Some high school students are bribed by their parents to get good grades, but one enterprising 14-year-old is apparently setting a new precedent by getting paid not to use her Facebook account.
Boston teen Rachel Baier's father has agreed to pay her $200 if she deactivates her Facebook account for five months. Paul Baier, a vice president at a solar installations company based in Salem, Mass., blogged about the unusual arrangement on his website, called Practical Sustainability.
Baier uploaded a photo of the signed contract between him and his daughter, in which she agreed to give him access to deactivate her Facebook account in exchange for money. In return, Rachel was promised an initial payment of $50 on April 15, and a second payment of $150 on June 26. The teen said she plans to use the money for “stuff.”
In his blog post, Baier said the five-month-long Facebook hiatus was actually Rachel’s suggestion. “Her idea, which I support fully,” he wrote.
"It was her idea," Baier confirmed in an interview with the Daily Dot. "She wants to earn money and also finds Facebook a distraction and a waste of time sometimes. She plans to go back on after the six months is over."
Baier told Yahoo News that his daughter "mostly wanted and needed the money as she has been frustrated by not finding babysitting jobs. She is an honors student but she says Facebook can be distracting."
He said Rachel initially asked for only $70, but raised her price when she realized how long the break would last. "When she realized it would be for five months, she wanted an amount that would really excite her," her father explained.
While father and daughter seem OK with the arrangement, some bloggers are questioning Baier's parenting tactic.
In 18+ comments on the father's blog post, readers expressed mixed opinions.
“A parent who cares and is actively involved in his daughter's life is a wonderful thing. Two hundred dollars is a very small price to pay for better grades, more time with the family, etc. I loved this post,” Lori Lipsky said.
“You're an idiot, Paul,” a user named “Bitzy,” chimed in. “Why not try something called 'parenting.' It's more difficult than bribery but will more beneficial to your daughter in the long run. Otherwise, she sounds like a spoiled brat and that's your fault.”
A recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project said that "Facebook Vacations" such as Rachel's are a growing trend. Pew said that it has found that 61 percent of Facebook users have opted at some point to take a break from the social media site for as much as more than a week.