on society in 2007, life without smart phones was the norm. But we’ve let smartphones invade pretty much every aspect of our lives to such a scary extent that Vitaminwater is willing to pay someone to buck the trend.
My guess is Vitaminwater, a psuedo health company that sells re-packaged hummingbird food that tastes like a mix of Kool-aid and cough syrup, is sponsoring the contest to appear as advocates of a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle.
Though it’s obviously just a corporate attempt at positive “mindfulness” PR, it is a refreshing change from the typical, brainless promotion of products on social media, i.e. Tweet your favorite way to drink Kool-Aid Cough Syrup with the hashtag #4humansnothummingbirds. Mugdan says she’s learned from her non-smartphone lifestyle, and after her deal is up with Vitaminwater, won’t give up her flip phone.
All it takes for modern Americans to change their ways is a simple push encouraging them to look at culture from an outsider’s perspective, and a six-figure check.