Christopher

THE ALS ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE: DO IT RIGHT OR NOT AT ALL

I’m sure by now everyone has seen the videos of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I’ll be honest and say when I first saw it I couldn’t help but scoff at how incredibly juvenile it seemed but then I did some research (which is not that hard thanks to this wonderful invention called Google. I encourage those in the dark to try it) and I did a complete 180. I was pleasantly surprised at how much money the challenge had raised for ALS research but more so I loved how quickly it was spreading. It seemed that within a few days pretty much every major celebrity had done the challenge, from Oprah to Tom Cruise to Bill Gates. As impressed as I was though I still have reservations. The major one is of all the videos I’ve seen most of the participants failed to mention anything about ALS and what’s the point of doing the challenge when you fail to mention the cause? This is where I come in.

I know many of you might be unaware of what ALS even is and I know a lot of people couldn’t even be bothered to google it so I’ll save you the effort and just tell you. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)/ Lou Gehrig’s Disease is a neurodegenerative diease that causes weakness and atrophy of muscles throughout the body leading to difficulty walking,slurred speech, difficulty swallowing and breathing among other symptoms. I should also mention that ALS is a progressive disease, meaning as more time passes the worse the symptoms get. If you’d like to know more feel free to check the ALS Association’s website. I should also mention that that association is responsible for starting the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Now back to the challenge. My issue is that more and more celebrities are neglecting to mention the point of the challenge making it look like every other juvenile viral fad. And unfortunately there is nothing our generation likes more than being a part of the next big trend. I was pretty sure from the first time that I saw the videos that it was gonna trickle down through social media and everyone was going to start doing it and eventually the entire point of the thing would be lost, which of course is to raise money for ALS research. Now I am notoriously pessimistic so this time I tried to do things differently and give my fellow millenials a chance but of course they proved me right. For most of these people the Ice Bucket Challenge is nothing but a joke which is unfortunate considering that that is not how it started at all. To those people doing the challenge because they think it’s funny first of all, in what world would dumping a bucket of ice water on your head be considered funny or cool? That just shows these people aren’t playing with a full deck of cards here. Second of all, please read a little. I know you can since you’re on Facebook which requires some level of literacy. It wouldn’t be that hard to just google ALS and read a little before you participate in something you obviously know nothing about. Thirdly, are any of you aware of how the challenge actually works? You’d be surprised that many of you are actually doing it wrong. Here’s how it works: 

1. You get challenged (so for all of you thirsty for Facebook likes who are just doing it without being challenged, stop it!)

2. Within 24 hours of being challenged you make a donation to the ALS Association of US$100 and you go about your business without having to do the challenge OR you accept the challenge

3. If you accept the challenge this is where you film and upload it as well as challenge others and hopefully point out the entire reason for doing it in the first place (which if I haven’t made it clear already is ALS)

4. Here’s the fun part I’m sure a lot of people are unaware of, if you accept the challenge you still have to make a donation, it can be less than $100 but you’re still expected to give something. 

Understand now? The challenge isn’t so idle people with nothing better to do can dump water on themselves for likes on Facebook but to raise awareness and money for research of a devastating disease. It would be unfortunate to watch such a great movement for such a worthy cause get derailed by “like-whores” . Is it too much to ask some of you to not be selfish for a change and actually do something out of the good of your heart? Educate yourself on the disease, raise awareness and make a donation. Otherwise don’t participate, it’s that simple.

4 thoughts on “THE ALS ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE: DO IT RIGHT OR NOT AT ALL

  1. And I am only now learning of this “challenge” … Guess I have some Googling to do then! It would indeed be dumb to actually do this in ignorance of the true cause. Once again a fun way to make people actually “give” but then again, the focal point of the idea behind this isn’t highlighted which is pivotal and kind of tragic that it isn’t.

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  2. The challenge itself is baseless and of no good. However, it does pretty good PR work for the organisation. Regardless, celebrities who’ve participated in the PR stunt are ideal for the social drive. Still, the donations raised doesn’t reflect the generosity you’d expect from celebrities. I’d encourage the author of this article to review critically (not passively) how charitable organisations such as this one raises more alarming questions about empathy and social responsibility. Begin by the UN’s definition of ‘slacktivism’ and the psychological notion of ‘self-licensing’.

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