If you have an internet connection, chances are you’ve seen the Ice Bucket Challenge. For the past few weeks, my social media feeds have been filled with hundreds of these Ice Bucket Challenge videos. The basic idea behind these videos is that you must pour a bucket of ice water on your head within 24 hours of being challenged or donate money to the ALS Association.
While I’ve seen hundreds of videos of people choosing to douse themselves in ice water rather than make a donation to the ALS Association, there must be some people following through with the other end of the deal, as the ALS Association has been reporting record numbers of donations since the videos began circulating this summer.
The only problem I have with the Ice Bucket Challenge is that dumping ice water on your head is presented as an alternative to donating money to a good cause. It implies that those partaking in the challenge would rather make themselves slightly uncomfortable for a short period of time than donate money to help the thousands of people suffering from ALS.
One could make the argument that even without making a donation, posting a video raises awareness for the disease. However, I feel like most of the videos circulating are posted with the intention of garnering retweets and Facebook “likes” rather than raising ALS awareness, since most of the videos make no mention of what ALS actually is.
Regardless of most of the participants’ intentions, the Ice Bucket Challenge seems to be doing a lot of good for ALS. If you’re bound and determined to make a fool of yourself with an ice bucket, go right ahead. Please just consider making a donation to the ALS Association as well.