Love through compliments
Towson Compliments, a Facebook page dedicated to spreading the love on Towson’s campus and run anonymously, has accrued approximately 800 friends in the last ten days. The Towerlight interviewed the founder of the page, who wished to remain unnamed for the sake of the page. By keeping the identity of Towson Compliments unknown, the founder said, people are more likely to share their secrets and speak with their hearts.
The Towerlight: What can people do on this page?
Towson Compliments: On this page, people can submit compliments and kind words about friends, classmates, organizations or people they really admire or appreciate but may not necessarily know that well. They send it to my inbox with a link to their friend’s page if we’re not connected, I review it and post it. People cannot use this page for promotions or marketing. I don’t post anything I think is even borderline inappropriate.
TL: How did you come up with the idea to form this page? And when did you create it?
TC: I can’t take credit for this idea. A friend of mine had been tagged in her own university’s compliments page, and when I noticed that Towson didn’t have a page, I realized that we really needed one. I did a little research on this idea, and went ahead and created the page.
TL: What inspired you to do this? Any personal experiences?
TC: The experience of seeing my friend’s compliment really did it for me. Seeing that compliment in my news feed reminded me of all the good things about a friend I haven’t seen in awhile, it made me really appreciate the anonymous sender, and it restored my faith in humanity a little bit. We’re so afraid to share honest thoughts with each other. I’m not even trying to make generalizations about society because I know personally that being kind is out of our comfort zones. We’re taught to be like “This is really random, but you look so pretty today” or “Haha, wow, that was great.” We buffer our kind, heartfelt words with “Lol” or “This is random, but…” because we feel that we have to justify that kind of honesty.
TL: What was your initial goal in making this page and has that goal changed at all?
TC: I want to live in a world where no one is afraid to walk up to each other, say “Hi” and “You look absolutely beautiful today,” or “You are so talented at this one thing” or “I am so happy to see you!” We all have it in us to be wonderfully kind and appreciative. I wanted to create an avenue through which people can openly appreciate each other without feeling uncomfortable. My hope is that when people will realize how great it feels to share kind words and to receive them, they’ll start doing it in person. I have been moved to tears by some of these submissions, and none of them have been about me so far. I know I’ve been better about being direct with people since starting this, and it’s only been two weeks. You guys have inspired me.
TL: What do you think the existence of this page has done for Towson as a community?
TC: To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what the impact is or will be on the Towson community. It still hasn’t even sunk in that I’m the one running this page. I think if I’m creating any kind of ripples, people submitting compliments are creating even bigger ripples. I know the impact is probably great, but I don’t know the extent or effect of it. I feel like I’m just the messenger for something even greater that’s already happening, and that’s pretty humbling.
TL: What do you enjoy most about running this page?
TC: I don’t know most of the people sending or receiving these posts, but I think I’ve started looking at Towson students as a whole very differently. My grandfather taught me that every person on this earth is a unique gift from God, which is harder to keep in mind when you don’t know everyone on campus. This page has taught me that people I walk by every day have these amazing hearts and so many friends who love them for who they are. The hardest part of running this page is not spontaneously hugging complete strangers whose faces I recognize from their pictures.
TL: What are some types of submissions you get? After you get them what is the process for publishing them?
TC: I get all kinds of submissions. I read over them quickly to make sure they’re appropriate and kind, I don’t post backhanded compliments or profanity, and then post, tagging the recipient. The sender’s name will never be shared under any circumstances.
TL: What do you want to tell those looking to use your page or already have used it?
TC: To people who have used it, keep it up. I love the things that you guys have had to say. Take small steps—keep sharing your compliments online, but maybe try this in person, too. You’re the ones who will take this movement offline and into the real world. To people who haven’t submitted but are curious, go for it. I meant it when I said that I will never share the names of the senders.
Compiled by Carley Milligan