NBC News is reporting that a new social networking craze has started, and it’s the opposite of cyber-bullying. This time, it’s anonymous cyber-complimenting, and it all happens via Facebook. Facebook, the company has nothing to do with it, the Detroit Free Press reports, it’s a grass roots movement. Someone creates a generic Facebook page, such as Queensland University, where the fad is reported to have started, and other people post compliments about people on it. The administrator of the page then forwards the message to the person’s Facebook account, making the whole process anonymous.
Cyber-bullying has been in the news in recent years, the Press reports, due to its harmful effect on those who suffer from it. People congregate and gang up on somebody, sending nasty messages or posting things about them that are hurtful. The result has been a world-wide problem with officials feeling helpless to do anything about it. That’s what led four students at Queensland College in Ontario Canada, NBC says, to create a Facebook account for students that attend the school, and who might wish to offer some goodwill instead of a negative rant. The four advertised the page at school after the account was set up, and then told those that wished to post compliments to someone, do so, and include the Facebook page of the person that was to be complimented. That allowed the four, who together managed the page, to forward all such positive messages to those who were mentioned on the main page. The result was and is a system for allowing people to anonymously post positive and/or complimentary messages about other people – the exact opposite of cyber-bullying.
The page proved so popular that word soon got around the Press says, and so other people at other schools, such as the one at local West Bloomfield High, began to set up similar pages. There too, students were given a way to send compliments to their friends and/or classmates, in an anonymous way that did nothing but make people feel better about themselves.
The fad has now spread to several hundred schools in Canada and the United States and has even begun to appear in non-school affiliated ways, though some suspect the fad will be short lived due to the workload maintaining such a page entails. Regardless, in the meantime, the new fad appears to be generating a lot of good will, which is especially timely, considering it’s the holiday season and people are actively looking for reasons to be of good cheer.