The story we broke Tuesday night about Wellesley dad Paul Baier and his 14-year-old daughter Rachel’s contract under which she pledged to ditch Facebook for $200 has really taken off.
I knew the moment Paul contacted me on Tuesday night that this story had huge potential. In fact, I said to Mrs. Swellesley right before posting stories on The Swellesley Report and Network World, and then pushing the stories via social media sites, something like “This story is going to go crazy.” (And we’re grateful to Universal Hub, Mix 104.1 and the Boston Business Journal for lining to our piece and giving us credit…unlike so many others who apparently just happen to stumble across Paul’s blog this week on their own because they are such sustainability buffs.)
From there, pretty much all of the major local TV news outlets picked up on the story, as did my former employer the Boston Herald on its front page, plus CNN, Yahoo, The New York Daily News, The Daily Dot, ABC News and you name it. Forbes went wild with “Will Wellesley Dad/Daughter Put an End to Facebook.” The Today Show has also come knocking at the Baiers’ virtual door.
As you might expect, reaction to the Facebook contract has been mixed, with some applauding the student for being smart enough to recognize she was better off without it for now and the dad for being creative in agreeing to the deal. Others have chastised Mr. Baier for using money to take the place of parenting, while others have joked that the daughter should have held out for more money (and many have also mentioned how easy it would be for the freshman girl to just open another Facebook or other social media account).
This story hasn’t gone quite as viral as last year’s You’re Not Special Speech, but we usually only get one or two of these a year. So enjoy our town’s latest claim to fame while it lasts!