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A 14-year-old teen was paid $200 by her father to quit Facebook for the next five months. The father then posted the signed "Facebook Deactivation Agreement" to his own blog for all to see.
"I, Rachel Baier, agree to deactivate my Facebook account from 2/4/13 to 6/26/13. In return, my dad, Paul Baier, agrees to pay me $50 on 4/15/13 and $150 on 6/26/13. 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. I plan to use the money for the following purposes: stuff," the contract reads.
While many may think that it was Mr. Baier's idea to draw up the contract in order to allow his daughter more free time to study, or spend time with friends, it was the exactly opposite.
"It was her idea," he told the Daily Dot. "She wants to earn money and also finds Facebook a distraction and a waste of time sometimes."
It seems that Rachel may be one step ahead of her peers; there have been several studies that allegedly link excessive Facebook use to mental illness, but an equal number have disputed that same link. However, it is a general consensus that many teens spend too much time on the site and could have an addiction to it.
"If you really didn't have that many friends and weren't really doing that much with your life and saw other peoples' status updates and pictures, and what they were doing with friends, I could see how that would make them upset," Chicago sophomore Abby Abolt told the Associated Press when asked about the claims linking Facebook to teenage depression.
"A lot of what's happening is actually very healthy, but it can go too far," Dr. Gwenn O'Keeffee, a pediatrician and lead author of the new American Academy of Pediatrics social media guidelines, added. "Facebook is where all the teens are hanging out now. It's their corner store."
Rachel Baier is taking a break from the online "corner store" to hang out in the real world, and collecting a cool $200 for doing so. It's an arrangement that has garnered both support and criticism on Mr. Baier's blog, where the agreement has been posted.