by Claire Carter | editor in chief
Johnson students scrolling through twitter feeds in the past week may have noticed a more positive take to shoutouts. In a little over week, the @CTJ_Compliments account has grown to reach over 300 followers, with an Ask.fm account allowing anonymous submissions of compliments aimed at any Johnson student.
“It’s important to compliment people because it makes people feel good about themselves,” Owner of the account said, “Later on I think the account will help people notice more good things about each other.”
The anonymous compliment-er says the idea came from a former school’s account.
“A lot of it became really vulgar or began objectifying people,” the owner said. “I didn’t like that because my Twitter feed became a lot of compliments that weren’t actually positive. I go through and filter so it’s only the clean compliments that get posted.”
Although a filter is used to ensure clean posts, some students feel a more strict management is needed.
“The person running the account doesn’t know that what’s being said is actually passive aggressive,” senior Taylor Cantu said. “I would tell the person who runs the account to proceed with caution, and if it doesn’t sound like it’s genuine, don’t tweet it.”
While some students feel the posts lack genuine purpose, others who have been personally reached feel inspired by the account.
“I was complimented on the account and it made me feel good. After, my friends and I went and complimented each other,” junior Thea Peterson said. “There are so many negative things on social media, so it’s nice to see something that lifts people up.”
The owner of the account claims it is important that CTJ Compliments be kept anonymous.
“I think it’s important that it’s kept anonymous because it shows humility from the people who say this,” Peterson agreed.
While anonymous posts help protect those giving the compliments, it offers a grey area in determining the genuine intent of the compliments.
“The account relies on compliments to be sent from other people,” Cantu said. “I would tell the owner of the account that instead of taking anonymous submissions, just compliment the general public or no one at all because it can be taken in a rude way.”
Assistant Principal Steve Magadance had the opportunity to meet the founders of Twitter. When an explosion of tweets globally informed Twitter users of the Arab Spring uprising from simply sharing their personal images, videos, and ideas firsthand, founders commented that they did not anticipate this outpouring of information.
“Social media can be an incredibly positive outlet to make people aware in a great way,” Magadance said. “I would tell any student who is involved in negative things on social media to think about how that adds or detracts from the community.”
Although students are at odds with how to interpret the account, the initial purpose was to reach Johnson students in a positive way.
“I expect the account to grow more,” the owner said. “Complimenting people makes them become nicer and notice positive things they may not have noticed before until seeing these tweets.”
While these anonymous posts are left to the ghosts of social media users, it is left to Johnson students to discern from genuine or misleading remarks to serve as a reflection of the campus as whole.
“If you post things that are truly positive and great things that people are doing then that creates that image for the community,” Magadance said.