As finals week approaches and piles of homework and papers climb higher and higher, stress levels are on the rise. But a social media trend that depends upon the kindness of strangers is helping alleviate those difficult days by encouraging students to spread positive words about each other.
A Facebook profile, “Emory Compliments,” allows students to submit compliments about fellow students under the promise of anonymity.
The idea originated from four students at Queens University in Canada, who started a Facebook profile called “Queen’s U Compliments” as a way to counteract stress and depression from heavy course loads felt by themselves and fellow students.
“Compliments” profiles have since spread to several universities across Canada and the United States. The founder and administrator of “Emory Compliments,” who wishes to remain anonymous, said they initially came across “Columbia Compliments” of Columbia University on their Facebook newsfeed. After looking further into the concept and seeing similar profiles across other college campuses, they decided to start a page for Emory.
The administrator of “Emory Compliments” said the page, which now boasts approximately 1500 friends, receives around 15 to 45 compliments per day. Each day, compliments are sorted through and posted as status updates. If the recipient of the compliment is a friend of the “Emory Compliments” profile on Facebook, the person is tagged to ensure that he or she receives the compliment.
The administrator said that compliments are posted in groups, two or three times daily, to avoid clogging up news feeds.
Now that the page is established, the administrator said that maintaining the page takes approximately 30-45 minutes per day, but that it is well worth it saying that the page promoted a sense of community within Emory.
“A compliment can make someone’s day, and that is the point of the page.” the administrator wrote in a Facebook message to the Emory Wheel. “I believe this helps the student body appreciate what incredible people they are surrounded by and understand that they are also appreciated by people within the Emory community.”
This appreciation has extended to College sophomore McKenna Newsum-Schoenberg who said she has received a compliment through the Facebook page.
Calling her compliment “cute” and saying that it made her laugh, Newsum-Schoenberg also said that “Emory Compliments” was a fresh way of spreading positivity.
“Receiving personal compliments from people that might not say it to your face is nice.” said Newsum-Schoenberg. “Getting recognized with positive statements is a good thing.”
College sophomore Anna Koh said she has submitted a compliment to “Emory Compliments.”
She said she thought the recipient of her compliment was flattered but slightly confused because they might not have been expecting to hear those words. Koh said she thought her compliment has had a positive impact overall.
“[Emory Compliments] gives people a chance to say something we don’t really get to say in everyday life.” said Koh. “Our society has made it seem awkward to give each other compliments out of the blue.”
The administrator of “Emory Compliments” attributes the profile’s popularity to its honesty and positivity.
“Emory has a diverse student body comprised of amazing individuals, and this page simply reflects this in writing.” wrote the administrator. “It is always great to start, continue or end your day on a positive note, and hopefully, Emory Compliments contributes to this.”
– By Harmeet Kaur
The Emory Wheel was founded in 1919 and is currently the only independent, student-run newspaper of Emory University. The Wheel publishes weekly on Wednesdays during the academic year, except during University holidays and scheduled publication intermissions.
The Wheel is financially and editorially independent from the University. All of its content is generated by the Wheel’s more than 100 student staff members and contributing writers, and its printing costs are covered by profits from self-generated advertising sales.