Use Facebook to Boss Your Parents Around

January 20, 2010

by Mikey Cramer

I heard this interesting story on NPR the other day:

Speck Mellencamp, the 14 year-old son of the famous musician John Mellencamp, has turned to Facebook to get his father to quit smoking.  Speck made a deal with his father that if he can get 1 million people to join the Facebook group that he started, then his father will stop smoking.  At the time of the interview, the group was over 200,000 strong!  Evidentially, his father has tried to quit several times, but hasn’t been able to stick with it.  Speck’s theory is that if a million people join the group, then peer pressure becomes a major factor.  “If somebody sees him (smoking), he’ll seem like the bad guy,” Speck says.  “So he kinda has to (quit).”

What’s interesting is what this page has become to others- both smokers and those affected by family and friends who smoke.  The wall is full of comments from people sharing their stories: how they’ve quit, who they’ve lost etc.  Speck says his favorite comments are from people who also pledge to quit if the group gets to a million.  Apparently, John is looking at the page everyday to check in on its progress.  It will be interesting to track the growth and see how quickly a call to action of this nature gains traction.  You can view the Facebook page here.  And make sure to join, as this is a great example of how we can use social media in our everyday lives- networking with other individuals who share common interests and goals.

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