Thursday, August 28, 2014

3 Reasons The Ice Bucket Challenge Bothers Me

Ice Bucket Challenge

Three simple words that have exploded over the past month or so. You can't watch TV, look at Facebook or Twitter without seeing a video of someone pouring a bucket of ice water on their head. The exploding popularity of this movement kind of bothers me. I don't have any problems with raising money or awareness for ALS. So what's my problem?

Well, I guess it boils down to three basic issues.

1. I sort of feel like it has become a fad, something people are doing because it's the popular thing to do, celebrities are doing it and to draw attention to themselves instead of to ALS. I haven't seen any Ice Bucket Challenge (IBC) videos of people talking about ALS, how the disease impacts people, the research being done or even giving information about how to donate. Do people really know more about the disease now or are we just aware that ALS is associated with the IBC? For me it's the latter.

2. I am a little uncomfortable with blindly giving money to an organization that has NOT been vetted. I am not familiar with the ALS Association. I don't know what percentage of every Dollar goes to research, or to direct services for those suffering, or to salaries and overhead. Frankly, I am not even interested in finding out simply because my scarce energy reserves will be spent on Migraine and Fibromyalgia groups. I guess I think the IBC would be much improved if participants were raising money for charities of their choosing. This could be a great way to encourage people to get involved in something they are passionate about and give to organizations that are behaving responsibly. Consumer Reports has some great advice for vetting charities.

3. I am not crazy about the IBC in general. I get that it's fun to see the reactions of people who have just had really cold water dumped on them. But there are people who are getting hurt by the challenge. I've seen video of people falling off chairs while trying to lift heavy buckets and dropping heavy water filled buckets on heads. Even if everything went as planned, the thought of all those ice cubes hitting a head doesn't seem like a great idea (this might just be the reaction of a person whose head ALWAYS hurts anyway). Plus, seems like ice cold water on the head could be bad for some people.

I don't mean to be a kill joy, wet blanket, big bummer, stick in the mud, grouchy sick woman or anything like that - though I sort of feel like one because it seems everyone else is into it - but the longer this goes on and the more I see everyone and their kids (literally little kids) doing it the more it is bothering me. Obviously, it is only a matter of time before the public at large loses interest. I just hope it happens sooner than later.

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