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Farmington student sends out anonymous compliments with a new Twitter account

The @FHSkindness_ Twitter account has been sending out compliments to Farmington students since Feb. 26.

It started with a crummy day. The kind of gray, cold miserable day we’ve had all too often this winter. The kind of day that keeps students home from school and puts just about everyone in a bad mood.

It was also the kind of day that made one Farmington High School student want to do something to lift everyone’s spirits.

“It was just kind of a normal Thursday for me, but that day a lot of people were saying how horrible a day it was,” said the student, who asked to remain anonymous.

This being the age of social media, the student turned to Twitter to help brighten some days. She created an account called @fhskindness_ and at 4:59 p.m. Feb. 26 sent a message to a classmate: “I really like your hair, it’s super pretty.”

A minute later, she sent another message: “You and your boyfriend are cute together. You looked really pretty today.” Then, two minutes after that, another: “I really like your hair, although I think lavender would’ve looked amazing.”

By the end of the night, she had sent 45 messages in all, complimenting people in their generosity, their singing voice and their fashion sense, among other things.

The student didn’t have big plans for the account beyond that. But her handful of kind words turned out to be something of a hit. When she offered to send a compliment to anyone who marked one of her messages as a favorite, she ended up with 61 responses.

She sent out more messages the next day, and more the day after that.

As of Monday afternoon, the account had 274 followers.

The student knows some of the people she’s complimenting, but others are complete strangers. She mines their Twitter feeds to find out more about them. And while not everyone is always polite in their online communication, she can usually find something nice to say. She likes keeping the compliments anonymous, because she figures they mean more that way.

“It just kind of lifts everyone,” she said. “If you were on the street and a stranger said, ‘You look really pretty today,’ or ‘I like your hair,’ you would take it better than if your friend said it.”

A few people have tried to guess her identity, but so far nobody has gotten it right.

“Someone thought I was a freshman boy,” she said. “I was like, ‘You can try again. That’s not me.’”

The new Twitter account is becoming a topic of conversation around FHS. The student hears people talking about it in the hall. And while her posting pace has slowed some since that initial burst of online kindness, she has no plans of stopping. As of Monday she had sent 103 tweets from the account, almost all of them compliments delivered to random classmates.

“I’ve heard a few comments around school,” she said. “It just makes me want to do it more. They’re saying it’s a good account and it makes them happy.”

And that, after all, was the whole idea.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606