Doing whatever it takes to quit Facebook

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In this contract between Paul Baier and his teenaged daughter, Baier agrees to pay $200 if his daughter stays off Facebook for 5 months. (Photo courtesy Paul Baier)

It seems money will cure even the strongest addiction to Facebook. A high school freshman from Boston proved this as she struck a deal with her dad to get $200 to stay off Facebook for five months.

The Massachusetts freshman was having a hard time finding ways to make money. She approached her dad with her idea, saying, “‘If I didn’t use Facebook for so long would you pay me?'” father Paul Baier told ABC News.

Baier was surprised with his daughter’s request at first, thinking she was joking because of how much time she spends on the site daily.

“She has spent two to three years on Facebook for 24/7,” he explained. He soon saw, however, how serious she was, and was happy to comply to his daughter’s request. He drew up a contract.

According to Baier, he and his daughter agreed the contract would begin Feb. 4, 2013 and end June 26, 2013. She will receive $50 halfway through the allotted time and the remaining $150 on June 26, which is the last day of ninth grade. She says she will rely on texting and seeing her friends at school to replace Facebook and stay in the loop.

Even if she has a withdrawal and wants to login to Facebook, her dad is holding strong.

“Part of the agreement,” he said, “was that she allowed me to change the password. She can’t get back in and turn it back on.”

Commenters on Baier’s blog have been ruthless and have called him a “wimp, idiot and terrible father.” Some of the comments suggest that Baier is being naive about the situation saying his daughter will just create another Facebook account under a different name. Baier believes his daughter will keep her part of the bargain.

“She approached me,” he said.

Some BYU students feel self-control should be enough to step away from Facebook and the desire to do well in school should be incentive enough to deactivate. Several admitted they deactivate their accounts during the end of the semester and especially during finals week.

Kalisha Walters, a recreation management and youth leadership major, talked about her deactivation pattern.

“I normally deactivate mine during finals week because I lack self-control,” she said.

But according to nursing student Melinda Ahlstrom, it’s all about self-control.

“I don’t feel like I ever need to deactivate it because I can control how much time I spend on it,” she said.

Facebook can be distracting, and some students just don’t have the discipline it takes to balance and manage time spent on Facebook. According to a new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 61 percent of Facebook users have deactivated their accounts for several weeks at some point in time.

“I always think about deactivating my account because I get so distracted and it’s my go-to when I don’t feel like doing my homework,” said early childhood education major Malissa Richardson.

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