Following A Trend

6 thoughts on “Following A Trend”

  1. In the 1980s a phrase became popular, “Keeping up with the Joneses.” It described the pernicious affect of consumerism. The neighbours got a new car, so now we feel like we need a new car. Your friend from university just landed Chelsea season tickets, so now you need season tickets to a team. Your colleague just booked a trip to China, so now you need to travel somewhere exotic. All the while all of this information is constantly uploaded onto social media, creating hundreds, maybe thousands of ‘Joneses’ you regularly interact with. Most of us aren’t shallow and misguided enough to feel the effects of this envy constantly, but it most certainly afflicts us all, whether we realise it or not, after all, as humans we’re constantly measuring ourselves against one another.

    My point in saying all this is that perhaps our society encourages such behaviour, and has achieved the effect through long periods of consumerism. Personally I would say that it’s the main contributing factor to, for example, why people get their haircut a certain way, or even what type of jeans they wear.

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  2. My opinion is that people do understand why they are doing the challenge and that is evidenced by the fact more than 90% of people mentioned ALS in their video and provide a donation link. What people often don’t realise is why they are tipping an ice bucket over their head. It’s because the sensation you feel is what people who suffer from ALS feel as a result of their condition.

    Also, whether people simply view it as a trend for “just a bit of fun” or because they understood the cause, it was an effective fundraising campaign. Would you have ever donated, let alone heard of ALS otherwise? I don’t think any credibility was lost along the way; people continued to donate and raise money. Even if only ~25% of participants donated, the campaign raised 35 times as much money as ALS did this time last year. Up until the Jennifer Lawrence nudes stole the spotlight from ALS…

    I know your article was looking more at the idea of fitting into trends rather than the legitimacy of the Ice Bucket Challenge, but do you think that maybe this time not being unique and blending into the background was a good thing?

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    1. @James_Wolman I think that 90% is a fabricated statistic especially when i look at the majority of posts on my social sites. I may hear ‘this is my ALS challenge’ in most vids, but i rarely see explanations nor donation links anymore. I do agree that the ‘sensation’ is something that people are relatively unaware off though.

      I did state that I liked the idea and its a powerful way of spreading a message but I think as its filtered through society, its effectiveness got less and less due to the lack of understanding. From a donation perspective the challenge was no doubt a success but the nature of being involved in a craze was my main issue.

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  3. Annoyingly, I can’t find where I got that statistic but you’re right, stats can be easily manipulated. Nevertheless, I did come across a similar figure by RJ Metrics who took a sample of 1,500 random #icebucketchallenge videos and analysed the data. They claim 74% of videos in that sample mentioned ALS. Of course that doesn’t include people who tagged it in the description without mentioning it in the video – the remaining 16%?

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    1. @James_Wolman i also believe its one thing mentioning ‘ALS’ and another explaining it. Unless further research is done (which hopefully was the result of seeing the vids), saying ALS could be an acronym for absolutely anything. I don’t feel the depth of understanding justified the purpose of doing the challenge despite its good intentions. And I presume you meant ‘26%’ but regardless thats pretty damning stats which I guess is difficult to argue against

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