This is probably the 567th post you have seen regarding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge just today. This movement has become something that will go down in history and likely never forgotten. And that alone is pretty fascinating just for the social phenomena aspect.
What’s more – the last time I checked, ALS Association has received over 41.8 million dollars in donations – and that is growing by the minute. I am impressed that their website has not crashed to be honest. Maybe the ACA people can take some tips from the ALS IT department 😉 Seriously, though – this is just unheard of. And what a wonderful testament to human generosity and to the powers of social media.
Along with the endless videos of people dumping ice water on their heads our virtual fields of vision have also been filled with posts and tweets about these videos. Some people are highly angered and irritated with the popularity of this campaign. And then there are those who are pissed at the people who are pissed. Leave it to the internet to bring out so many loud opinions and complaints.
When the challenge first began, the purpose was to not only spread awareness (because let’s face it, awareness doesn’t pay the bills) but to raise donations. If one was nominated to take the Ice Bucket Challenge, they were to either A. complete the challenge by dumping a bucket of ice water over their head AND donate a small amount to the ALS Association OR B. decline the challenge and donate a large amount to the organization. So, either way, a donation was being made.
Somewhere along the line, people began to believe that is was: dump OR donate. And it sort of became another notch in the world of “slacktavism“. And this is part of the reason some people were getting irritated. And yes, originally, I was kind of annoyed. I wasn’t ranting and spitting nails like some, however. I mean, people do shit on social media every day that irritate the piss out of me in much larger ways. Ignorant narcissism isn’t exactly a shocking new development on the interweb.
But yea, I can understand why seeing people doing the challenge as simply a way to get attention or show off their wet bodies or just to be a digital lemming can be a thorn in one’s side. Especially when it was clear some of these people had no clue the true purpose of this movement. I mean, I have seen people loudly cheer “Yea!! ALS!!” as though it were a football team. SMH (as the kids type).
The other day, the girls came home from their friends’ house all excited because they did the challenge.
“Did you donate?” I asked.
“Donate to what?” they responded.
“ALS. Do you even know what that is?” I continued.
They just stared at me like I popped all of their balloons.
The next day I made them look it up and read about the disease. I also made them do extra chores to earn money to add to our family’s donation to the ALS Association. Yea, I suppose I am not the most fun, lighthearted mom on the block. Oh well.
So, while I was paging through my Facebook newsfeed this morning, I was noticing more and more anger and hostility from all of those pissed off people on both sides. How unfortunate, really. What was meant to be a positive and fun endeavor to gain funds for people affected by this horrible disease is turning into a pissy debate. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. And I do see both sides.
I then watched a video that finally set me straight and drained the irritation from my mind. Please watch the whole video – it continues after the challenge is completed.
There. That really should be all you need to see.
Listen. I know people can really fucking suck. I know that society is filled with idiots and self centered douchebags. But ya know what, clearly there are 41.8 million worth of decent people out there to make up for it. Let’s not lump everyone into one ice bucket, okay? Some people are indeed doing the challenge for the right reasons. How about we ignore the rest?
There are a lot of shitty things going on in the world. Black men are virtually being hunted, killed and incarcerated while the rest of us are enjoying our white privilege. (And, yes, I do care very much about what is happening in Ferguson. I haven’t written or posted about it yet because I simply am not in a place to talk about it now. This doesn’t make me a petty asshole, by the way. But that is a rant for another time.) There are American journalists being killed and tortured across the ocean. There are children being blown away by bombs. Terrorist groups are committing genocide.
There is a lot of shit to be appropriately pissed off about. And while people will continue to annoy you (and me) – how about we save the actual RAGE for topics more deserving?
How about we put some RAGE into a disease like ALS that ravages entire families every day? How about we throw our RAGE onto the politicians who laugh as they do the Ice Bucket Challenge while cutting funding and research for ALS and similar diagnoses?
That man in the video above – that man with the eyes of an angel and emotional wounds so gaping – he is the one who deserves our focus. He and the 30,000 others who are being devastated by ALS as we speak.
Let us be oh so thankful for our achy bodies, for our chubby bellies, for our tired minds. Let us be thankful for the gift to be able to be annoyed by the little things in life. Because there are so many out there who would give anything to have complaints like ours. And one day – we may be one of those people looking back when our lives were so simple and taking a breath required not even a thought.
Be thankful. Pick your battles wisely. And please donate to a worthwhile charity today.
You can make a donation to the ALS Association HERE