- 01 January 2013
- by Kushaan Shah
With constant updates on social media, more and more outlets are opening up for teens to contribute to the social welfare of their community virtually. Websites we use everyday are being leveraged for social projects. One such social project has taken Facebook by storm; the anonymous “Compliments” project has allowed college students to have a firsthand impact in spreading joy and happiness around their respective campuses.
The initiative was started at Queen’s University of Ontario, Canada in early September. Four college students, privy of the stress and heavy workloads of their classmates, decided to take action. Rachel Albi, Erica Gagne, Jessica Jonker, and Amanda Smurthwaite, four aspiring teachers, started a new Facebook profile called “Queen’s U Compliments”. The page prods fellow students to anonymously submit compliments about an individual who has impacted their life in a positive way. The owners, who aim to create a more positive atmosphere, disregard hateful and rude remarks.
Since its inception, at least 56 colleges and universities in Canada and the United States have adopted the compliments platform to spread happiness among their classmates. The profile also focuses on the big picture, attempting to eradicate gossiping and bullying and promoting higher self-esteems and beneficial mental health. In fact, some compliments pages, such as “Maryland Compliments” are closely affiliated with the campus Help Center and Suicide Prevention Hotline.
Compliments range from complimenting individuals on their physical beauty, their remarkable work ethic, or simply the fact that their presence is valuable to the anonymous poster. The page is an easy way for college students to simply use the worth of words to make someone else’s day a little bit brighter. “It can help people express how they appreciate one another and sometimes can allow someone to say things that may be hard to express otherwise,” says junior Victoria Lee, a student at the University of Maryland. Junior Abigail Tyrell of Tufts University added, “It’s a very innovative project. It’s remarkable how much more motivated and generally cheerful individuals can be with even the smallest compliment.”
What can you do? Check with your college campus to see if they have a compliments page. If not, it’s easy to create! Contact existing pages to see what steps they have taken to drive growth and get started in spreading joy immediately! Not in college yet? Don’t let this stop you from doing good! Create a page for your high school or even your community at large. Take the first step in making the world a bit more brighter for everyone!