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Validation through anonymous Facebook page

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Story by Emily Gregor

Simple gestures like telling someone their shoes are rockin’ or how important they are to you can really make a difference.  Facebook account “Drake Compliments” has taken on the task of giving people an outlet to share what they think is great about someone on Drake University’s campus.

While the faces behind the project are still anonymous, they were able to provide some insight on how the page got started in the first place.

“The first time we heard about something like a compliments page was over the summer when we were watching the news and heard about a high school student who started an anonymous Twitter account to tweet nice things about his classmates,” Compliments said.

Once Compliments discovered the idea, they were interested in bringing it to Drake’s campus.

“Last fall we started seeing our friends’ schools creating compliments pages,” Compliments said. “Since it was during finals week at Drake, we figured creating a compliments page would be a good dose of happiness during a stressful time.”

Students on campus see the account as a different way to connect with others.  First-year Susanna Hayward sees it as a positive way to use social media.

“There’s a lot of hate and negativity that can be found on a college campus,” Hayward said. “It’s impressive for a student body to use the power of social media
for good use.”

Compliments thinks that their project has brought another positive to campus — a stronger sense of unity.

“Supporting people via written acknowledgement of what we appreciate about them is important, but what might be a more important outcome of the Drake Compliments page is the sense of community it builds with Drake students,” Compliments said.

Beyond that, Compliments emphasized the importance of supporting our peers.

“Compliments are important on the individual level because they make us feel good about ourselves,”
they said.

According to the creators, despite a recent slowdown on the page activity, on their busiest days they received at least 40 submissions a day, with compliments ranging from acknowledging Sodexo workers for their positive attitudes to leaders on campus, to the guy that held the door open for them or gave them a smile on a rough day.

“Seeing people send in compliments and seeing the responses we get from them is so exciting and uplifting for us that we are always motivated to keep up with it,” Compliments said.

While the project has been time consuming in some ways, for Compliments, it has always been worth the extra work.

“Updating the page is obviously more entertaining than homework,” Compliments said.

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