#1 Posted by Cerebus (19 posts) -

So I live in East Texas. Right now my family, friends and colleagues are doing the ice bucket challenge for Lou Gehrig's disease and posting it on Face Book and challenging other people to donate or do the challenge. This in theory, is raising awareness and money for a disease that does not get the attention as other illness do. When I look at this it just makes me think, that for anything in America to get done in mass; it has to be associated with some type of fluff or showmanship. So should I just be happy that good work is being done or am I just an old man screaming at kids to get off my lawn? I understand that the vast majority of adults are working a 40 hour job that they don't like, and don't have the time to or desire to make donations to causes that need their help. So they have to have some kind of incentive or be inspired to donate to charity. I just curious what the next gimmick will be to get people to donate their time and money to a cause.?

#2 Edited by Splodge (1619 posts) -

The reason this was promoted in the way it was is because it is such an effective method of raising money. It has exceeded anyone's expectations. Last year, they raised 8 million dollars (EDIT -- its actually 2.5 million) for ALS, and that was with extensive marketing and media campaigns, celebrity endorsements, etc.

The other day, the total for this year was 58 million dollars(EDIT - 80 million dollars as of yesterday TIME article). It is truly a worldwide phenomenon, not just America. Practically everyone on my facebook is either getting water dumped on them or donating money. It is everywhere.

I personally think it is fantastic. I don't care that it is gimmicky, or that people are jumping on a bandwagon, because it works really well. People's entertainment intake has switched mediums. It used to be that telethons and celebrity endorsements was how you raised money, and it was never that effective. But with this, they get all the celebrity endorsement's for free and get worldwide exposure because celebrities are just as obsessed with social networking as all us plebs.

This is just the way people get into shit now. And I think its remarkable that when before, people would just send a cheque (which is admirable), they now fully interact with the message. They make videos about it, look up other peoples videos, it's absolute genius. Each one of those people is seeing the letters ALS dozens of times and getting it worked right up into their brains.

#3 Edited by Turtlebird95 (2391 posts) -

It's a harmless, catchy way to raise awareness and money for a worthy charity. I don't get why people are being so cynical about that.

Also, this is way better than that stupid polar plunge challenge that came before this, where people ran into freezing cold lakes while the temperatures were still low.

#4 Posted by Splodge (1619 posts) -

It's a harmless, catchy way to raise awareness and money for a worthy charity. I don't get why people are being so cynical about that.

I don't think the cynicism is entirely unwarranted. There is a certain amount of over exposure that occurs when something goes this level of viral that can be grating. You see it everywhere - All your social feeds are taken up with it, it's on the news, celebrities are all over the media doing it. Too much of anything can certainly get annoying.

#5 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3327 posts) -

Well, you're right. For anything to catch traction it needs to be sensational. But that's the way the world is. Wanting to change it is one thing but don't let it get you down/annoy you/whatever, there are another 1 000 000 Way The World Works facts to bum you out also. Ultimately, I think just be happy a good cause is getting traction at all. But word, I got you.

#6 Posted by RollingZeppelin (1976 posts) -

The fact that it's for a good cause takes away the part that normally annoys me about these viral things. It's what sets it apart from things like the Harlem shake fad.

#7 Edited by Twisted_Scot (1178 posts) -

I dont know, when It was just celebrities and other famous people it seemed like a fun way to spread a message and raise money for charity as if 1 celeb has 1 million twitter followers then they may be able to raise a good chunk of change while bringing awareness to a whole new group. My problem arises when (like everything) Joe/Jane Nobody jumps on the bandwagon and starts issuing the challenge to all their Facebook friends in another desperate attempt at 5 mins of fame. The amount of people that i've seen go out and buy bags and bags of ice to do the challenge and then donate $5 is crazy. If a couple of bucks is all you can donte thats fine as every little helps but just give them the $15 and not buy the Ice.

#8 Edited by Splodge (1619 posts) -

@twisted_scot said:

I dont know, when It was just celebrities and other famous people it seemed like a fun way to spread a message and raise money for charity as if 1 celeb has 1 million twitter followers then they may be able to raise a good chunk of change while bringing awareness to a whole new group. My problem arises when (like everything) Joe/Jane Nobody jumps on the bandwagon and starts issuing the challenge to all their Facebook friends in another desperate attempt at 5 mins of fame. The amount of people that i've seen go out and buy bags and bags of ice to do the challenge and then donate $5 is crazy. If a couple of bucks is all you can donte thats fine as every little helps but just give them the $15 and not buy the Ice.

But without the exposure of everyone doing it, they would not have raised forty times more this year than they did last year. Their standard media program is to get celebrities to endorse, as you suggested, but it has been the proliferation of everyday folk making the videos that has raised them this amount of money. If it was just a few celeberities doing it back and forth no one would give a shit. It would be just another viral marketing attempt. They would never raise anything close to what they are raising now. The vast majority of donations are from people who have been nominated by others. Just donating 15$ does not keep the concept viral, it cuts it off.

#9 Edited by Crembaw (411 posts) -

@turtlebird95 said:

It's a harmless, catchy way to raise awareness and money for a worthy charity. I don't get why people are being so cynical about that.

I live in California and here it is not harmless.

Yes, sure, places that have sources of water that are pretty stable? Go nuts with this. Have a ball. I hope ALS gets CURED by this faddy water-ice-dumpy-thing. But if you live in California and you do the ALS challenge, you are actively flaunting that you do not give a jolly flying fuck that some places in this state have barely sixty days of water left, that the most populous places where the people most connected have heard the most about it, have actually increased their water usage by 8% since the announcements about the drought, that statewide reservoirs are almost, if not as low as they were in the 1970s. Unless there are massive rainstorms within and for the next four to six months, this situation is only going to get worse.

Don't do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge if you live in California. Donate to the foundation, absolutely do that. But for the sake of your loved ones and everyone around you, do not waste water in such a ridiculous manner.

#10 Posted by Brodehouse (9951 posts) -

@crembaw: Perhaps the Californian version of the challenge could be getting locked in a stand-up ice cooler for 60 seconds?

RUB THESE FROZEN PEAS OVER YOUR BODY!

#11 Edited by TyCobb (1972 posts) -
#12 Posted by Turtlebird95 (2391 posts) -

@splodge said:

@turtlebird95 said:

It's a harmless, catchy way to raise awareness and money for a worthy charity. I don't get why people are being so cynical about that.

I don't think the cynicism is entirely unwarranted. There is a certain amount of over exposure that occurs when something goes this level of viral that can be grating. You see it everywhere - All your social feeds are taken up with it, it's on the news, celebrities are all over the media doing it. Too much of anything can certainly get annoying.

I get that it can be annoying, but in this case it's raising a shitload of money and awareness for ALS, which is definitely a good thing. What I don't get is why people act like this is such a terrible act. Like, there was a thread about the ice bucket challenge a few days ago and some guy in there was acting like it was the greatest atrocity mankind has ever committed. Those are the people I don't get.

@crembaw Oh shit, yeah Californians, Texans, and any other state that's in a major water crisis should just donate money and not take the ice bucket. (And, you know, use your water wisely!)

#13 Edited by GunslingerPanda (4757 posts) -

Hmmm, there are some issues with it now that it's spread from famous people doing the spread awareness thing down to the masses who just want to be cool. I mean, calling out someone and saying "do this or you're a monster" is basically bullying.

That said, it's doing more good than harm, so who cares?

#14 Edited by Veektarius (4840 posts) -

Yes. Wait...

Reads post.

Yes.

Online
#15 Posted by sravankb (100 posts) -

Honestly, even if this wasn't about charity - I don't find most of these internet fads (like Harlem shake) annoying. Would I take part in it? Definitely not.

But does it bring joy to most people? Yes, it absolutely does. Why should I get annoyed at something that makes someone else happy?

#16 Posted by Crembaw (411 posts) -

@brodehouse ROLL THAT ICE CREAM AROUND ON YOU SON.

Also yeah if you live in California/Texas and absolutely have to do it, do it over some plants that you consider worth saving, like @tycobb was ribbing about. And ideally follow Matt Damon's example and use waste water, which is still not ideal but better than using potable sources (he also doubled up and did it to raise awareness for clean-water charities and aid groups, which is rad of him).

#17 Edited by Twisted_Scot (1178 posts) -

@splodge: I get what your saying and agree that if it can squeeze even more cash and awareness out of people then thats fine but I and most people I know had already been made aware of the campaign from earlier celebrity participation (Bill Gates for example) so It made very little to no difference to us when people on social media would start doing it and nominating their friends. While it may still be a good way to keep the campaign in the public eye it feels hijacked by people who just want to get attention for themselves and want to take a break from selfies for a week or two while making no donations at all. Like I said every little helps but in regards to the OPs views on it being used more for showmanship than actual consideration for the cause at this stage I tend to agree. Either way I'm glad it's working out for the charity as that is one F***ked up condition that probably doesn't get as much attention as it should and a very good cause.

#18 Posted by Brodehouse (9951 posts) -

While it may still be a good way to keep the campaign in the public eye it feels hijacked by people who just want to get attention for themselves

Realize that that is exactly what celebrities are, and can be pinned on them to an even greater extent than the worthless plebs who thought others might get a laugh over seeing them get water dumped on them.

#19 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4816 posts) -

@brodehouse said:

@crembaw: Perhaps the Californian version of the challenge could be getting locked in a stand-up ice cooler for 60 seconds?

RUB THESE FROZEN PEAS OVER YOUR BODY

It is absolutely brutal outside right now, and frozen peas all over my body sounds like heaven.

#20 Edited by wjb (1662 posts) -

I think it's a discussion worth having, because it seems like a lot of people don't even know why they're doing it or what ALS is, but once you look at the number of donations, that's really all that matters.

#21 Posted by HoboZero (187 posts) -

@crembaw A bucket is what, 1 gallon (Canadian here so pardon if my numbers are off #Metric4life)

Let's see, low flow shower head is 2 gallons a minute, so if someone spent an extra 30 seconds in the shower (or turned it on and let it warm for 30 seconds before getting in) they've wasted the equivalent.

Or if you let the water run while brushing your teeth. Or if you flushed the toilet one extra time today. Ran water in the sink while washing food or utensils. Etc.

Not trying to belittle your water woes, they seem severe and I feel for you. But, really, aren't there easier ways to waste a gallon of water that do nothing for charity, and that happen every day? I would rail against them long before I singled out a charity for being wasteful. Then again, I don't live there, so maybe my perspective is skewed.

#22 Edited by Crembaw (411 posts) -

@hobozero Man I get what you are trying to say, but everyone is already railing against those. Everyone knows and a good amount, maybe not a majority but certainly a plurality, are taking the problem very seriously, myself mostly included (I have a nervous thing about my hands that is super hard to get rid of, so cutting down on hand-washing is hard for me). What gets me angry, living in Southern California, among the middle-and-upper classes, is seeing people not only not caring about the situation, but flagrantly flaunting that they DO NOT GIVE A SHIT (as I said, water usage around here is actually UP 8%), and then seeing people in this group, many of whom I know personally, turn around and decide the ice bucket challenge is noble and just and worth doing. Lots of them JUST do the ice bucket challenge and then don't donate a goddamn cent to ALS funds. They're treating it like a novelty, a look-at-me-I'm-progressive deal, and really they don't give a shit about anyone. It is these specific people who do the challenge that I consider a serious problem in the current water crisis. These are the people who (speaking from experience here) slap those equality stickers on their bumpers and don't care that the money goes to an organization which excludes trans- people, who buy Priuses to look like they care about the environment, who listen to NPR without hearing what NPR stories are actually saying.

#23 Posted by ripelivejam (3976 posts) -

fuck it, it's making a shitton of money for a worthwhile cause so who cares if it's a bit obnoxious. i wish i could have said the same for harlem shake, oppa gangam style, it's friday, etc etc etc...

#24 Posted by MonetaryDread (2035 posts) -

This is my favourite Bucket Challenge and I think this is relevant to the topic. I ag ree with Orlando Jones about this situation, its good that ALS is receiving donations in record numbers, but there are more pressing issues at hand that need the attention.

#25 Posted by pinner458 (788 posts) -

I wouldn't blame American culture, more Western culture in general. People in Canada are doing. Just about everyone on my Facebook here in Ireland have done, including my whole family (I didn't). Its big in the UK too. I'm not sure about the rest of Europe but that's just because that stuff wouldn't really end up on my FB. its kind of dumb and its getting out of hand because I'm seeing a lot of people do the whole shpeel "thanks for nominating me for the IBC, I nominate __________, _________ and ________. You have 24hrs" without even mentioning ALS, they're just treating it as a fun little game people are playing and that shit really annoys me.

#26 Posted by TeamJersey (340 posts) -

@cerebus: I also live in East Texas and every social media outlet I tune into has something about this. Yes, I think it is for a good cause and, yes, I am glad it has given ALS better exposure.

Having said that, I do think it gives a lot of people another reason to say LOOK AT ME and that makes it annoying.

#27 Posted by Evilsbane (4619 posts) -

I just ignore it like everything else on social media, it is a good thing but at the same time there are issues going on that are far more pressing.

#28 Edited by Everyones_A_Critic (6299 posts) -

It kind of annoyed me until I saw this one from a guy who actually has ALS and a family history of ALS. Don't ask me why the fuck WorldstarHipHop have it on their channel...

The footage of him taking care of his mother who has advanced ALS is pretty god damn brutal to watch. Plus he makes a good point about the people complaining about it saying your news feeds will be back to stupid cat videos and Frozen covers in a few weeks. I found the whole thing a lot less annoying after that. I mean, it's not like the videos are interrupting my regularly scheduled thought-provoking Facebook posts from my dumb friends and me. Plus, this has been WAY more effective at achieving its goal than #BringBackOurGirls or #Kony2012 ever were.

#29 Posted by Flacracker (1674 posts) -

There is absolutely no reason to do the ice bucket challenge unless your are some sort of celebrity. If you do it among your friends you are not raising awareness. What you are doing is saying "I would rather dump ice water on myself than donate $100." It actually just makes you a dick.

#30 Edited by marc (505 posts) -

@flacracker said:

There is absolutely no reason to do the ice bucket challenge unless your are some sort of celebrity. If you do it among your friends you are not raising awareness. What you are doing is saying "I would rather dump ice water on myself than donate $100." It actually just makes you a dick.

I'm an engineering student who can't afford to donate $100. So I made a video, challenged 3 friends who along with me donated $10 themselves. $40 raised because I accepted a challenge and challenged 3 others. Nice to know all that does is make me a dick though.

#31 Posted by dudeglove (7862 posts) -

Plus, this has been WAY more effective at achieving its goal than #BringBackOurGirls or #Kony2012 ever were.

I liked how it took a second year politics student writing a blog post (rather than, say, the mass media who was only too happy to report on a viral video on a topic they knew next to nothing about) about Invisible Children to subsequently expose them as being incredibly dodgy. And then their main guy ends up on TMZ running around San Diego naked screaming obscenities.

#32 Posted by CornBREDX (5306 posts) -

I get what you're saying. "Why can't people be aware of these things and endorse them without gimmicks attached?" This presupposes that people don't already donate to a charity of their choice.

I know I donate to child's play, ECC, or other places every year. I do do this through the Extra Life campaign, but not because it raised my awareness. More so because it's supported by people I trust so I feel comfortable donating money through them to do what I understand that it will do. There are a lot of charities that don't do what they say (or at least that has always been my understanding of charities- and I know many people that feel the same way) so there is a built in distrust of charities for most people (that I know).

Things like this make people feel like the veil is lowered and you feel a greater sense of trust for what this charity is doing. "Oh, Phil Spencer is challenging all these top men in the video game industry (I noticed that moneyball wizard Robert A. Kotick wasn't one of them interestingly) to do this challenge for this charity." "Oh, I noticed this voice actor guy I knew growing up (James Arnold Taylor) is spreading information about this issue, doing the challenge and donating himself- I feel more inclined to do so also."

So, ya, I guess people do need a gimmick to spend all their money on a charity at one time, but it's more of a cynical thing on most peoples parts in general. They don't inherently trust charities to begin with so things like this break the ice for them (so to speak).

That's my thoughts on it anyway.

#33 Posted by artofwar420 (6290 posts) -

It is raising awareness despite the "me-too-ness" of it all. It is catering to attention-whores as well as people with the right intentions. Even so, whatever the reasons the person had the message about ALS is passed along. Sure some don't even mention ALS or donate, but they will have an audience that will hear and will donate or pass along the message.

Tl;dr: It's pandering to the lowest common denominator, but who cares, it's raising money for a good cause.

#34 Posted by helvetica (97 posts) -

@splodge: Nicely said, these are my thoughts exactly! It's great that such an awful disease is getting so much support, both through awareness and financial support.

The ALS foundation has a good rating for using its money too: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3296 .

#35 Posted by Zevvion (1874 posts) -

Expecting people to donate without any incentive is naïve and to be honest, a shitty way to look at things. You are basically saying caring for others and helping out those in need should be unconditional. It isn't and it shouldn't be. Otherwise we can call everyone a hypocrite because there is always more you can do. Being able to and wanting to are two different things. People were always able to donate, with this fun challenge they now also want to.

That's good. Nothing wrong with that.

#36 Posted by SarcasticMudcrab (184 posts) -

Yeah, do it for the kids in Africa.

Whole thing is a bravado of ill educated morons imo. I am not saying charity is a bad thing, or ALS isn't a worthy one, it is, but you know... use your fucking brains instead of your ego to raise awareness for those less previliged.

#37 Posted by YoThatLimp (1910 posts) -

I wouldn't blame American culture, more Western culture in general. People in Canada are doing. Just about everyone on my Facebook here in Ireland have done, including my whole family (I didn't). Its big in the UK too. I'm not sure about the rest of Europe but that's just because that stuff wouldn't really end up on my FB. its kind of dumb and its getting out of hand because I'm seeing a lot of people do the whole shpeel "thanks for nominating me for the IBC, I nominate __________, _________ and ________. You have 24hrs" without even mentioning ALS, they're just treating it as a fun little game people are playing and that shit really annoys me.

It actually started in New Zealand for cancer research, not sure when it made the transition to ALS

#38 Posted by InstallWizard (13 posts) -

I'm finding it a bit grating now that whenever I even glance at my Facebook their is about 3-4 friends (or news about celebrities) dumping water over their heads. But I keep in mind it's for a good cause and the way it has spread globally is insane! When we band together, fantastic things can happen. :)

#39 Posted by Qblivion (66 posts) -

Yes, this is appealing to peoples narcissistic desire for attention and posting video of themselves, but that is the point. How else could they possibly raise this much money?

#41 Edited by Dogma (961 posts) -

I don't see the problem with this. It's a fun and at the same time a great thing. It has pulled in A LOT of money for a good cause and a lot of people are much more aware of ALS. It's smart, it's kind and it's a fun and creative way of doing something positive. I think it's kind of sad when I see people just listing nominees and directly afterwards put a bucket over their head without mentioning ALS but hey... the good outweighs the bad, right?

I actually did the challenge myself last week. I have donated, I mentioned ALS and I didn't self promote myself (I run a website). It was also fun (and wet & cold) to do. My goal was to make something a tad more ambitious rather than just standing in a field/bathroom and pouring a bucket of water over my head that a lot of others did that got challenged among my friends and media colleagues. I'm quite pleased with the results. Take a look if you want to see what I fellow duder from Sweden did. You can call my narcissistic if you want but for a creative person like myself this was a great motivator to do something cool and positive :D

If you want to skip to the wet part you can skip to 02:45 (and keep watching after the credits). Also, excuse my stilted english since it's not my native language and I was in rush to have it all done.

Online
#42 Posted by jArmAhead (308 posts) -

I think being upset about charitable donations to a highly rated charitable organization is the height of stupidity.

Yeah, do it for the kids in Africa.

Whole thing is a bravado of ill educated morons imo. I am not saying charity is a bad thing, or ALS isn't a worthy one, it is, but you know... use your fucking brains instead of your ego to raise awareness for those less previliged.

The idea that it matters where the money comes from ESPECIALLY in this context just seems ridiculous, naive, and frankly pathetic. Did you also complain when Samsung UK used their marketing flex to raise awareness and donated a large sum to the cause? If it's doing good, let it be. If this is what works best, this is what should be done. Get off your high horse and get your hands dirty, it's how most of the best things in the world come about.

@marc said:

@flacracker said:

There is absolutely no reason to do the ice bucket challenge unless your are some sort of celebrity. If you do it among your friends you are not raising awareness. What you are doing is saying "I would rather dump ice water on myself than donate $100." It actually just makes you a dick.

I'm an engineering student who can't afford to donate $100. So I made a video, challenged 3 friends who along with me donated $10 themselves. $40 raised because I accepted a challenge and challenged 3 others. Nice to know all that does is make me a dick though.

Yup. Between jobs ATM, and while I couldn't donate at the time, I raised awareness and challenged people who ended up donating AND doing the challenge. You don't need to get 10,000 people's attention. You just need one, because that guy will get someone else's attention and it'll keep going and going and going. That is literally how this is designed to work.