Bucket Challenge Backlash


Yakeline Ramirez and Sandy Sanchez

Originally known as the “Cold Water Challenge,” participants had established various ways of soaking themselves for countless charities, of which cancer research was most prominent. However, this creative way of raising awareness as well as raising money did not take off until mid-2014 via social media as a way of promoting awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Known as the chilling “Ice Bucket Challenge,” this unique, viral trend has the whole world buzzing. Whether it be because of the numerous people accepting the challenge, waiting to be nominated, or even proclaiming personal opinions, the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” is spreading, ironically, like wild fire.

The quirky challenge has people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, and social statuses working together to promote awareness and raise funds for the lethal disease. Even fewer know it as “amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.” It’s this fact alone that has many critics at the edge of their seats, not holding their tongues for a single second as they bash those accused of doing the challenge for attention or to be part of the greater trend.

Like every popular trend there comes a stream of negative comments that mock or criticize the cause and the people. There come the accusations that people who participate in the challenge do it for fun and don’t even know what ALS is. The people who do the challenge are ridiculed and seen as attention- seekers rather than praised for aiding in the cause.

However, it doesn’t stop at a social sense; people are beginning to criticize this from an economic angle. They say that the ice bucket challenge is selfish. They attempt to guilt their peers by saying that they’re wasting good water while others are in desperate need of it.

Critics are missing the point of the Ice Bucket Challenge. So what if people drench themselves in ice cold water and post their videos on facebook simply to “be cool?” The word ALS has become a part of our modern, everyday vocabulary and the ALS Association has raised $80 million in only 4 weeks this summer–a record breaking amount compared to the $29 million they made all of last year!

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if Mexican elders wish pneumonia upon us, if kids brag more about their video views than the amount of money donated or even if half the people don’t know what ALS even stands for. More people now do know what ALS is and every single penny counts for the ALS Association.