In the world of social networking, cyber-bullying and defamation through tweets, statuses and blogs is common. The anonymity granted by the Internet is often used as a shield to harm rather than an excuse to do good without recognition.
A group of K-State students may have figured out a way to trump these negative social networking tendencies and create an uplifting realm for the benefit of the entire student population.
“K-State Compliments” is an anonymous Facebook page created by a group of students on campus to give individuals the freedom and opportunity to express their praise and admiration for other students, while still maintaining secrecy to the general public. Students wishing to submit a compliment simply send a message to the K-State Compliments’ inbox via the social networking site. The compliment is then copied and posted as K-State Compliments’ status.
The page, created on Dec. 6, 2012, has recently gained momentum in the public sphere, as individuals complimented became aware of the recognition early this semester. During the third week of February, K-State Compliments made an impressive jump from approximately 100 Facebook friends to nearly 600 in a matter of days and is currently sitting at over 1,000. This was a goal the producers hadn’t expected to reach until spring break.
The creators behind the group said that they first came up with the idea for a K-State Compliments page after seeing a similar page hosted by another Big 12 university and being disappointed when they discovered K-State had not yet established one for itself. After K-State’s recognition last semester by the Princeton Review as the eighth happiest campus in the nation, the group made the decision to use Facebook as an open forum for students to express what it is that makes the K-State population so unique.
“We’re very positive people, and K-State is a very happy school,” one of the group’s producers said. “We love encouraging people and seeing others do good, so we made it with the hopes that it could be a positive outlet for people.”
The creators of K-State Compliments, who wish to remain annoymous to protect the spirit of the page, also said they hope the page has helped exemplify the sense of family that the university constantly advocates to both current and future students.
“I hope students are gaining a sense of family,” one creator said. “K-State promotes us as a family, so it’s really about knowing that students here care.”
Tyler Johnson, junior in marketing, said that K-State Compliments has had a positive impact on the communal dynamic of the university.
“I think that it really does showcase the family atmosphere that we all talk about and hear about,” Johnson said. “It almost starts to sound like this cliché thing that we throw out at people, but then you see the the K-State Compliments page and you watch that family come to life in text, and it’s awesome.”
Johnson was inspired to send his own K-State compliment to another student on campus after he himself received one of the page’s first posts.
“I knew how good receiving a compliment made me feel,” Johnson said. “I remember reading it and getting goosebumps, and thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so awesome.’ So, I thought it would be a cool opportunity to give back and return the favor.”
Johnson also said that he feels the anonymity of the page is a factor that speaks volumes of the character behind the compliment. While cyber-bullying or posting negative comments on the Internet is often easier to do while hidden behind a screen, performing an act of kindness for someone else without receiving recognition affirms the value of that individual.
Joe Falter, senior in advertising, has received not just one, but two separate compliments from other students via the K-State Compliments page. Falter said that while he was flattered to receive a compliment the first time, receiving a second post was a truly unique and heart-warming experience.
“I woke up an hour before my alarm went off and saw that I had a notification from K-State Compliments, and then I couldn’t go back to sleep,” Falter said. “It really set the tone for my day, and maybe even my week. It’s really fun for me to see that someone appreciates how I am on a daily basis.”
In addition to his appreciation for the words of affirmation, Falter also said that receiving the compliments has given him further motivation to maintain his ways.
“Not only is it just a really nice thing to hear, but it encourages me to continue that behavior,” Falter said.
In regards to the future of K-State Compliments, the creators plan to continue the page for the duration of their time at the university and hope to eventually pass along the legacy to other students for future use. For now, however, they would like to see as much involvement from the K-State community as possible in reminding individual students exactly why they’re each so special to the university.
While they love to have followers of the page, they maintain that utilizing K-State Compliments to send one’s own praise to others is the best way to be a part of this revolution of encouragement.
“If you have someone to compliment, go ahead,” the producers said. “Don’t just be a friend.”
To join the K-State Compliments community, visit https://www.facebook.com/ksu.compliments.