Face-to-Face: Are positive shoutout Instagram accounts beneficial?

Andrew Hout

Face-to-Face is a feature that allows two members of the Redwood community to grill each other, argue, or simply converse about a relevant issue or event. We provide the topic, and they do the rest. This month’s participants are juniors Ally Orrick and John Van Liere. The two students discuss whether celebratory instagram accounts are beneficial or detrimental to students.

Why do you think students would want a post about them on a Redwood praise account?

Ally Olrick: They would want a post about them because it shows that they are recognized, that they are noticed, and appreciated. I think that’s really important for community building, to have kind of a positive idea put on each person.

John Van Liere: Well I think that everyone likes to be recognized for their personality, but at the same time it just feeds people’s egos. If someone really isn’t that nice but happen to get featured on one of the accounts, it just fuels them to continue acting the way they act even if they are not necessarily acting well.

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Do you think it would be better to give praise to every student in the school or just the ones that have remarkable aspects?

JVL: Honestly if it is truly just based on random acts of kindness, I don’t think anyone should be recognized. As soon as we start recognizing them, appreciating them, and calling them out they start becoming less random. It starts just becoming the ‘I do this to feed my ego and boost my reputation,’ rather than a random act of kindness that I believe would make someone’s day better.

AO: I think it’s important to give praise to every student in the school because there are a lot of people with remarkable aspects who aren’t well known. I think that if we made the goal of these accounts to get more people, then those people could also feel recognized.

How do you think the Redwood accounts find the information that is posted about students who receive praise, do you think that it is all true?

AO: I don’t think Marvelously Redwood is one person’s, so I think that a lot of them [accounts] have come in contact with people who are talking from personal experience. I don’t think that all of it is true just because there are so many students on there that some of it is kind of like a generalization, but I think most of it comes from people’s personal experience with the people, who are praised.

JVL: I believe that a lot of the information is just generically created on the spot. Maybe the creator or creators of the account witnessed a nice act that a person committed earlier that day, so they choose to highlight them, but if you look at the actual text in each of the posts it’s pretty repetitive. Most of them I’d say, around 70 or so percent of them use the words: brighten everyones day, and that’s just generic. That’s not really information about a person, that’s just kind of something that’s said about nearly everyone they post about.

Do you think it would be better to have one Redwood praise instagram account, where the posts will come less often and be considered more memorable, or have more accounts, where the posts can praise a larger portion of the school faster?

JVL: I think each one has their ups and downs, so I would have to go with maybe just no accounts. It would be better if everyone, instead of being nice to have yourself featured on an instagram account, should just be nice to make other people happy and to go out of your way to make someone happy and not expect anything out of it. Just hold the door open for someone, make someone laugh and don’t expect to be praised for it. Because in the real world you’re not always going to be praised for the things that you do and sometimes you’re going to put in a lot of work that no one will recognize.

AO: I think the accounts shouldn’t drive an incentive like that to be nice. I think it’s really important to recognize that some people don’t get recognized for that [acts of kindness] at all. The accounts are just really beneficial, and when you have more accounts, more people are recognized. It just makes someones day, you know. It makes people think about things that they do and if something they read doesn’t ring true for them, then they might not change anything, but at least they are thinking about it.