Unless you've been living in a cave with no 3G or WiFi access, you should be aware of the Ice Bucket Challenge that's sweeping social media and the internet. It's a kind of digital chain letter for a good cause, and often the self-dousers donate money anyway.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave with no 3G or WiFi access, you should be aware of the Ice Bucket Challenge that’s sweeping social media and the internet. It’s a kind of digital chain letter for a good cause, and often the self-dousers donate money anyway.
The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting the video to social media, then nominating others to do the same, all in an effort to raise ALS awareness. People can either accept the challenge or make a donation to an ALS charity of their choice, or do both.
If any of the nominees don’t take the Ice Bucket Challenge within 24 hours they have to pay a larger amount to charity. These, apparently, are the rules.
Predictably, people have come out against the challenge itself for insufferable reasons. People can’t either be inspired or, in the alternative, chose to ignore something that they are sick of. Nobody is saying that you have to dump cold water over your head. If you don’t like that all of your friends on Facebook are doing it, well then maybe you shouldn’t be on Facebook so much.
The Ice Bucket Challenge, however, is different, because it’s not going away. As of Tuesday, Aug. 26, the ALS Association has received $88.5 million in donations compared to $2.6 million during the same time period last year. These donations have come from existing donors and 1.9 million new donors to The Association.
Clearly, this fad has outlasted just about all expectations.
A few days ago, the challenge came to Hubby via my Facebook page (he happily gave up Facebook over a year ago). There is no question that the Ice Bucket Challenge has something compelling about it–the anticipation, the gasping, dripping reaction. It’s good theater. So when Hubby was nominated I told him to not be a curmudgeon.
Hubby took about 12 hours and decided against taking the challenge, which is much more of a dare, peer pressure.
I called him a curmudgeon–again.
He told me to hold on a minute and hear him out.
“I fully support the cause, but disagree with some people’s intention of doing it,” he explained. “The challenge shouldn’t be to see how many “likes” you can get on Facebook. The real challenge should be that we are good stewards of what we have, that we make informed decisions about our giving and that we raise our children in a home where sharing with others is the core value. But I can’t see how daring others to take videos of themselves engaging in stunts of self-suffering accomplishes much.”
He was on a roll as he continued by saying the notion that those who don’t participate are asked to donate money is bizarre.
“Perhaps, even worse, people who went ahead and doused themselves feel like they’ve done something to help the cause without actually having done anything,” he added.
I retract calling him a curmudgeon.
Without a doubt, the popularity of the Ice Bucket Challenge continues to sweep the nation and encourage tens of thousands of Americans not only to douse themselves with ice water, but also to open their pocketbooks and donate to the fight against ALS.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is a gentle and well-intended little game of pay-or-dare, and I admire the good humor and neighborly spirit involved. Still, I wonder, is it better to fill a bucket or write a check? If we wrote a check but told no one, would others think less of us?
Then there’s this consideration: It’s August, and a bucket of cold water over the head sounds inviting.