Today it was my turn to take part in the famous ice bucket challenge, it was cold, it was horrible and in all honesty it was a good laugh. My flat mate Angie did it with me with the help of our other flat mate Leanne and even though we had to battle with spiders and break our kitchen bin we got the job done! After all it is for a good cause, but what cause is it actually for?
Personally I do not know anyone who has suffered from ALS or Motor Neurone Disease as it is known in the UK, even more reason to do it in my opinion. The whole point of the campaign is to raise awareness for the charity who are trying to fund research into a cure for this horrible life destroying disease.
Our news feeds have been filled to the brim and poured over our heads, video after video of people and ice and buckets and wait what do we have here? Haters?! I mean for crying out loud people, do you really have nothing better to do than comment on videos about how throwing ice over your head is stupid? Pointless is it? Well I would like to ask you this; did you know what ALS was last month, or even last week? I know I didn’t, but I do now, because that is the whole point of any campaign! It is raising awareness, and the first step in beating a disease is talking about it. Showing people what it is, what it does, and why it is so important to find a cure, or at the very least a treatment that can make the lives of the people suffering easier.
Social Media is becoming our greatest tool in getting a message across to the largest amount of people possible. Think about it, how many people do you know who do not have any sort of social media account? Yes there are some people who don’t, my uncle doesn’t have Facebook, but then my Nana does. My dad is addicted to twitter, my little sister had a Tumblr account before I even knew what it was, I have friends who use youtube to watch Vlogs or make videos and then here I am typing away on this tiny little blog.
Yes we spend out lives on social media and yes it can take over your life and that’s bad but if used the right way it can be used to make a positive impact. Everyone I know remembers the NEK nominations from a couple of months ago, it was stupid and reckless and sometimes it was down right disgusting, but it spread like wildfire. Look at what that has evolved into, we learnt from that mistake and we turned it into something so powerful.
Obviously this is not a new thing, Tumblr and even Twitter have been used to get news from otherwise inaccessible areas out to the entire world! And of course there was the RAK nominations that were started up in rebellion to the NEK nominations, where people where encouraged to do something nice for a stranger for no reason other than to be nice. This didn’t really catch on in Britain but that is because the minute you do anything out of the way nice for someone here you are immediately a weirdo and are to be avoided.
The point is the intent was there and I did see a couple of videos but nothing on the scale of this campaign, because this is genius. It is easy to do at home (everyone has a bucket) it is relatively harmless (as long as you do not try to complicate it by climbing on roofs and other such antics) just make sure you have a towel handy, and every time someone does it they tag three more people to do it.
So to sum up this post, hopefully, social media has a grip on the entire world, but just because it has us wrapped around its little finger doesn’t mean we can’t use it to our advantage.
If you made it this far then well done, I know it was a bit of a long one 😛
Watch this video if you want to know more about how ALS affects peoples live and to see how these challenges are helping to spread awareness:
To watch my Ice Bucket Challenge: