February 07, 2013

Would You Pay Your Child $200 to Quit Facebook?


We’ve heard of people taking Facebook breaks, but one dad is paying his daughter $200 to quit.

All we can say is “Wow.” Whatever happened to normal household chores? One 14-year-old girl is putting all of us to shame with a recent negotiation made with her father; the kind that makes our $10 weekly allowance for taking out the trash look petty and ridiculous. Rachel Baier made a negotiation – or a business transaction of sorts – with her father, Paul Baier, in which she will give up Facebook for six full months, and if done successfully, will receive $200 at the end of it all. That translates to a little over $30 per month for simply not sitting in front of a computer as often. 

According to the contract (yes, a contract was created), Rachel will be paid $50 on April 15 of this year and will be paid the remaining $150 on June 26. In the contract, Rachel agrees, “He/she will have access to my Facebook to change the password and to deactivate the account. This will prevent me from re-activating the account in the future.”

Image via BuzzFeed

The contract even comes complete with an official Facebook logo.

So what will Rachel do when she scores her full share? In the part of the contract that states, “I plan to use the money for the following purpose,” she writes in: “stuff.”

So essentially, she’s giving up stuff to go buy some more stuff.

You may be thinking that this is a pretty desperate attempt at getting a teenager off of Facebook, but in actuality, it was Rachel’s idea. According to reports, she wanted to get a job and focus more on her academics, and she felt like Facebook was becoming a distraction.

While we’re on the topic, a recent study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project reveals that 61 percent of Facebook users have at some point taken a voluntary break from the site for weeks on end, with 21 percent of them saying they felt they were too busy to keep up with the site and “didn’t have time for it.” Ten percent cited their reason as it becoming a “waste of time.”

And many are with Rachel on this one, too, as 27 percent of Facebook users surveyed said they plan to cut down on time spent on the site this year. But having your father pay you to stay away from it? That seems pretty priceless to us.

According to Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project and co-author of the report, “For some, central calculation is how they spend their time. For others, it’s more of a social reckoning as they ask themselves, ‘What are my friends doing and thinking and how much does that matter to me?’”

People are increasingly straying from the site or taking mental breaks from it to catch a social breather, but this inevitably turns things up a notch. Let’s see what will happen next.




Edited by Rachel Ramsey



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