Riverside student uses Instagram for positive change

Student utilizes anonymity of Instagram to create an account in which students compliment each other

Social media can be a nasty place. But one Riverside student is using Instagram to foster a more polite environment. 

The student, who asked to remain anonymous to protect themselves from scrutiny, created an ‘RHS Compliments’ account to counter the presence of another page that was insulting faculty and staff and Riverside. 

“[This account] was really big and I wanted to divert people’s attention,” they said. 

At first many students took the account with a grain of salt, but quickly came around to having a positive attitude about it.

“It is a positive place for people” said Mia-Sophie Allard Spink, who had knowledge of both accounts, “And it is a great way to make [the posts from the insulting account] even,” she continued. 

According to the creator, it was relatively easy to create the account. With help from the ‘DSA Compliments‘ account, they created the page and the anonymous Google Survey attached in the bio. 

If someone would like to submit a compliment, all they have to do is click the Google Survey link, and leave their message. After that, the creator then formats and posts it.

Currently, the account has over 60 posts and the creator has said that they plan to post 30 more already received through the compliments survey. 

While many like what the compliments account is trying to accomplish, others thought it added attention to the other malicious account. 

“It’s all just really messy. I don’t understand why this kind of account is getting dogpiled,” said one anonymous senior. 

Beyond this so-called ‘dogpiling’, the creator is trying to address other concerns as well. 

“I wanted to find a way for everyone to be complimented, and I know that can be hard at times,” the creator said. The creator recognizes that the lack of a compliment for some can be just as hurtful as an insult. 

To curb this, they are now asking the account’s followers for ideas about how to better spread the compliments.

The creator is aware of the effect that social media can have on the current generation of students, and thought that this page was a great way to make a difference.

“Social media is always evolving. And the pandemic has further spurned that growth. Now we need to take it in a positive direction.”

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