Keeping an eye on the prize
By now you have surely seen one or been nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
Undoubtedly, your news feeds have been inundated with videos of everyone and their mother dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads in the name of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
ALS is a motor neuron disease characterized by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy, difficulty in speaking, swallowing and breathing.
The only pre-requisite for taking the challenge is to donate to your local ALS society. This has not been a problem. The response has had an overwhelming and immense.
In a short period of time, more than $40 million has been donated in the name of the terrifying disease. And, that is only since the middle of July. The movement has not been without its detractors. Critics have taken to social media to voice there displeasure citing people should just donate the money and forget about the video.
Do you think Chris Kennedy knew what he was starting when he dumped that first bucket over his head?
Either way, he has jumpstarted a donation blitz that no one saw coming.
However, with such a viral response comes the risk of it losing its impact.
But, how can $20 million in donations run the threat of being ineffective?
Well, at what point does the ice bucket challenge become less about donating to a good cause and more about generating a million hits on your YouTube channel or your Facebook wall?
That is the risk these viral campaigns take. Even with this, it is possible to oversaturate the market.
The donations go away, but still you see some kid from somewhere on the planet dumping water over their head for the sake of it. Probably because he thinks the girl in his Level I biology class will take notice.
That is why perspective is important in these things. People need to keep reminding others, and themselves, that this movement is not about them.
It is about helping that father in the community who has trouble playing with his children because he is in the early stages of the disease. It is not about your Twitter feed. Who cares if you gained five new followers since you uploaded the video 15 minutes ago?
How much did you donate is the better question. Because, it matters not how much you donated, just that you did.
Even if you don’t dump icy water over your head, donate. It is that important.