College

Compliments

A new trend has found its way onto my campus and the instigator is Washington University, who got the idea from Canada (Queens U). I don’t know what goes on in those campuses that you have to make a facebook page for compliments. Before I go into my soapbox I’ll lay some foundation for this new trend.

Here’s the description from the  Wash U Facebook

This is a social project that was originally started by students at Queen’s University and is also experiencing growing success with Ryerson University and Wilfrid Laurier University. With their success, we’re hoping to spread the joy to Washington University in St. Louis. With that said, inbox a compliment for a WashU student and have it published here anonymously. So if there is something nice you have to say about someone but don’t feel comfortable saying it to their face, inbox away. Your name will be kept anonymous. Keep in mind that hateful or rude remarks will be completely disregarded. Spread Happiness!

What’s the Problem?

When my friends gave me the 411 on the next big thing to hit campus, I was like what? A page to give people compliments? Anonymously? If you don’t see a problem with this “social project”  then we have a bigger problem here.

The goal of this “social project” is to get people to say good things about others and spread positive energy. That’s awesome! We need more people to say positive things about other people instead of trash talking. I think everyone can agree that being nice to people is a good thing. However the problem is the method this “social project” is using to achieve their goal.

Without getting into the specifics of how Facebook tagging and networks publicizes and promotes these compliment submission, suffice to say that people will see it all. They will see who’s getting complimented frequently, how many likes and comments certain compliments receive over others. They will see the reactions these “compliments” create and talk about it with their friends.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, its a popularity contest.

It’s called being nice…

This “social project” while having good intentions isn’t going to bring any happiness to anyone but instead create problems. It’s all about the who is getting public recognition and how many people care about it. If you have made it on the page then you must a friendly person! Now there’s this attention on you and people watch you. Some will say they can’t believe people wrote such nice things about you because we all know that you aren’t that great. The gossip starts and rumors spread.

If you haven’t received a compliment, maybe you’re not a nice person. Nobody can spare 5 minutes and write you a compliment? For the more sensitive soul, this can cause insecurities about their friendships. It’s all blown out of proportion for a simple compliment, that’s suppose to make someone happy.

You may think I’m exaggerating but you know it’s true. There are two things you do at college. Get an education and socialize. It’s better than high school because we are all past that exclusivity behavior.  Everyone is invited to the party. Unless your the RA. Yet we can’t help but gossip. This may be true more so for girls, but everyone talks.

But no one knows who’s writing these “compliments”.It’s all anonymous, so that makes it all okay? You aren’t looking to be recognized for doing a good deed. That speaks of your selflessness, right? No.

You should be able to compliment others. It’s called being nice!  A social normality that’s been part of our human conditioning since forever! A compliment is not that hard to give. The only reason you would be uncomfortable in complimenting someone is because you like the girl/guy! This is starting to look like a lame attempt for replacing Like A Little, which went offline this summer. This site allowed college students to publicize your crush for someone anonymously.

Seriously, this “social project” is redundant.If you want to spread the happiness do it in real life. What you do off the social network is what matters. Action matters. Going up to someone and actually conversing. Living in the real world. That will matter.

While technology has allowed us to communicate with many people across the globe, we have become stuck in a virtual world of intangible interaction. When the server is down who will you be talking to?

Disclaimer

I refuse to look at this page and to my knowledge I have not gotten a “compliment”. However I’m not asking nor needing one. This post isn’t hating on the “social project” because I’m not cool enough to get one. I see myself as a pretty cool person though I’m aware of my flaws (I have many!). My confidence and self-esteem are in the high levels of security in oneself. My overconfident attitude wasn’t achieved overnight but through the process of many embarrassing moments, failures, and tears while in elementary school to now in college.

~ Maria

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