The Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the social media world by storm with its message and dedication to raising awareness for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), but is pouring buckets of water onto ourselves the best way to make a splash?
There’s no denying that the phenomenon has done wonders for awareness, as there have been $15.6 million in donations to the ALS Association in the last month, but one has to question the amount of additional water being used to full buckets and cooler boxes across the globe.
The Long Beach Post estimates that 6 million gallons (around 22.7 million litres) of water have been wasted on the challenge worldwide, but any water wasted in California is intolerable due to the on-going drought. State-mandated fines of $500 are in effect for those wasting water for any reason.
“As for ‘raising awareness,’ few of the videos I’ve seen contain any substantive information about the disease, why the money is needed, or how it will be used,” writes Will Oremus of Slate.com.” More than anything else, the ice bucket videos feel like an exercise in raising awareness of one’s own zaniness, altruism, and/or attractiveness in a wet T-shirt.”
Many of the videos being posted on social media are being critisiced for having no information or knowledge of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and are being labelled as attempts of “slacktivism” – a play-on-words for people who don’t do much for the cause they are supporting.