I’ve heard a lot of people groaning when they see another Ice Bucket Challenge video up on YouTube or Facebook. They say, “Oh, here we go again, another person trying to cash in on their moment of fame.”
There is some truth to that. Some of the people doing the challenge–in my humble opinion–really didn’t care about giving the money to ALSA.org, but instead used the video as a sort of “look at me, look at me! Pay attention to me!” In some ways, the Ice Bucket Challenge is like the selfie phenomenon that totally ruined photographs. (The subject of another post…)
However, for the most port, I loved the Ice Bucket Challenge. Every time I hear someone say, “Not again”, I actually think, “Yes, do it!” Why do I love the Ice Bucket Challenge?
First of all, it’s funny. Who doesn’t love to see their favorite movie stars, writers, and celebrities getting soaked with freezing cold water? I liked the way it showed a bit more of the “real” side of these people–not the side we see on the screen, in their books, etc.
Second of all, it actually did something! $80 million for ALS research–a disease only .0001% of the US population has–is nothing to sniff at. Thanks to people like Charlie Sheen, Patrick Stewart, and others who made big donations, the Ice Bucket Challenge has done what it set out to do: raise money and awareness of this horrible disease.
Sure, a lot of people who did the challenge probably FAILED to donate the $10 or $100 to charity, as many of the videos neglected to include the hook “Donate to ALSA.org” or “donate to ALS”, etc. But the truth is that the Ice Bucket Challenge did raise awareness of the disease, and it did raise a pretty hefty sum of money to help researchers tackle the problem.
All in all, I’d say that that alone makes it a pretty damn awesome viral campaign, especially when compared to some of the garbage that has been floating around the internet the last few years. Here’s hoping the next viral sensation is equally useful!