Ryan Carey-Mahoney: The perks of GW Compliment

“You and Chuck Norris are on equal levels.”

Now really, does a compliment get any better than that?

The Facebook page GW Compliments, created in mid-November, allows students to submit funny anecdotes and sweet sentiments about others in the community. And with more than 1,000 likes and hundreds of shout-outs to students in such a short time, it’s clear that it has been well received by the community.

People are writing nice things because they want to do it, saying things that they otherwise might not be able to say –or might not even feel comfortable saying.

GW Compliments should be seen as a launching pad from which we can make GW a friendlier environment. It’s time to move this positivity out of the online forum and into the wider University community. Anonymity is a veil we all like to hide behind. But we shouldn’t hide behind our compliments. If you’re comfortable posting something online, then you should be willing to say it in a public setting. People have tried to give students this option in the past.

Most notably, the Post-It Project has attempted to do something similar over the last few semesters. Throughout finals, students post notes around campus with funny and, oftentimes, inspiring quotes or stories to help make those late nights of studying more bearable.

I was personally touched that someone would take the time to write such kind words about me on GW Compliments. It is humbling and gratifying to hear such positive words from the community.

But the importance here goes beyond each individual compliment and the warm, fuzzy feeling it inspires.

I applaud those who put in the work, either on this site or in some other form of kind expression. And I want to challenge everyone involved to help make this positive attitude a tenant of the wider community.

It’s these kind of gestures that help build strong communities. And we shouldn’t shy away from expressing ourselves in the world outside the Internet.

Ryan Carey-Mahoney is a junior majoring in journalism.

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