You may have seen a flurry of videos take over your Facebook and Twitter feeds in recent days. You’ll probably recognise them…essentially people are pouring buckets of ice cold water all over themselves.
It’s all to raise awareness and money for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and to hopefully fund enough money to support research that will lead to an eventual cure. The challenge goes thusly: after being challenged by someone you must dump a bucket of ice water on your head and donate $10 to an ALS charity but refusing to dump the water on your head you must donate $100. Great cause, lots of fun and no one gets hurt.
I’ve previously been rather critical of charities using social media as an effort to raise awareness. The Kony2012 campaign sparked renewed (or in many cases instigated) interest in the crimes of Joseph Kony but was ultimately unsuccessful in maintaining any sort of momentum other than having someone press ‘share’. Yet the difference between this and Kony is that:
a) the end goal is not simply to rid the world of ALS or to capture a war criminal but rather to donate money
b) money has been flowing into the coffers of ALS charities: they report to have raised just shy of 41 million dollars
Whoever started this craze may or may not have known that it would sweep the world in such a way. They may not have thought that tech leaders, celebrities and politicians would take them up on the challenge but they have. They’ve raised quite a bit of money for a worthy charity and it’s led to some hilarious videos.
This is one of the few times that I can confidently say:
Good job Internet! This is a fad that I support.
I however will not be taking the Ice Bucket Challenge….not because I don’t believe in the cause (I’ve already donated) but because it’s precisely -1c here!