Arlington Heights, IL - In a quiet alcove at Thomas Middle School in Arlington Heights, a pair of laptops beckoned students like Vishnu Bala to use social media during the middle of a recent school day.
Even though students like Vishnu, 13, are forbidden from using their smartphones during class, staff members at Thomas recently launched a Twitter campaign that is meant to encourage kids to use social media during the day for one specific purpose — to pay classmates compliments.
“I don’t have my own social media accounts, but with #TMScompliments, I can just type in a compliment on a Google form, and if the school approves it, it will get posted,” explained Vishnu.
Vishnu, a seventh-grader, ended up tweeting to a friend during the school day Thursday, writing, “Max O. is a funny person full of joy.”
Welcome to #TMScompliments at Thomas, where students can tweet positive messages to classmates and teachers during their lunch hour or toward the end of the day on a school laptop, as well as from their homes.
School officials said the project was launched to try and create conversations among students on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat that accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.