Social media often gets criticized for it’s over usage. Teens sitting on their phones all day, constantly checking Facebook, tweeting what you’re doing, Instagramming your meal, etc etc.
As of recently, I think it’s important to shed some light on the GOOD that social media does.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge”. I heard of this challenge on August 9th, 2014 when I was sitting in RA training. My supervisor came to my RA staff and said that she had heard of this challenge and suggested we do it. Later that evening, she sent the RA staff an email describing what it was and what it was for. You can watch that video here.
We didn’t end up doing it as a staff (it was unnaturally cold that day), but very quickly I began seeing not only my RA staff but family members, celebrities, friends, and co-workers doing this ice bucket challenge.
Of course, it was only a matter of time until my RD nominated my friends Halie, Rachel, and I to participate.
So, is dumping ice on your head a little silly? Yeah, definitely. Does it get a point across? Yes.
Before this viral challenge I had never heard of ALS. ALS is Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. From what I’ve gathered, it’s when you lose the ability to control your nerves very slowly. So imagine, you’re an athlete or a musician or a painter, and everyday you get to do what you love. Then, you begin to lose control of that. As time goes on, you can no longer toss the ball, strike a chord, or pick up a paint brush. I know I would be devastated.
On the other side though, your brain is fully functioning. You know what’s going on and there is nothing you can do.
Like I said, I had never heard of ALS before this ice bucket challenge. Because three people challenge three people, and those three people challenge three people, and three people challenge three people, etc etc this thing BLOWS UP.
I can honestly say that most of my Facebook timeline has been filled with the Ice Bucket Challenge. You know what else I’ve noticed? I haven’t seen sad, depressing statuses. Sure, some people may not know every detail about ALS, and not every person may donate. It’s the spreading AWARENESS that counts.
Quite frankly, with all of the religious unrest going on in the world, it’s nice to see people coming together to support a cause. Let me say that again, people coming together.
The point of something going viral is to make it so prominent, so IN YOUR FACE, that you absolutely cannot ignore it.
And that is exactly what this challenge has done.
According to the ALS Association website (http://www.alsa.org), as of August 16th 2014, they have surpassed $10 million in donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge. They have raised $11.4 million in donations compared to last year’s $1.7 million between July 29 and August 16th. If you’d like to continue reading, you can do so here.
Also, I’d like to give a little shout out to my friend Joe. Joe takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to a new level- find a charity YOU will fight for. Check out his video here, where he challenges you to like, comment, and share to reach 100 for ALS, another 100 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the next 100 after that to the Cleveland Public Schools.
So, keep dumping ice on your head. Keep donating. Keep spreading awareness. Keep supporting causes that you feel passionate about.
Because quite frankly, no matter how you’re talking about it, you’re still talking about it.
Donate to the ALS Association here.