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Columbia University to pay students to have face-to-face contact

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Columbia University's Low Library

In a development that will make Columbia alumni cringe and the rest of us feel vaguely pleased with ourselves, residential advisors at the Upper West Side Ivy have devised a new program that amounts to a cash reward for students who bother making face-to-face social contact. And to make it just that much worse, they’re calling it “The Social Experiment.”  

Every day the program’s website will post a new “prompt" for players to say to a group of chosen “password” holders, and whoever collects the most passwords over the course of a week wins $500. Minus the beer money that comes at the end of it, the unfortunately named Experiment does sound pretty much like standard fare for college R.A. programming… in other words, the reason college kids were driven to Facebook over-reliance in the first place.