Since its inception in January 2013, Facebook page Calgary Compliments has taken our city by storm.
So what exactly is the purpose to a page like this? Unlike similar "confessions" pages which have been popping all over the interwebs, this compliments page is a civic outreach initiative to help Calgarians bond.
Inspired by the University of Calgary Compliments page of a similar nature, citizens are able to post kind thoughts about fellow Calgarians whom they may not know. The page will post each compliment and those who submit a message, remain anonymous, just like the page's creator.
"To the old white male on Calgary transit who told me he respected me for wearing a hijab, Thank you!" reads one compliment.
"To the Route 98 bus driver who was kind enough to wait for me at the stop when I was running late today, thank you for being able to spot my look of despair from 4 blocks away. You're awesome." Reads another.
Yet one more declares "To the Asian girl drinking a pink bubble tea coming from downtown on the Somerset/Bridlewood train, You're cute." The compliments are numerous and varied. They aim to dissolve both cultural, gender and age barriers, all of which makes this page, like its counterparts, that much more unique.
I had a special opportunity to speak with Calgary Compliments' founder. Upon being asked about his initial vision for the page, he admits that it's level of popularity, although key to public outreach, was not as important to him as the intent of simply spreading the message that something as little as a compliment can really make a difference. With a little help from the page, he hopes that soon, compliments to fellow Calgarians will become naturally ingrained within people, who will no longer need Facebook to directly express their gratitude to those they may not know personally. He went on to acknowledge how Calgary Compliments helps people build connections with and acknowledge relationships between people who normally would not interact. The page itself even received a compliment, which read:
This is one of just the many indications that Calgary Compliments is indeed becoming part of Calgary culture. The brains behind the page stated, "I want to take the strange out of stranger and know that I am directly creating positive change in Calgary". With over a 1,000 hits and 320 likes and counting, the amazing initiative needs all the support it can get to climb the social media ladder so don't forget to give it a thumbs up!