What does a bucket of ice water have to do with ALS? Absolutely nothing! Except that for the past two weeks the Ice Bucket Challenge has taken over social media. The premise is simple: make a donation or dump a bucket of ice on yourself. Everyone from Jimmy Fallon to Bill Gates to my 11 year old son have jump aboard to bring awareness to this devastating disease and have some good clean fun at the same time. To date, the challenge has raised more than $11 million to support the ALS Foundation and attracted nearly a quarter of a million new donors.
So of course the inevitable backlash is starting. Among the most frequent groans I’m hearing:
- What good is awareness?
- Why has society deteriorated to the point that we have to resort to silly stunts?
- What does a bucket of ice have to do with ALS?
- Isn’t this trivializing an important issue? and
- I’m a curmudgeon and I just like to gripe (at least someone is telling the truth!).
I get it. Anything gets old after clogging your social media feeds for a few days. But in between news about Gaza, the Ebola virus and riots in Ferguson, I for one wanted a reason to smile. Before the inevitable copycat PR stunts make us regret ever opening our Twitter feed again, remember that for a brief sweet moment this summer the world came together to have a laugh, connect with friends and help a good cause.
For another take, check out Bo Stern’s post, What an ALS Family Thinks About the Ice Bucket Challenge.