MEGAN KING – An anonymous Londoner is encouraging her community to compliment each other in 280 characters or less.
A Twitter page called “Kindness Matters” works to encourage the London community to exchange niceties and support one another. The page founder, a London journalist who wishes to remain anonymous, founded the account in September 2018 as a result of negativity surrounding the municipal election.
“On Twitter there were a lot of bad things going on. There were two women candidates that were getting a lot of backlash online, and I just thought the community needed some goodness, some kindness,” said the founder.
She found that the Twitter page created a community within London.
“It was like this kindness thing just took off and they started using my hashtag and were telling good stories, so I just thought I would keep it going. It’s a good thing,” she said.
The Kindness Matters page picks one Londoner daily, who follows the account, to receive compliments from their community. The founder tweets, “Today, everyone must say something good” about the chosen person.
She witnessed Londoners posting videos and sharing stories that brightened her day. One video showed a police officer helping a woman cross the street with her groceries, which was widely retweeted.
The founder has been keeping track of everybody who she plans to nominate in a notebook and is often prepared a week in advance.
“I was just choosing people that I knew were active in the community, or they were volunteers, or I actually knew them,” she said. “And then it kind of expanded to people I didn’t know and I wanted to introduce them to London so people could start following them. I’ve chosen co-workers and I’ve chosen friends of mine. I chose my brother once.”
While nobody is aware of her identity, there have been many people taking guesses in her direct message box. When considering whether to let people know her identity she said, “it didn’t matter who I was, so I just kept it that way.”
Outside of her work on Kindness Matters, she works in London as a journalist. “I love when people tell their own stories,” she said. She thinks of her creation of the page as selfish because of the joy it gives her.
Having operated Kindness Matters for over a year now, she finds the task of posting each day has become a part of her morning routine.
“When I get up in the morning it’s the first thing I look at. I look for a kindness thought or a quote or a meme or something.”
The page was created with the intention of only using it during the election coverage, but its popularity convinced her to keep it up.
When considering how much longer the page will last, she replied, “I don’t know how long it will last, but as long as people are still using it and are still connecting with each other and everybody is still having kindness in their day, then it will just keep going I think.”
The page has over 1,800 followers that participate in daily exchanges of compliments. She speaks proudly about the way Londoners are able to treat each other in their online Twitter Community.
“Actually seeing the stories every day is really nice and I would miss it.”
This article was originally published on March 27, 2020 in Mastermind.