McGill Compliments is a new Facebook account that is quickly joining many McGill students’ friend lists. McGill Compliments provides a safe, anonymous outlet for McGill students to do just that: compliment one another. Through private inbox messages that get posted by the McGill Compliments profile creator, and tagged by whoever happens to know the recipient, McGillians are sharing the love.
It’s based on the premise that we all like a compliment, but don’t always take the time to show our gratitude to those we value most. The Tribune sat down with the mind that brought the compliments movement to McGill to talk about the recent phenomenon.
McGill Tribune: So what is the basic idea behind ‘McGill Compliments?’
McGill Compliments: I feel like everyone needs to hear good things every once in a while, and I don’t think there’s enough positivity on campus ….This is just an outlet for people to tell others, without the possibility of judgement, what they think of them … whether they’re your best friend … or whether you’ve never talked to them before…. The basic idea is just [to] spread positivity, without judgement, and [to create] a network on campus where every student feels connected to each other—because we’re all McGillians. It’s a form of school spirit, I guess.
MT: Other schools like Queen’s have profiles as well. Do you know where this idea came from?
MC: It started at Queen’s, I believe [in September]. I think [McGill] was the seventh or eighth school to get in on it. Now there are 50 plus, since [November 14th], when I made it. So yeah, it’s [become] pretty viral. It’s been awesome.
MT: How did you first hear about this movement?
MC: My friend at Columbia. At that time, I think five other schools had profiles like that, and I thought, ‘this is awesome, it needs to be at McGill,’ [so] I did it.
MT: Are you in contact with the people who run the profiles for other schools, or are they all independent of each other?
MC: Queen’s actually made a group around a week ago. Just a university Compliments group for all the profiles to join. It’s a private group where we collaborate; if we have questions about how to deal with Facebook’s stupid automated security system—[which] often designates us as spammers—and things like that. We’re currently forming a petition to send to Facebook to stop the threat of bans, because some of us are unable to send friend requests. We also share ideas for other things outside of Facebook. I think Princeton just organized a Secret Santa across campus, and Berkeley is doing some cool things too.
MT: How are you dealing with the problems you’re running into with Facebook?
MC: I’m not too worried about it …. I think that Facebook wouldn’t do anything, because this is pretty viral. … Time magazine recently wrote an article about the whole compliments movement. I think it [makes] Facebook a positive forum for output like this, when often, [there are only] Facebook fights.
MT: Are you the only running the profile? Do you see it growing to the point where you have to bring in help?
MC: I see myself doing that very soon in fact. Two thousand friends was my benchmark, and now I’m at [about] eighteen hundred. Especially with finals coming up and stuff, most of the other schools now have two to four people running [their pages].
MT: How much time do you typically spend in a day working on it?
MC: It’s hard to say …. I have my iPhone with me everywhere, so every time [a compliment] comes in … while I’m doing something else, I just open it, read it, make sure it’s okay, and [post it]. I’d say I do it all day, [but I’m] multi-tasking.
MT: Anonymity can sometimes be a dangerous thing on the internet; have you encountered any problems with content since you’ve been posting?
MC: Actually, people have been really good. I’ve only had six posts out of [about] 500 that I’ve deemed [inappropriate] to post. Everyone else has been taking it really seriously—genuinely. It’s good to see.
MT: What’s your favourite part of running McGill Compliments?
MC: Just seeing all the reactions and reading these messages and seeing all the love …. People don’t often take the time to tell other people [how] they feel about them. This just gives an outlet for them to do that, a purpose to do it rather than just out of the blue. I find compliments mean more when there’s no face behind them, in fact, because there’s no secondary purpose. It shows that they really think that way, because they’re not getting anything out of it.
send your compliment at www.facebook.com/mcgill.compliments?fref=ts