The ice bucket challenge has taken social media by storm. Everywhere you look there will be a video of someone pouring water containing ice cubes over themselves, then nominating their friends to do the same thing, all of this is to supposedly raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or as it is more commonly known ALS. The idea is that once you have done the challenge you donate a small figure to support the ALS fund. But is it really making a difference? The article ‘Who’s Pouring Cold Water On the Idea?’ by Steve Rose highlights key areas that show that the ice bucket challenge has totally lost its original and intended meaning. I mean whenever I want to raise awareness for a illness such as ALS I always pour a bucket of water over my head… I mean who doesn’t?
Many famous people such as Bill Gates, Eminem and various others have taken part in raising awareness. Bill Gates designed a contraption that made the ice bucket challenge much more technical. I highly doubt he created the plans himself, he probably hired a team to do it for him. Then he had to get people to film and assemble the design. All of this would have cost probably thousands. Instead of putting on this public show could he not have just donated all the money to the cause? Rose tells us that in India a more practical approach was taken by a Hyderabad journalist who created the ‘Rice bucket Challenge’, which asked participants simply to ‘give a bucket of rice to someone who needs it’.
This is a better alternative to the ice bucket challenge as you can see where your donation is going, when you donate to the ALS fund you don’t see where the money goes. I mean It could go into the pocket of some fat Mafia boss who is currently living in a mansion just off the coast of Sicily using the money to invest in illegal drug trafficking schemes.
My favourite of all the videos that I have seen was that of the whacky Steve-o, who has starred in the Jackass movies and TV show, in his video he completes the challenge and then faces the camera and says ‘I’m all about good causes but did this raise any awareness at all?’ this makes me believe that the ice bucket challenge has now become more of a social trend and has lost its original meaning. I do agree with Steve Rose when he says the ice bucket challenge has quite clearly lost the meaning and goal that it originally intended.
Rose calls out celebrities as using this as a way to get media attention, in the article it is described as a ‘wasteful PR exercises’ which makes them look like they care about the cause even though some of them probably cant even spell ALS. Katie Hopkins is one of the most hated celebrities around, however she has had a publicity boost because she has conducted the challenge. I definitely doubt that a woman that calls fat people ‘lazy’ and ‘benefit sponges’ would care about such a cause. I do agree with him when he says this because many unpopular celebrities have gained public favour because they have come across as caring for the cause.
When the ice bucket challenge first appeared many people did not know what ALS was and were eager to donate and have some fun at the same time, which is great and all but when it takes pouring a bucket of water over your head to raise awareness about such a disease which effects millions and has also been around longer than the challenge has it makes you wonder if the challenge had not existed then all this support and money donated would simply not even exist, I just find it sad how in order for people to hear about such a terrible disease it needs to be through a internet fad.
Another point is that many people who do the Ice bucket challenge do not even bother to donate after they have done it! The whole point of the challenge is to raise awareness and then donate a small sum of money to show your support to the ALS foundation, however many people seem to just do the challenge and not donate at all, this is completely missing the point of the whole challenge. The ice bucket challenge is now more of a social event rather than a charity event that will help fund ALS research, from when the idea first hit the internet to now it has lost its meaning and the original premise which was to raise money for the ALS fund.
In the article it states that California is currently experiencing a water drought ‘California is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts on record. Taps have dried up, lakes and reservoirs are emptying, water wastage is being fined’. As California is experiencing this it comes across as being very naive under the current circumstances, even if pouring water over your head is meant to bring awareness towards a horrible disease it does seem very in sensitive considering the shortage California is going through. Why waste water when there are people suffering from water shortages?
Rose also expresses that celebrities such as Pamela Anderson and Grimes have not taken part because of the ‘ALS’ association with animal testing’. By conducting the challenge you are indirectly supporting medicines that may be harmful to be tested on innocent animals. I’m pretty sure that most people would not want chemicals injected in them or their offspring so why is it okay for an innocent animal to be tested on?