It seems only natural that a Valentine’s Day column should involve relationships. Just for fun, here are several expressions of caring.
Feeling down? If you need encouragement, consider the EmergencyCompliment.com site. When you visit, you’ll see a compliment of some sort. Mine: “9/10 dentist agree, you’re the BEST.”
If that doesn’t help, click again…and again. Once you feel better, you can even buy a print of the compliment, or contribute your own compliment for others.
The Emergency Compliment site is the creation of Megs Senk. She created the site with the encouragement of some friends as a lark, but it has racked up more than a million visits since it launched last fall.
ILikeYourJacket.com is a similar site that gave me even better compliments. You can share your compliments there, too.
Love yourself. Paul encourages us in Philippians 4:8 to think about things that are excellent or praiseworthy. Why not try a site that helps you love the good in life?
For example, 1000awesomethings.com — updated each weekday.
Created by Neil Pasricha, the blog and Facebook page (facebook.com/1000awesomethings) have attracted close to 50 million hits and led to a book since they were launched in 2008 — even though I wouldn’t consider #835 (saliva) all that awesome. An alternate site is the self-explanatory ThingsToBeHappyAbout.com.
Another site is StuffChristiansLike.net. Creator Jon Acuff has since written three books and is a member of Dave Ramsey’s speaking team. This blog mixes encouragement and humor, with guest posts each week. It has attracted more than 3 million readers. The site also links to Acuff’s social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Share a hug. What would you expect to find at a site called The Nicest Place on the Internet (thenicestplaceontheinter.net)? Free hugs!
Created by Jeff Lam and Lauren Perlow, a variety of people, young and old — even a teddy bear — give hugs to the screen. Return the favor as well — the site allows you to upload your own hug for others.
My experience was a bit nicer when I turned off the sound, which was a Tiny Tim-sounding piece called "I Have Never Loved Someone" by My Brightest Diamond. Instead, play your own feel-good music!
Or start your own personal effort. FreeHugsCampaign.org can give you ideas.
Verbal affirmation. Who doesn’t like to be loved? Hearing “I love you” can usually put a smile on most anyone’s face. That’s exactly what’s at tinyurl.com/video-love-message — people who love you.
It’s a creation by self-described spiritual teacher Sivan Garr, but there’s nothing New Age-y about the video, just a warm feeling.
Make a “free compliments -- Take one” sheet for a nearby bulletin board or telephone poll (tinyurl.com/free-compliment).
If you have a friend that's feeling down? Send them the peaceful sounds of a lazy, rainy day (rainymood.com), pictures of cute and cuddly animals (gruntle.me or cuteoverload.com) or some comic relief with sites featuring an interactive button: Drama (dramabutton.com), rim shot (myinstants.com/instant/rimshot), downer (sadtrombone.com), or the silent make-everything-ok.com button.
And especially for Valentine’s Day, design and share a virtual conversation heart at cryptogram.com/hearts.
Nothing beats a spoken word or a personal touch. You can’t always be there in person for those you care about, so use these sites as ways to care for yourself and those around you.