If a Corona del Mar Sea King or Queen doesn’t have something nice to say then they shouldn’t say anything at all. But if they do have a compliment to share, they can now do it publicly, and anonymously, online.
That’s the idea behind the facebook page CdM Compliments. The page allows Corona del Mar high and middle school students to anonymously submit compliments for fellow students.
“Most people don’t just walk around and compliment each other, even though they should,” said the student behind the project. “Through this, hopefully (people) will learn to not be afraid to compliment people, not be afraid to show positivity.”
The Sea King who runs the page also remains completely anonymous. Nobody knows who he is–not his friends, teachers or even his parents.
“It’s important to keep it anonymous and not make it about me,” he said.
He started the page after noticing a negative culture at CdM and wanted a way to influence kids’ behavior to be nicer to each other.
“Stay positive. Be the influence…give what you want to receive,” he said. “And at the same time, stay humble.”
The page was created in mid-December and quickly started to grow through word of mouth. The page is now at 676 friends and counting.
He has received several reactions to the page, he said. Many people, including parents, students and staff, have told him that the concept is working and it’s influencing change. But he’s also gotten some negative responses, like students assuming it must be a popular kid or a teacher behind the page, with ulterior motives.
But the only motive the CdM student has is to encourage a positive and supportive environment at the school.
“This page is for caring for one another, not caring who I am. Keep up the positivity CdM,” the compliment king wrote on the facebook page recently.
He’ll anonymously post compliments from teachers, but he won’t “friend” them, he said.
Compliments come in for a wide range of kids, he noted. If one person gets a lot, he’ll combine them all into one, he said, so it doesn’t seem like certain people are getting more attention than others.
“There’s been some really good compliments,” he said.
Students “tagged” on the comments are described in a number of ways, including as having “a 100-watt smile” that can “light up the whole entire room” and are a “glimmering and beautiful person inside and out.”
Comments should not include “one-liners” or personal, inside jokes, he recommended. And make them understandable and appropriate for a wide audience, he added.
The more in-depth and sincere the comment, the more likely it is to get posted.
“Be genuine,” he said; don’t do it just to get likes or as a joke.
Hopefully, he said, the comments will boost the recipient’s self esteem, give them confidence, and make them a little happy.
He hopes the page has encouraged a positive vibe on campus and that the anonymous online comments can translate into saying or doing nice things for others in the “real world.”
“Although I can’t see the direct effect. You can kind of tell, things are looking up,” he said.
The entire experience has been very humbling for him, he said. It’s a little difficult not to say anything, he admitted.
“It has opened my eyes that there are really positive people on campus,” he said.
He hopes to continue it until he graduates, at which time he may pass it on to a trusted friend or family member.
People message the page every day, he said; the interest hasn’t dwindled.
“There’s no reason not to,” compliment someone anonymously through a post, he said. “It’s only going to do good.”
See the CdM Compliments page here.