Last week I told you about Alyssa Rushing, the 20-year-old college student from Rock Hill whose mom had offered her $300 if she could go a month without Facebook and use the time toward her studies. The challenge ended on Wednesday, and her mom, Melynda Rushing, tells me Alyssa successfully completed it. "She made it to the end but was VERY anxious" to get back on Facebook, Melynda wrote in an e-mail. The story hit a chord nationally. Fox News and MSNBC asked me for the Rushings' contact information. Good Morning America and the Today show also tried to reach them, as did a number of local TV stations and radio shows. (GMA sent them friend requests and messages on Facebook). Melynda said the story was also mentioned on The View as well.
But they didn't respond to any of the requests. Critical online comments responding to the Observer story upset Alyssa. (Many commenters suggested students shouldn't need money to study harder; Alyssa pointed out that she was doing well in school, even without the challenge). "We ran for cover after the initial response," Melynda wrote. "Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined!!! When Good Morning America contacted us, I realized then all the hype had little to do with us and more to do with (Facebook) in general."