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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Social media gimmick raising money for ALS, a splashing success

At least this didn’t go viral in February.

That was one of my last thoughts before I had a bucket of ice water dumped over my head. After that, all I was able to do is let out a loud shriek as ice cubes cascaded around my neck and fell down the back of my shirt. ...

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At least this didn’t go viral in February.

That was one of my last thoughts before I had a bucket of ice water dumped over my head. After that, all I was able to do is let out a loud shriek as ice cubes cascaded around my neck and fell down the back of my shirt.

The reason I allowed myself to be drenched by a bucket of freezing cold water is because of the ice bucket challenge, which has gone viral on social media in the past few weeks.

Thousands of people have taken the challenge and posted a video of themselves getting doused with cold water in an attempt to raise awareness and funds for ALS research. I was nominated by my cousin and challenged another family member to do as I did and cool off in the name of ALS research.

During my ice bucket challenge I stood under a full recycling bin of water as my fight or flight instincts kicked in. I knew the waterfall of ice water was going to tumble over my head, so I ran in place, willing myself to stand there and take it.

I wasn’t thinking about making any donations in that instant, I was just thinking about how much damper and colder I was going to be in about 5 seconds, 4 seconds. 3, 2, 1.

With a splash and a scream, I was doused in the icy water. I was grateful the anticipation was over and ready to get into some dry clothes. It wasn’t until later that I actually reflected upon the whole experience.

As I scroll through my Facebook news feed and look at all the videos of people doing what I did, I think that this challenge is definitely getting people talking. If people are talking about the ice bucket challenge and ALS, then maybe more people will donate. Maybe not everyone who takes on the ice bucket challenge will donate money to the ALSA, but if this social media gimmick can raise some amount of awareness for a disease that scientists are still trying to learn more about, I’d call it a splashing success.