So last week our timelines were flooded (excuse the pun) with videos for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Many celebrities took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, choosing to dump an ice bucket over their heads and donate $10 to the ALS foundation.
According to the ALS foundation: “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord…. As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing.” http://www.alsa.org/about-als/what-is-als.html ALS eventually takes over the body to the point that it leaves its sufferers or patients in a vegetative state.
Now whenever something goes viral on social media, there are people that it is going to annoy. Many took to social media to rant about the fact that some people can afford to throw a bucket of drinkable ice water over themselves while there are people without water. Yes, choosing the water route may not have been the most environmentally friendly decision but at the end of the day, awareness has been raised about ALS. People know what it’s about now, some people are donating, and whether you just dump a bucket of ice water over your head and become “that-guy” who doesn’t donate, at least a few more people saw the post. The point is to raise money and awareness after all.
We watched a video on YouTube posted by Anthony Carbajal: first you see him in a bikini getting a bucket of ice dumped over him, a slightly feminine shrill is let out and then, things start to get serious. While watching your favourite celebrities pour ice water on their heads and freak out may give you a good laugh and use up a lot of your data searching for more ice bucket challenge accepters, watching this video (that Anthony Carbajal posted) is sure to soften the heart of the even the biggest troll. Anthony spoke about his personal experience with ALS; he bravely spoke about the disease that has plagued his family and now at 26, Anthony, a photographer has been diagnosed.
One of the most surprising posts from a celebrity came from the tattooed and willing-to-try-anything-including-putting-a-fish-hook-through-his-mouth, Steve-O from Jackass. His ALS Ice Bucket Challenge got him into a bit of trouble. Steve-o dumped ice on his head and then said “I’m all about helping causes, but did this raise any awareness at all?”
He then posted this on Instagram:
TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO GOT MAD AT ME FOR THIS VIDEO: Since the Ice Bucket Challenge began, over 15 million dollars has been raised for ALS research. I think that’s great, but when you consider the countless A-list celebrities who have actively gotten behind this cause by posting videos– the fact that not more than fifteen million dollars has been raised is a tragedy. It’s tragic because I don’t think many of those celebrities even bothered to mention how or where to donate money for ALS research. Most of them just poured water over their heads and named three random people, without including any “call to action” which actually benefits victims of ALS at all. Had all those celebrities given this cause any thought, hundreds of millions of dollars might have been raised, and a whole lot more awareness. Let’s start a new trend– by actually letting people know how to donate– visit this page :http://www.alsa.org/donate/ I’m nowhere near as rich or famous as many of the folks you’ve seen pour water on their heads, but I cared enough to get educated and donate one thousand dollars of my hard-earned money to http://www.alsa.org/donate/ With love, Steve-O
According to Time.com “More than a week after the Ice Bucket Challenge first went viral, people keep dumping ice on their heads, and the ALS Association keeps collecting money. The organization’s national office has received $5.5 million for Lou Gehrig’s disease research since July 29, compared to $32,000 in the same period last year.” http://time.com/3111699/ice-bucket-challenge-als-donations/
Using Tracx to pull data from around the world we looked at the 7th August – 26th of August, there were over 1.7million posts that related to the hashtags #icebucketchallenge and #alsicebucketchallenge, and these posts had just over 29.3 million interactions. Let’s just pause for a second and take that in, 1.7 MILLION posts all related to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, with these hashtags reaching over 19 million people worldwide!
Posts were generated all over the world with hundreds of thousands taking part in the #icebucketchallenge, it’s remarkable to see really, seeing the world unite, standing together to attempt to win the battle against this retched disease.
Social has wasted many-a-lives on sites like LOL cats and 9gag and silly YouTube videos but when the world stands together and uses social as a platform to promote a good cause,so many lives can be positively affected. So while many may be firmly against the cause, we cannot deny that through social, global awareness was created about ALS. Not to mention the fact that so much money has been raised for research to fight ALS.
“With great power comes great responsibility.” We really hope that the $5.5million+ will help researchers find the cure for ALS.
Written by: #DRTracy