By Mike Dougherty
UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) — Could you disconnect from technology for 24 hours? About 30 teenagers in Upper Darby’s Summer Stage program accepted that challenge for charity. It’s called the kNOw Tech-a-thon.
At 7 a.m., 17-year-old Anastasia and some others handed in their phones and had to entertain themselves the old-fashioned way.
“I actually read a book today, with paper and like writing on it!” says Anastasia.
William is 17 years old and he welcomes the challenge.
“There’s activities for us to do, and we’re going to be around everyone else who’s doing the same things we are.” says William. So we can depend on each other to not look at our phones.”
Six hours in to the 24 hour challenge, 18-year-old Billy is confident the remaining 18 hours would be a breeze.
“Smartphones, while they are supposed to save us time, actually just demand more time than anything else to us.” said Billy. “We get notifications every other minute. Facebook wants me. Instagram wants me. Email wants me. Oh my boss wants me and I’m at home.”
He says disconnecting from technology has allowed him to better connect with friends, which was the goal of kNOw Tech founder Steve Fisher.
“I think that today the greatest shortage of a resource is not oil, its focus.” said Fisher. “That’s the shortage today around the world, and not just with teens.”
Each teen in the program got sponsored by friends and family and money raised will benefit the Tyler Clementi Foundation which is an anti-bullying charity.
These teens have a question to ask adults. Could you go 24 hours without your cell phone?