Over the last week or so the Ice Bucket Challenge has dominated our social news feeds. Countless videos of people taking a bucket of water, filling it with ice water and dumping the contents over their heads before challenging their peers to do the same. All the while, donating money to various charities.
The trend has become a hit and everyone and their mother’s are doing it, including my own!
I usually follow online fads quite closely but rarely engage or express any passion towards them. I watched closely as people acted the maggot in Harlem Shake videos and when girls stroked their egos by putting up no makeup selfies. More recently, I watched teenagers try to poison themselves(and some sadly succeeded) with Neknominations. This last one really irked me as it was the most useless, pointless and dangerous endeavour we as people have ever concieved.
If Neknomination did anything positive, it’s that it paved the way for the Ice Bucket Challenge. Friends of mine recently commented saying “Here we go again” but they’re wrong, this time it’s different. It’s different because it’s wholesome, simple and universal. There’s no danger involved and most significantly, theres relatively no one-ups-man-ship, simply because, watching the shock and horror on people’s faces as they get dumped with ice water never gets old!!* Especially watching people you would never expect to get involved (see Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates etc.)
It’s wholesome which means that anybody can do it, including hordes of celebrities each nominating each other, letting us all know they’re just like us, giving us a window into their little famous social circles.
Most importantly, it raises money and awareness for charities. Ok, maybe not everyone is donating but you have to remember, that anything is better then not doing it, but at least they’re challenging others who might but wouldn’t have donated otherwise. We also get affluent, self involved celebrities making extraordinary donations they might not have done otherwise.
I accept the point that the lack of organisation and focus may lead to misguided attempts at raising awareness but this isn’t exactly Kony 2012 (of which we will never speak of) and surely we sacrifice that for the sheer volume of people getting involved. People also complain about wasting water, I’d like to echo Alan Keegan’s response
“I really hope all those people comparing the ice bucket challenge with the lack of water in Africa are planning on bringing loads over there. Given that they are so worried about it.”
It’s a fad that will be over in a very short time, so all I’m saying is, while the going is good, embrace it and keep the momentum rolling. Post a video, make a donation and challenge your mates. If one of them gives anything at all to charity, then you’ve achieved something.
(Apologies for the NSFW Language on account of my arsehole Friends)
* I am absolutely aware it will get very old very fast!