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Going Viral: How the Ice Bucket Challenge is Sweeping the Country

The latest social media craze is a perfect example of how a simple idea, given the right circumstances, can spread across the globe like wildfire. Old or young, rich or poor, celebrity or common citizen, nobody is safe from from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The concept of the challenge is simple: post a video of yourself dumping a bucket of ice water on yourself and challenge a group of friends to do the same. Those friends have 24 hours to post a video of themselves getting doused, donate to the ALS Association or both. In the spirit charity, most people choose to do both.

And it’s become an absolute summer sensation – the ALS Association is already reporting that they’ve received nearly $15 million in donations, up from less than $2 million at this time last year. Over 2.4 million videos have been created and 28 million people have commented, shared or interacted with an Ice Bucket Challenge video in some way.

But just how have they done it? We’ve narrowed it down to four reasons:

  • Social media loves its challenges. YouTube challenges are nothing new. Remember the cinnamon challenge? Or maybe the Saltine cracker challenge? Or how about the milk challenge, mouse trap challenge or ghost pepper challenge? Social media sites have seen their fair share of users challenging each other to different feats over the years, ranging from clean and innocent to downright dangerous.  With that being said…
  • There’s no danger involved. Unless you’re a sugar cube, splashing yourself with some cold water is a fairly safe and risk-free activity. No eating anything gross, no danger of losing your lunch, just getting a little wet. And a little cold.
  • It’s for a good cause. This one is really the key component that sets the Ice Bucket Challenge apart from all the other social media challenges. Who doesn’t like helping out an organization that is helping to cure a debilitating and life threatening disease? That’s the underlying purpose of these videos. It might look like a bunch of people on the Internet goofing off, drenching each other in cold water, but its ultimate purpose is to raise money and awareness to combat a terrible disease.
  • Challenging your friends in front of other friends is part of the fun. We all love messing around with our friends. If we can get them to do something embarrassing for the whole world to see? Well that’s just icing on the cake. Also, calling out your friends in a public forum is the most surefire way to make absolutely sure they’ll do whatever you want them to. But beware of the old saying, “What goes around, comes around.”

And there you have it. The perfect storm that’s led to all of the ice-cold craziness you see every day on your  Facebook wall. If you can’t get enough of the Ice Bucket Challenge, check out this video for some more info. Until next time, stay dry!

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Saturday, 23 October 2021

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