Challenge Accepted

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            A bucket of ice water and a camera, yes, the Ice Bucket Challenge has stirred the world and brought about a phenomenal trend that flooded the social media. There are a few versions of this challenge; the rich and famous, the not-so-famous and the everyone-else versions. I am sure most of you know how the challenge goes- dump a bucketful of ice water over your head, record it, share it on social media and nominate your friends and they have 24 hours to do the same or they can opt to donate to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association. Have you ever wondered how this happened? Why was the challenge so easily accepted?

            This is because everyone wants to have a moment of fame. The challenge is based on the “all about me” concept. Everyone wants to have a share of the spotlight, a transient fame and the fastest way is through social media. People want to be nominated, feel involved and wanted. It is as if they are using this campaign as an excuse to post something up on social media to earn “Likes” for their frivolous satisfaction. For example, I came across a Facebook status, which left me speechless and unsure of what the world has become. It read, “Nobody nominates me for the Ice Bucket Challenge. I guess I am not cool and popular.” Apparently, people who think like that have forgotten the real meaning behind this challenge. And I thought, if you really want to get involved in this good cause, just sign up and write a check directly to the ALS association.

            Dumping a bucket of ice water over your head is a piece of cake; everyone can do it. Ice Bucket Challenge keeps the rule simple which is why it was a success. People can adapt their own rules to make every Ice Bucket Challenge unique and also to pique creativity. For instance, Bill Gates built a pulley mechanism to pour ice water down his head. According to Forbes.com, simple ideas are easy to grasp and translate into action, increasing the odds that people will actually respond. This is why the campaign spreads like wildfire within such short time. People do it because it’s easy. People donate because they feel obliged. People do it because they simply can. It is easy and “fun” that’s how the campaign gains approval from people.

             However, I would like to see it as a form of “peer pressure”. Your friend challenges you to do the challenge and you feel compelled to accept it or else you will receive the Loser stamp. Also, if the people around you were nominated for the challenge or have accomplished it but not you, here’s when the complex kicks in and makes you feel “uncool”. Moreover, this challenge is a form of selfless act. Selfless actions invoke empathy and empathy produces the urge to act. In the article “The Science Behind The Success of The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge”, there is a thing known as the “audience effect”. You are stirred to act and are more willing to donate with the presence of observers (through Internet). Also, simply by watching people around you participate will increase the odds of your willingness to accept the challenge.

             Charitable donations and public awareness of ALS have soared thanks to the campaign. There is no doubt that the Ice Bucket Challenge is a form of effective communication and advertisement. It successfully persuades thousands of people, famous or not, to take up the challenge not to mention that it changes the behaviors of media users in the sense that they would accept the challenge, donate and are more knowledgeable about the disease.

             It is fun. It is entertaining. It is the trend now. But, this harmless Ice Bucket Challenge has caused several deaths. An innocent lad lost his life when a heavy bucket full of ice water fell on his head and caused him a fatal neck injury. Just a slip of hand and the tragedy is out of hand. Here’s the link for more detailed report on the news. http://huzlers.com/teen-dies-instantly-neck-injury-ice-bucket-challenge-falls-head-watch-video/ Remember to be careful guys! Safety first.

 

Let me show you something to shake the tragic vibe off. Enjoy!

 

Oh who would’ve expected that a fictional character would accept the challenge too!

 

References

Kotz, D. (2014, September 1). Will the $94 million raised from Ice Bucket Challenge yield cure for ALS? – The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 4, 2014.

Smith, R. (2014, September 1). The Science Behind The Success Of The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Retrieved September 4, 2014.

Jensen, J. (2014, August 24). 3 Lessons From the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Retrieved September 4, 2014.

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3 thoughts on “Challenge Accepted

  1. I definitely agree that the ALS Ice Bucket challenge has been effective. I think celebrities participating in it is also a great way to get more people involved. They have come up with creative ways to do it so even people not on Facebook see it because it circulates in other news outlets. Although I do get overwhelmed with so many people dumping water on their heads flooding my Facebook newsfeed, I do think this challenge is a fun way to get the word about ALS out there.

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  2. I understand that brands and advertisers look for a way to relate to consumers and put themselves in the public eye…but I don’t think that something like the Ice Bucket Challenge is the way to do it. It seems like a way of taking advantage of a popular trend to make this connection. I have seen so many of these ads recently, and I’m not sure if that is what the ALS Foundation had in mind?

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