The #ALSIceBucketChallenge has hit official viral status. And of course, that means that people are going to start complaining and attacking it. But you know what I have to say those people? SHUT UP!
I’ve seen 2 specific complaints about the #ALSIceBucketChallenge that I’d like to address.
The first one is the worst one. People are saying “I’m sick of seeing these videos of people dumping water on themselves in my Facebook feed.”
Well, have you ever thought that maybe I’m sick of seeing pictures of your baby or your cat? You know what you do with stuff you don’t care about in your Facebook feed? You scroll past it and move on with your life.
The second complaint I’m seeing is people and even articles by serious publications, is saying that dumping ice water over your head has nothing to really do with ALS, it doesn’t help spread information about ALS and people should just donate to charity instead.
This one is semi-valid in that nothing these people are saying is actually false. But… there’s a couple of big BUTs to this.
While it’s true that just dumping water over your head doesn’t spread any real information about ALS, the sad fact of the matter is that a lot of the people (not all, but a lot) who have been taking part in the challenge probably didn’t know anything about the disease before. Some may have never even have heard of ALS. And if they’d never have heard of or knew much about it they never would have done ANYTHING to support it. Even if that something is just getting another person to hear of or think about ALS, that’s a lot more than they would have done without the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. Doing something, anything, is better than doing nothing at all.
Regardless of how much the challenge actually has to do with the terrible disease that is ALS, it’s helping to spread the word. Sure, some people are doing it just so they can make the video and show off to their friends (or maybe everyone is). But once you’ve done the challenge you show it off to your friends which helps to spread the word about ALS. On top of that, you nominate other people to take the challenge. Once you do, they do it and post it for all of their friends to see and nominate more people to do the same. It’s a cycle of constantly spreading the word. Who really cares if it has anything that symbolically ties to the disease of ALS?
What did wearing no make up and taking a selfie have to do with breast cancer? Nothing. What does running 5K and up have to do with cancer, heart disease, diabetes or any other health related thing that can go wrong with your body? Nothing. But you know what it does? It gets people talking, spreading awareness and raising money. That’s exactly what the #ALSIceBucketChallenge is doing too.
And as for the charitable part of the challenge… I’m sure that there are some people out there in the world that took the #ALSIceBucketChallenge and didn’t donate money. Technically, the original point of the challenge is that you’re supposed to donate $100 OR pour ice over your head. But how many people do you think did it and didn’t donate?
Yes, I’m sure that there may be more than a few people that didn’t and donate (hopefully they were just broke high school kids and people with no soul) but I’m sure that number doesn’t outnumber the people that took the challenge and donated anyways. Even if it was as little as $10, that’s still 10 more dollars than the charity would have received.
And do you think that all the celebrities that you’ve seen take the challenge didn’t donate after they did it? Do you think that Bill Gates or Oprah or Chris Pratt or Harry Connick Jr or Mark Zuckerberg or Jimmy Fallon or Justin Timberlake or Conan or Martha Stewart or whoever you even consider to be semi-famous and saw take the challenge didn’t donate afterwards? I doubt that. And I bet a lot of them donated more than the average person does as well.
Numbers are kind of all over the place depending on where you read the stats, but a Forbes article says that as of Tuesday morning there’s been over $23 million raised so far. That’s something like 100 times what they would have made over a regular summer without the #ALSIceBucketChallenge.
So think about it; it spreads the word about ALS faster and more effectively than anything else has or probably would and it’s helping a charity to raise a ton of money to do good with. Money that it probably wouldn’t have had before and probably would have taken them a long time to equal if the #ALSIceBucketChallenge didn’t exist.
Now try to complain about it.