Besides using Facebook to interact with friends and stay up to date with the latest status updates, three students from High School West are using Facebook to expand upon an innovative project initiated by students of Queens University. The project’s goal is to spread compliments to students anonymously via this social networking site. “Hsw Compliments” allows students to send compliments to the page for other students in the school, which are then posted anonymously on the “Hsw Compliments” Facebook page.
Currently over 100 compliments have been received and posted on the compliments site over the course of just a few days; the page is continually gaining popularity and acknowledgment around the school and online. “When we witness a student inboxing us a heartfelt compliment about a best friend or girlfriend, it can make posting it that much more meaningful and special to us. When dozens of students ‘like’ every compliment, it’s also an encouraging and satisfying part of managing the page,” commented an unnamed student running the compliments page.
A substantial element of the page is the anonymity behind both the senders of each compliment and the creators of the page. In addition to the Facebook page, students are encouraged to send compliments to the Hsw Compliments email, firstname.lastname@example.org, from a “throw away” email address for further anonymity. Students are often taken aback when they receive an unexpected compliment from an anonymous sender. “When I saw [the] compliment [about me] I was beyond excited and it truly made my day to see what nice things someone could say about me, and the fact that I don’t know who wrote it made it even more exciting,” stated junior Josh Bainnson. “To be honest, it’s really flattering. It’s a confidence booster. Since [the page] is filtered, there’s no way it could turn into a site like Formspring, where most anonymous messages are spiteful,” said junior Julie Nicolette.
The creators of the Hsw Compliments page have a source of mystery. However, the anonymity of the creators of the page allows for students to send in compliments without any fears concerning who will have knowledge of their identity. The group also explained, “As much as we appreciate the positive feedback, we didn’t make this page to be praised like a ‘hero,’ and we don’t want to be perceived as having those intentions. We’ve received very negative feedback and a lot of ‘trolling’ [on the page]. Though we would probably learn to ignore it, the negativity would be best kept in [the] Hsw Compliments inbox and out of our personal lives.”
The “Hsw Compliments” page does not only spread praises to students, but it encourages students to pass on the feeling of appreciation just in time for the holiday season. Our thanks go out to the anonymous creators of this page for taking the time out of their lives to brighten a day. According to Hsw Compliments, these compliments have “made students more aware of how powerful words are, particularly words of kindness.”