Digital Life
Charlotte Hannah
January 14, 2013

Students Actually Using Social Media for Good

Photo credit: Fred Squillante / Dispatch

Usually when we hear about young people and social media, it’s not exactly positive.

Anonymity and the elimination of face-to-face contact make social media networks like Twitter and Facebook breeding grounds for bullying, harassment and plain old high school gossip. One teenager, however, is working to change the perception that the combination of young people and social media can only lead to trouble.

The Columbus Dispatch reports 16-year-old Rohit Joshi, a junior at Dublin Coffman High School, discovered a simple way to spread some social media love to his classmates: He created Coffman Compliments, a Facebook page that allows students at his school to send anonymous compliments to their peers.

Students who want to say something nice about another student need only send their message, along with the name of the recipient, to the Coffman Compliments inbox. Their message is then reposted anonymously on the Facebook page, with the recipient tagged in the post so they’re sure to see it.

Photo credit: Coffman Compliments, Facebook

Photo credit: Coffman Compliments, Facebook

Joshi’s idea has already inspired others to create compliment pages for their own schools. Currently, the Coffman Compliments page lists nine sister projects.

It’s always refreshing to see young people using social media for something other than gossiping about what Becky did at the party last Saturday – or worse yet, bullying kids to death. And it’s especially nice to see the very things that make social media platforms so scary for teens –anonymity and the elimination of face-to-face contact – being turned around and used in such a positive way.

Hopefully Coffman Compliments will spark a trend that encourages teens to make their schools, as well as their friends lists, nicer places to be.