As we all know, the internet has gone crazy with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge where people and celebrities are joining in the fight against Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, popularly dubbed as ALS and trying to help the ALS foundation raise funds. I am for one, in support of the fight against the disease but now that the movement is taking a curve towards insanity, I’m starting to question whether the world can handle serious issues or just be jolly about everything. With this article, I will question the good and the bad of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from a neutral and unbiased perspective.
The challenge was a way to popularise the word, the disease and get more people together which it has done so far. The first aim is achieved. As per the New York Times, the foundation has received $41.8 million in donations from July 29 to August 21 which is a substantial amount and is actually about fourfold the amount received in the last year. While the ALS Association says they’ve received over $70 million which is even better. With popular and strong figures such as celebrities and political leaders joining in, more funds and people are being dragged into the challenge and all of us are doing it with happiness so it’s all going the right way so far.
The public icons who weren’t very comfortable in doing the challenge simply stated they’ll donate money e.g. Charlie Sheen and George W. Bush and donating is still as good as provoking people to donate. Some celebrities like Benedict Cumberbatch nailed it by making a funny video with multiple ice buckets and actually giving details about where and how to donate with a big pop up in the background and text in the video description stating the mobile number for donation which is also a great (and the right) way to support the cause. The ALS challenge is a practical example of how the world is not just countries any more but one, big, global village and how all of us are residents of Earth and not America or India or East or West.
As usual, being the internet and the not-so-serious population of the cyberspace people misinterpreted the whole concept and suddenly the action is more important than the consequence. Kids and people I know along with a few celebrities who have made it a game and give no information as to where and how to make the donations nor do they ever mention anything about ALS, all they ever mention is the name of their nominator and then after dousing themselves with a bucket full of ice water nominate a few people and dang, the video ends. These people still increase the popularity of the cause and the challenge but they’re doing what could be dubbed as the Chinese whispers of the Internet, a game where the meaning gets lost in the end.
So, that’s my exploration about what the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is becoming. It’s still afloat in a positive manner and I hope it stays that way.
P.S – I haven’t been nominated by anyone yet and I’d love to show the world how it’s done correctly.
For more info on ALS you can read about it on the Wikipedia Page or this webpage. For donations worldwide, visit here. If you’re from India, you can check out the website for the Motor Neurone Disease Association of India and donate there.