Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge - Why I Did It

Not at all writing-related, but for those of my peeps not on facebook, here's proof that I participated in the infamous and controversial Ice Bucket Challengehenceforth referred to as IBC. 

I stress the "infamous and controversial", because I got quite a few negative reactions from several people whom I told I was doing it. Many were annoyed by the way it has taken over the web, especially facebook. Some argued that people shouldn't have to be 'nominated' to donate money for a good cause. Others told me - and I'm paraphrasing a bit here - "we're dumping ice on our heads while kids in Africa are starving to death". And yes, people have gotten hurt, trying to come up with new and funny ways to dump ice water over themselves. 

I did it anyway, and here are my reasons why the above-mentioned grumbles didn't phase me:

The annoyance, I get. There's only so many times a person can watch somebody tipping a bucket of ice water over their heads before it becomes boring and redundant. On the other hand, we all have a choice. Nobody is making anybody click on and watch these videos. Not even evil Facebook. Just scroll over it - the next picture of a cute kitty, puppy or someone's dinners is bound to appear two posts further down... 

I also agree that it's a bit sad that people have to be called out on their honor to donate for a good cause. But isn't that why the IBC was brought to life in the first place? To raise awareness for ALS, a terrible disease that cuts peoples' lives short? I must admit, I'd never heard of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis before the IBC made the rounds. I knew of Stephen Hawking, of course, but not the exact nature of the disease that is - along with his planet-sized brain - his trademark. But that's the beauty of the IBC. It's basically a marketing campaign - and a great one at that. I bet there are a lot more people who now have at least a basic understanding of the disease. And many of them donated, I among them. Does it really matter WHY we did? 

I must admit, I'm not quite sure how the whole 'kids are starving in Africa' thing is to be understood. Maybe that reared its head because a) whoever said it hasn't understood the essential point behind the IBC, or b) is trying to tell me I should donate money to different causes. I'm going to completely ignore a) (get a clue, Ignoramus) and focus on b) which might, at first glance, hold more merit. I say at first glance, because I feel it doesn't hold up to close scrutiny. First of all, it's my business what or whom I donate my money to. Secondly, many people who donated for ALS also give donations for other causes. Just because you give money to one doesn't mean you can't give money to others, ever. Again - the IBC got people to donate, period. Always a good thing, in my book.  

And as for people getting hurt... a point could be made for natural selection, considering the DUH-factor in some of the attempts at originality... People, please be careful! The IBC is meant to help, not hurt! Be smart. Stay safe. 

There's also a whole different aspect to the challenge: that of showing solidarity. But anything I could say in this regard has already been put into a post by my good friend Nancy, who says it far more eloquently than I possibly could. 

And now I'm getting off my soap box with one last observation: it was fun.
 It's not every day you get it in your head to drench yourself with ice water. Like this:

1 comment:

  1. As always, very well written and I appreciate that you took the time to tell us why you did it. Maybe this is actually what is missing from the IBC conversation.

    Thanks too for the link!