I’ve read a lot of garbage about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge recently. I don’t usually rant via social media, but I’m tired of reading unsubstantiated claims that are repeatedly shared. This isn’t about a personal relationship with ALS. It's about the damn facts. Here's why the haters are totally wrong:
SOCIAL MEDIA AT IT’S FINEST:
Apparently some people don’t understand how social media works in the first place. The whole point of social media is to share and spread and share and spread. So what did you think was going to happen when one person nominates 3 people and then those people nominate 3 people and so on? The reach is exponential and, eventually, there’s gonna be A LOT of it in your feed. It’s called viral marketing, albeit accidental, and this is THE BEST example of organic sharing we’ve seen so far. Spreading the word about ALS is the number one reason for this campaign and it has more than succeeded. So no matter which way you try to cut it, this campaign is a historic turning point for the ALS community. How you can say that’s a bad thing? AND — Even if you’re hating on the Ice Bucket Challenge via your social media page, you’re STILL promoting it. The old adage is definitely true here: any press is good press. Especially with a campaign dealing with a devastating disease like ALS. Yo haters: you look like assholes.
A HISTORIC PHENOMENA:
I’ve read many complaints that this campaign is somehow taking money away from other organizations. First off, the whole reason why this is working is because it’s a phenomena. Meaning UNUSUAL. So people who don’t normally donate to charities, or even get involved in charitable efforts, are participating in this viral campaign. They weren’t going to donate to cancer or AIDS research in the first place. If it weren’t for a fun social media campaign promoting ALS, nobody would be talking about it and these people certainly wouldn’t be donating to any other organization or asking their friends to participate either. Let’s face it. This campaign got a lot of people to participate in something and get off their asses. Hopefully this will inspire other nonprofits to get more creative and launch similar campaigns that will increase the overall awareness and donations to charitable causes across the board.
NONPROFITS ARE BUSINESSES:
Last time I checked, a nonprofit is STILL a business. Their goal IS to make money for the purpose of continuing to support their cause. And it’s really REALLY competitive because their revenue is dependent on donations and grants. Nonprofits are just another kind of business model and it’s unfair that they’re demonized for overly successful campaigns. That should be RIDICULOUS to everyone. Would you expect Target to stop their clever campaigns because they’re taking money away from Walmart and K-mart? I don’t think so. Any smart nonprofit should be trying to come up with the next #icebucketchallenge craze right now.
DROUGHT SHAME THE RIGHT PEOPLE:
Yes, wasting water isn’t good. But is 5 million gallons (the current estimate for the ENTIRE country) really that much? No it’s not. And it’s pretty crazy that celebrities like Ricky Gervais used a #droughtshaming hashtag without looking at the cold hard numbers. This article via the Wire (http://bit.ly/1tmX25O) breaks is down very well. “If it’s 5 million gallons of water wasted so far in three weeks, that’s a tiny amount compared to the 320 gallons of water used by an American household per day. Then, given 117,538,000 households according to the last census, that’s 37,612,160,000 gallons used in one day. Five million out of more than 37.5 billion gallons equals about .01 percent.” Just to be absolutely clear, that’s .01 percent of the NATION’S daily water usage. It’s literally almost nothing. The water main break at UCLA cost over 20 million gallons alone. Hey Ricky Gervais, perhaps you should use your massive twitter following to hold those accountable for keeping a 90 year old pipe in use under UCLA. That’s REAL #droughtshame. If we want to talk about water waste, we should be focusing on leaking faucets, overwatering lawns, long showers, and other daily opportunities for improvement. That’s how we promote substantial and long term conservation. Calling out the ALS Challenge as a reason for our drought situation isn’t only wrong, it’s distracting us from the real water wasting dangers. Thanks for making it worse, Ricky.
MISSING THE POINT:
All of this is just distracting from the real point: Where’s all this money going? Will it be spent responsibly and transparently? How will this money help the ALS community? That’s what we should be talking about now. The conversation MUST be turned from against each other to working as a team. The ALS Association must be held accountable for legitimate research and growth in the coming years. That’s what REALLY matters. It saddens me that so many people have chosen the wrong side of this argument. Perhaps if/when there are massive improvements in quality of life for ALS patients, then these haters will finally see that this campaign was absolutely and totally worth it. Until then, I guess they’ll just keep on with their asshole ways.