Celebrities were originally doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and now everyone’s getting in on the trend. As of today, the ALSA has received a total of 94 million dollars since the charity-challenge went viral in late July. I, myself, was recently nominated by ameelynnxo of Instagram and have officially made the decision to decline participation. There are six contributing factors to my decision.
1. THE IMPOSED GUILT.
You don’t get to choose the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, it chooses you. Participants typically nominate three people. After being nominated, the chosen are then given a period of 24 hours to respond with their own participation or declination. Since this whole effort is charity-based, a sense of guilt for wavering cooperation is unfairly thrusted upon the nominee because it’s simply frowned upon by our society to publicly turn down a challenged charitable effort. Personally not liking to be forced into doing things or made to feel guilt of any kind has legitimately turned off my desire to willingly contribute to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
2. WATER WASTE.
I have many friends and family members that live in drought-stricken California. It’s a real problem. Not to mention, the noted existence of impoverished nations that don’t have access to drinking water – let alone water that can be wasted on something as trivial as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. There’s obviously thousands of people that blatantly don’t care about the problems of our nation or the world – except for when it comes to making a social media gratifying video meme – but I personally do. The many donations to the ALSA are wonderful, but the wasteful methods people practice while seeking attention for their contribution are not.
3. THE ALS ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE IS BLATANT SLACKTIVISM.
Slacktivism (sometimes slactivism or slackervism) is a portmanteau of the words slacker and activism. The word is usually considered a pejorative term that describes “feel-good” measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it take satisfaction from the feeling they have contributed. (Wikipedia)
To be honest, I look at most of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenges as an obvious bid for attention. The fact that it’s all being done for a charitable cause has legitimately gotten lost on the numerous recordings of people’s ridiculous reactions to freezing water being dumped on their head. Some have even created these videos without making an actual donation. The only reason this initiative even went viral is because the public realized its potential gain of social media praise and a positive moral image boost due to participation. Would people find the same purpose in donating to the ALSA without making an attention grabbing Ice Bucket Challenge video? Not likely. I’ve never made a charitable donation for acknowledgement unless it was to inspire others to do the same. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge just isn’t my preferred method of choice for executing a favorable deed. I don’t feel the need to promote the good I do. I just do it.
4. THE ALSA NO LONGER NEEDS YOUR MONEY – AT LEAST UNTIL 2015 OR 2016.
Having made almost one hundred million dollars since the initial spread of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge means that the ALSA no longer needs the amount of money other charitable efforts probably do. You can’t tell me that one hundred million dollars isn’t more than enough capital to help contribute to ALS research and awareness. What happens when trendy efforts like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge die down? I’d feel more of a need to give to a cause that everyone else wasn’t already donating to.
5. AMERICA HAS BIGGER PROBLEMS THAN AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS
Julia Belluz of Vox created a wonderful info-graphic, below, for the intended purpose of showing why viral memes shouldn’t dictate which charities American society donates to. The results were shocking. Problems truly plaguing the US in staggering numbers such as heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases are getting significantly less charitable attention to issues with a lower death rate like breast and prostate cancer. Simply put, ALS is not a big enough issue to warrant a need for such mass donations.
6. ICE BUCKET CHALLENGES MAKE YOU LOOK RIDICULOUS
No further explanation is needed for reason number six.
I could say that my not choosing to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is because ALSA is known to conduct research using animal testing and human embryos, but I’m actually for stem cell research. The truth is, I take my charitable efforts seriously and refuse to participate in one simply because it’s become a mainstream trend. I’d like to think that my participation in the bettering of our world is my own choice, not one that was thrust upon me. Because of that fact, I have decided that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is not for me.
However, to honor ameelynnxo of Instagram and help one of my own favorite charities – CradlestoCrayons.org, which provides backpacks and school supplies to impoverished children currently in Boston and Philadelphia – I have made a donation, below, just so that Amy Lynn’s nomination of me for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge wasn’t completely in vain. School is officially back in session and I would hate to see any children attend without the necessary supplies required for grade school – A relevant problem people rarely consider.