While my Twitter feed has been full of news about Ferguson and ongoing protests, my Facebook feed has taken a different path entirely.
Instead of impassioned pleas for action from government, it's littered with YouTube videos of celebrities and friends of mine dumping buckets of ice and/or water on their heads. The objective is to raise money to help fight ALS. But they're missing the point.
The Ice Bucket Challenge
The ice bucket challenge originated in a chain-letter format - you know the old "do X within 24 hours or Y will happen."
The original rules:
Within 24 hours of being challenged, participants are to video record themselves in continuous footage. First, they are to announce their acceptance of the challenge followed by pouring ice into a bucket of water. The bucket is then to be lifted overhead and poured over the participant's head. Then the participant can call out a challenge to other people.[ref]Ice Bucket Challenge[/ref]
The catch is that this originated as an either-or challenge. Either you donated $100 to the ALS Foundation or you poured a bucket of ice water over your head and recorded it for the world to see. Many of the original videos even contained this claim when participants issued their challenges to three other people - "you have 24 hours ..."
The point of the challenge is to raise money for the ALS Foundation and to raise awareness of ALS in general. Considering the individuals I personally know who have or have lost the battle to ALS, I appreciate just about any effort to raise awareness of the disease and money to help fight it.
What I don't appreciate are chain letters.
What I don't appreciate are videos encouraging others to either donate to a cause or earn their 15 minutes of fame by dumping a bucket of water.
What I don't appreciate is a worthy cause being hijacked by attention-seekers who care more about a fad than the fundraiser that started it.
We're missing the point entirely.