#ALSIceBucketChallenge: Good Cause, Great Awareness and Massive Egos

I’m already sick and tired of seeing all these ice bucket challenge videos. It’s just too much. Everybody is doing it and sharing it on social media. I feel like it’s the new Kony 2014.

Let me preface this before I go deeper into this. I am not against raising awareness – although sometimes people raise awareness very poorly. I am not against raising money to help research to fight a disease. I am not against people banding together to do something good. This is all good. This is the intent of this fad. It’s good. I applaud it. The incoming money for it is fantastic and I commend the people who have donated. Props to all of you who did donate. All these videos are just overwhelming.

But isn’t it sad that it took viral videos, an ongoing online peer pressure to get people to care? That’s how we motivate Americans to do important things. I wonder how many people who did the challenge actually know what ALS is. Or maybe know the history of this challenge.

And of course if you’re in California, you’re wasting water. The state is in a drought and you willingly waste water. There are people out there who can’t get access to ice and/or water. But here we are wasting it.

It has now become a thing bigger than the challenge itself. I didn’t know anything about it a week ago and I was under the assumption that it’s either donate to the ALS foundation or dump bucket of ice water on your head. I saw a lot of people who did the latter and share their video. I thought very low of these people. Did they decide to not donate, but instead just get wet? What a cop-out! If a regular guy like me assumed that was the rule, then maybe these people thought the same too? If they were unaware of the rules of donating regardless, then this is all bad.

But not only that, these videos now come with an ego boost. I am sure people are posting these videos now because it’s the cool thing to do. They look cool doing it even though they may not know why. They get clicks and get shoutouts making the video. They’re calling out their friends, making them seem like they are good people. I am not saying that’s what’s really going on for everyone, but don’t rule it out being true for some of these participants.

And with celebrities, it’s coming off as a move of braggadocio. Or in another way: humblebragging.

Hey I’m famous and if I do this, it will build my brand and make me likable. Also, I am going to call out my other super famous friends because I’m famous as well. Oh and I shame you for not accepting my challenge and all your fans will be disappointed in you.

The challenge has evolved into an honest, genuine cause to now a competition to one-up your friends with more “impressive” bucket dumps. It’s turned now into a race to do the challenge so nobody can judge you for not caring. It’s now the “I’ll do it because everyone else is doing it” challenge. Look at the above video — it’s a comedy thing now. The purity of it is fading.

It’s still great to see money being raised and awareness being raised along with it. That’s good. But it’s not all pure. These kinds of things are never all pure.

I guess we can take the pros and the cons and see that the pros outweigh the cons. And I will take the pros over the cons any day.

But as we look at the cons, we are reminded of how sad we are as a society. It takes for us to do something only because it’s popular. Doing it will satisfy our insecurities and make ourselves look better.

Knowing all the facts? Optional. But hey, it’s for a good cause, yeah? And page views on the YouTube video continue to climb! Awesome!

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Despite all this, I am glad money is being raised. People are learning more about it so it’s not all bad. It’s more good than bad. But it’s still sad to see it become this.

I do hope that the people who did dump buckets of water on themselves donated as well. That’s the whole point. But if it takes viral videos and the attempt to look popular for us to invest in people, then it’s sad that we rely on these things for us to be good people.

To make a donation to this charity, visit: http://alsa.org/donate/

Remember, there are other charities out there too. In fact, you don’t even have to donate money. How about donating your time to homeless shelters or hospitals? Just invest your time and resources to people. If we can love and care for one another without the dependency of viral videos on social media to remind us to do good, we don’t need to dump buckets of ice water on our heads. Caring for one another would just be the norm.

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1 Comment

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One response to “#ALSIceBucketChallenge: Good Cause, Great Awareness and Massive Egos

  1. Pingback: I am saddened by what happened in Paris but I won’t be changing my Facebook profile picture to the French flag | Write a blog on a log, Sam I am

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