Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What's Up With All That Ice!?

I'm always up for a challenge.

And from the looks of my news feed, I'm not alone.

Yup, I'm talking about the Ice Bucket Challenge.  The viral video challenge that is leading people across the nation to, well, dump a bucket of ice over their heads!

If you haven't read into it, the concept is pretty simple.  Kinda like a big game of truth or dare, except the dare is always a bucket of ice and if you don't take it, you pay up.  For a good cause, though, $100 to ALS- commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.  

The challenge has helped spread awareness of ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) which is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.  There is no known cure for ALS, but creative efforts like this challenge help lead the charge for research.

I love this type of use for social media.  It reminds me of a large scale, modern version of a chain letter.  Remember the kind you had to send off to a certain number of people?  That's exactly what happens here - after finishing the chilly challenge yourself, you name three others who then have 24 hours to ice up or pay up!  And even those finishing the challenge find ways to give, often offering a dollar for every like or view their video receives.  This combines social impact, viral videos and social media! Amazing.

The challenge started and has spread from everyday Americans to celebrities and TV personalities.  Check out videos of Martha StewartLance BassMatt LauerElizabeth Banks, the list goes on and on! 

Even if you haven't yet been challenged, you can donate to ALS here.  Every donation counts!

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