My Two Cents on the ALS Challenge

Good morning everyone!

As most of you probably know there has been an ALS challenge going on on social media lately. This phenomenon has been broadcasted on the news as well. Thousands of people are dumping buckets of ice on their heads in support of ALS.

If you get challenged you are supposed to dump a bucket of ice on your head within 24 hours or donate $100 to ALS. 

First off, I think it is wonderful that the world is talking about this disease. It impacts so many people's lives and it is often undermined by cancer, Alzheimer's and other well-known, often discussed, diseases. 

However I simply don't see how dumping a bucket of ice on my head is going to do much of anything. I understand that the purpose of this is to raise awareness. But by now everyone on my facebook has seen at least 20 of these ice bucket videos. So if I post one, how much awareness am I really raising?

Personally I think that this challenge is more of a fad than a campaign. Yes, ALS may have raised more money recently than in the past, but the majority of people are dumping ice on their heads and failing to donate anything. The popular argument here is that this is not supposed to raise money, it is supposed to raise awareness.

In my opinion, awareness is education. If we educate people on what is affecting others then they can do their best to help. If we teach people about the disease they will have an understanding of it its horrors. How many ice videos have you watched that actually explained in detail what ALS really is?

I think that this challenge is more about proving to the people on social media that you are in fact a nice person and support a disease. When these fads aren't going on people make donations to charities daily. Yet we don't see the news freaking out about it. People are supporting this disease publicly and then calling out other people who aren't doing it. However we wouldn't call someone out if they didn't make a donation to a local food bank during their kids drives at school. When things like these become social media fads that is all they are. Few people actually care about the disease, they care about their image. We are simply forcing people to publicly state they are a good person, that they will donate, or be part of a movement. People think that by dumping ice on their heads they are going to make a huge difference. 

But in reality dumping ice on your head isn't going to save anyone.

I have been nominated for this challenge. Instead of dumping ice I am going to donate $50. (I can't afford $100.) I don't think dumping ice on my head will make a significant change in ALS, not even a raise in awareness. I know that many people have differing opinions, but this is mine.

I don't like the ice bucket challenge. It puts people in awkward positions of either donating money they don't have or doing a video they may not want to do. (I really dislike being in videos so I would never do this challenge.) It totally misses the major part of awareness, education. And it simply, in my opinion, is an ego (and social media) booster.

I'd challenge everyone to donate. Even just $10 would make a difference. But I am not going to call you out if you don't. Not everyone can. Thats whats great about donating. You choose your causes, you choose your amounts, and it can be private. Not everything we do has to be publicized on social media. Some things you should do for you and those in need, not for facebook likes.

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  1. I think it's great that you are going to donate and I am too. I participated in the ice bucket challenge because it is to help my friend from college. Any press is good press and I think a lot of people are looking into this more and more as this challenge has taken off.

    1. I think its wonderful you participated! What irked me is that a few members of my family called me out for not participating however I am currently trying to raise money for a charity that hits closer to home for me. I think that everyone should be able to donate to whatever charity they choose and if a person isn't choosing the charity that is most popular they shouldn't be put down for it. I think I just disagree with calling individuals out because it makes them feel guilty for not doing it.