Empower.me bills itself as a “teen development engine.” Systematically lays out agreed-upon cash incentives to do things like study, attain good grades, study, do chores, study, watch their baby siblings… OK, so I get it. Kind of like a never-ending itemized allowance that places a monetary worth on life-enhancing and character-building activities.
Clearly money has always been the carrot to motivate any sort of new or less-than-exciting behavior. I got an allowance growing up. And got it in exchange for doing what I was supposed to do. But is this new way going too far?
“Nah, watching the little brat isn’t worth the $7. But I’ll trade ya 1 hour of SAT-studying and a lawn mow for it.” What kind of behavior is this really encouraging? “I’ll do it if you pay me and if I think the amount is worth it in the Grand Scheme of things?” Ooooh. Dangerous? Think the only thing this is developing is negotiating skill. Is this really what technology should be helping with?
Funny, “Because I said so” always worked with me. (But look where that got me!)