The power of social media never fails to amaze me. If you don’t have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or never go on the internet (if that’s true and you found me, I’m honored and confused), the ALS Association started a campaign in an attempt to raise awareness for ALS, and it has gone viral. The idea is that you have 24 hours to either dump a bucket of ice on your head, or donate $100 to ALS research. While some are arguing that one has nothing to do with the other, you cannot deny the attention it’s gotten. A lot of young people are participating, and that could prompt at least some of them to google or ask their family/friends what ALS is. It’s important to remember that a younger generation might not know who Lou Gehrig is, or have any experience with ALS. Plus, seeing the challenge on your newsfeed over and over again is a constant reminder that ALS exists and that your donation could help. I’d be lying if I said I planned on donating before this started, and I’m sure others feel the same way. Yes, some people are just pouring a bucket of ice on their head, but you can’t control them. You can, however, control your actions and try to make the difference you want to see.
The proof is also in the numbers. According to time.com, the organization has raised $1.35 million dollars in only two weeks, and is thrilled because in the past in the same time period has only raised $22,000. Trends don’t always make perfect sense, and they don’t always last, but instead of looking for a way to discourage others to participate, look for a way to make your own positive impression.
Now that the challenge has reached Hollywood, I hope it will continue for a few more weeks, and donations will increase. I also hope Blake Lively responds to Martha Stewart’s nomination and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner know they are the best couple ever.
I encourage you not only to pour ice on your head (or participate in whatever else fills your newsfeed next), but to donate whatever you can to http://www.alsa.org/.