Unless you’ve been living under rock for the last week or two, you would’ve heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It’s an extremely simple concept really; have ice cold water poured over your head and nominate a whole bunch of other people to follow suit. It’s a bit of harmless fun and its great seeing people’s reactions to the challenge. The craze kinda crept up of me like a thief in the night and before I knew it the challenge was all over social media. Mind you, certain guys have been doing the Ice Bucket Challenge for years when the heater breaks down in their houses lol. Pouring ice water over their heads triggering their underlying PTSD of those cold ass showers right before getting dressed for school. Life be hitting hard and people are out here reinventing the wheel. And what happens after you do the challenge… you know, after the regret of doing the challenge in the first place? Answers on a postcard please! It did make me wonder though, why was everyone doing this and how had it managed to become such a trend?
After seeing a host of challenges all over my timeline, I finally decided to ask what the purpose of it all was… ‘Just a bit of fun to be honest’, ‘because my friends nominated me to’; the comments went on. It’s not until I did my own research that I realised it was done in an attempt to raise awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly known as ALS. In brief, ALS is a progressive nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control. Social media is a great way of spreading a message but in my opinion, the challenge somewhere along the line lost its credibility. After watching several vids, I had no idea what ALS actually was nor how the challenge correlated to the disease. It was as though people were following a trend with no reason as to why they were doing so. What made me laugh is when I heard that if you failed to do the challenge after being nominated, you’d be forced to donate money to charity… people hate donating to charitable causes so badly its seen as a punishment.
Regardless you see trends like this all the time especially in the day and age we live in. A couple months back it was the ‘No Make-Up Selfie Challenge’ for Cancer Research, and don’t forget the good ol’ ‘Planking Challenge’. I promise you I’m not trying to be a spoil sport but don’t tag me in any of these challenges unless you want ‘blue ticks’ and no response; ‘seen’ and no reply. Life is a challenge enough, lemme not deal with further obstacles. Society has this unquantifiable ‘want’ to be included and it fascinates me every time I see it. Certain guys can’t wait to go out of their way to impress strangers on the internet. The thought of instant gratification from a profile with a car or footballer display pic is what is keeping our generation going. I was gonna say that people will soon look into buying likes and comments but unfortunately that ship has sailed long time!
Lemme make it clear though, I’m actually in favour of challenges like this and others that follow suit *shock, horror*. It’s great seeing people collectively embracing something outside of racism or football hooliganism. But my problem is when we aimlessly follow a trend without an understanding of what we’re doing and why. If people actually took the time to explain what ALS actually was instead of rushing in to do the challenge, it could’ve actually been an effective way to promote a cause. Instead, I’m just left baffled as to why people are doing bucket baths with their clothes on. A society where everybody claims to be unique yet rarely stand out as individuals. A society where being labelled a follower is an insult yet it seems as though we subconsciously accept it when we do. I need to start selling shame… DM me for prices, I’m giving discounts to those who need it most. Meh, hopefully the next obsession that comes along you’ll be the trendsetter rather than the imitator.