#IceBucketChallenge


David Beckham did, George Bush did and even Stephen Hawking did. Did you take part in the latest internet sensation? The #IceBucketChallenge invites those nominated to tip a bucket of ice cold water over their head, for charity. 

The craze initially started around mid 2013 to early 2014, and involved the option of either donating to cancer research or jumping into cold water… the challenge gained increased media attention recently when celebrities started to follow the craze and post their videos on social media networking sites.
It is said that this was the video that sparked the campaign…

But, are people just being sucked into the latest trending fashion? Does anyone actually know where the funds they raise go? Personally, I did not take part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, I am  not badmouthing those who took part, however, I am pretty certain that I am now going to be center to an onslaught of debate from those who did…

I just wanted to voice my opinion on why I chose not to take part. It’s OK for those who did take part to state why they did, so surely only fair that those who didn’t are allowed an opinion too…

It seems that pretty much everyone I know accepted their nominations and got straight to tipping water over their head, but why? I can imagine that a LOT of people probably didn’t donate but happily poured an ice cold bucket/barrel/bin/truck load of water over themselves - all because they were nominated.

It was just a few months ago that I was raising money for Cancer Research by running the Race for Life. Raising funds was difficult to say the very least, it took me an antagonising two months of posting, re-posting, sharing and re-sharing status update after status update, willing, BEGGING, people to chuck their spare change my way. 

Now, I’m not one for maths, but each time I have logged onto Facebook over the past few days, my newsfeed has been overrun by Ice Bucket Challenges. Pretty much every single FB friend I know has taken part in the cause, but, when it comes to general public raising money and looking for sponsorship from friends and family, it’s a different story… A lot of people are quick enough to do the Ice Bucket Challenge but not so quick to chuck a quid to those running marathons, climbing mountains, volunteering, etc…

It’s a shame that it seems to take an international fad to get people to put their hands in their pockets and spare a few quid. I know a lot of my friends are fairly good in way of charity and donate a few times over the year here and there, but for the other majority of IceBucketeers, it’s a shame that they just take part to be a part of the fashion and don’t bother to donate at all… This isn’t a general tarring of the brush to those who have taken part in the challenge, it is merely an observation, most of the videos I watch note nothing about what to text and to which number to send it, only the names of those nominated next.


Not only is it just about donating… but, it’s also about understanding where your donation is going. I wonder how many people know that a whopping 73% of their donation DOESN’T go towards ALS research. It actually goes to lining corporate pockets, funding overheads and paying executive salaries. Only 27% of donations are used for funding research, not only that, but the way in which ALS conducts research is on animals. Typical ALS research involves drilling holes into the skulls of mice, inflicting mice with crippling illnesses, injecting chemicals into the brains of monkeys and killing a number of nonhuman animals in order to dissect their brain.  But, I’m sure that those donating to ALS would have done their research about the company and understood what they were donating towards instead of just rushing to be a part of an internet sensation, right? 

It is certainly reaching out to a wide audience though, that’s for sure. It was just a few days ago that a video of a toddler, aroundjust 3 years old went viral. I wonder if she knows what she is getting drenched in icy water for? Or if her language would be condoned in any other scenario. We are laughing at a child getting drenched with a bucket of water and almost encouraging children to use foul language… then we complain about society and the way of youth today. It’s a vicious circle. I wonder, had that video not been filmed, if people would have been so quick to get their pre-school children involved?  Children who are 3 years old do not understand and therefore are only being used as a tool of entertainment for social media. 


Finally, it’s the wastage. Say what you want, but the challenge is a selfish act in my eyes, wasting gallons of clean water while millions of those less fortunate suffer and die as a result of a lack of safe drinking water.  768 million people still useunsafe drinking water, thousands of children get sick and die every day due to drinking dirty water, and here we are normalising the act of chucking it over our head in order to raise money for charity – ironic. People are complaining how supermarkets have run out of ice as a result from the internet phenomenon. Millions of human beings in third world countries are dying every day from illnesses such as Diarrhoea, Arsenicosis, Cholera, Fluorosis, Guinea worm disease, Intestinal worms and so forth: illnesses that are directly attributed to the consumption of unsafe, contaminated drinking water, but Tescos has run out of ice…

All in all, I think it’s great that the social media can be used in such a powerful an influential way. To raise so much money through one medium is incredible. Upmost respect to the people who did donate to a charity they support and pour ice cold water over themselves in the process. 

I know that this is going to be taken in a variety of different ways, and I want everyone reading it to know that I am not slating those who took part in the challenge in anyway, I am not having a go at you for letting your children take part or criticising you for whatever charity you chose to donate to, I am just voicing my opinions. We all do the things we do in life because WE want to and because WE have reason to… this is mine.



1 comments:

Kyra O'Reilly said...

That was really well put and I completely agree. I think there are better was to donate to charity than following some stupid trend online. This is why I didn't take part in the no makeup selfie and donated clothing to my local cancer research instead.

 

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