shs tweets big

Kids Spreading Happiness Online

Sometimes, the online world can seem like one big “No!”  I often focus so much on teaching my kids about the “No”, I forget to share the “Yes”. So, this week I am putting aside my usual “Oh my God, they are doing what post?!” to write a “Yes, our kids are doing that post!” And, this online “Yes” is happening in my hometown.

Skyline High School students are using the internet to “just be nice”. Macey Knecht, a senior at Skyline, was tired of seeing people ripping into each other online. Just last year, an anonymous person set up a Twitter profile to bash other Skyline students and staff. To combat this online meanness, Macey with the help of a few other students began a Twitter Profile where Skyline students could tweet compliments to each other.

nice tweets

This twitter feed began on November 25. So far, students have tweeted over 200 compliments with 400+ people following this profile.

What is happening at Skyline is part of a growing trend started at Queens University in Canada. On September 12, four students set up a Facebook page called “Queens U Compliments”. These students began this page with the statement, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

queen u compliment

In just 3 months, this page has over 4,500 followers and every day students post about 50 compliments. The founders are now sharing their expertise with other schools to help them start compliment pages.

Not everyone sees this trend as positive. Some students have criticized these pages arguing they transform well-intended, kind statements into uniform Facebook jabber. They see these pages as a larger trend of impersonal compliments or false displays of affection.

I cruised many of these pages. Yes, there was the occasional “she is so nice” comment but the majority referenced specific acts or highlighted a unique quality in an individual. Even if there was an occasional self-serving compliment, these pages were a welcome respite against the prolific “attention seeking whore” comments found on other pages.

Try searching for “compliment pages” and you will find numerous universities pop up as well as many high schools. In just 3 months, these positive pages have expanded across Canada and the US. This is one internet trend, parents should share with their kids. So this holiday season, jump on the latest teenage craze and tweet or post a compliment to a friend.