Plus One Me

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The echoes of the ironic era haunts our everyday life. The individuality and self-help-mindedness of the 21th century sows doubt in our fragile psyche; even the honestly meant compliments are recieved with disbelief:

“I like your shirt!”

“… Are you sure?”

A game is never ironic (although the fantastic first person puzzles Portal and Portal 2 has taken the art of sarcasm to new heights). Every reward is well meant and every level up is the result of hard effort. The joy we feel when recieving feedback of that kind is strong and immediate. Why are compliments from people so different?

In my reading of Jane McGonigal‘s Reality is Broken (awesome book, more about it in another post) I discovered Plus One Me. Plus One Me is not a game, although it makes it possible to reward people with game-like acknowledgements. All you do is enter a persons e-mail, click on “+1 them” and chooses in what areas of expertise the person has shown strength and deserves to be rewarded for. For example, you may send +1 Kindness, +1 Leadership and +1 Attraction. There is about 35 different attributes and still counting (feel free to suggest new attributes that needs to be rewarded). Once you send your +1s the person will recieve an e-mail with your acknowledgements and, hopefully, a smile to wear for the rest of the day.

Why is this good, you ask?

Unlike reality (the real reality, at least) our +1s will not be recieved with an air of doubt and mistrust (which might be the case if I, with a possibly (you’ll never know) smirkful smile, compliments your shirt). There’s no sense of ironic agenda in an e-mail that says:

Hey There!

A friend of yours, Martin, +1d you to acknowledge some of your strengths. Specifically they’re acknowledging these attributes:

+1 Kindness

+1 Leadership

+1 Attraction

You don’t have to do anything or register for anything. We won’t send you any emails unless you receive more praise from friends. If you’d like to send some +1s to your friends, just visit www.plusoneme.com. You don’t have to register to send +1s, but registering allows you to see the totals of all the +1s you’ve received so far.

Enjoy your day. And congratulations!

When we’ve got ridden of the potential misunderstandings, there’s two major benefits of Plus One Me: the simplicity of using the website, and the strong well-being of getting an compliment.

The website is easy to use, no doubt about it. The easiest way is described earlier in this text, and the most complicated way is to register and do the same thing. There’s no extra features, no bloaty design standing in the way of complimenting your friends, co-workers or just about anyone.

Although it was forseen that my inbox would get some acknowledgements since I started spreading the word of Plus One Me (I’m in no way involved in the website, other than as a user), I’m humbled and happy about the things people like to compliment me on, and I feel that the feedback is sincere and well thought over. It is equally hard to express acknowledgements as to recieve it, and Plus One Me limits the effort to a minimum and maximises the impact massively. An effect may be that we get better at expressing such feedback in real life as well, and that is why I feel the need to use Plus One Me and share this with you.

That, and the joyful puzzlement I can send by rewarding people anonymously:

Someone +1d you to acknowledge some of your strengths. Specifically they’re acknowledging these attributes:

+1 Attraction.

Enjoy your day. And congratulations!

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