The challenge with the trending ALS ice bucket videos


Editor Sanjana Srinivasan participates in the ALS challenge on a hot August afternoon.

Around the United States, there are millions of buckets being filled and tons of ice being poured.  This new fad is known as the “ ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.”  According to ALS Association, 107.7 million dollars in donations have been raised from the challenge.  With all this money and awareness, it is hard to see any negatives about this challenge.

At Central, it seems that every students’ Facebook friend has posted a video of doing the challenge.  It’s hard to escape the hundreds of videos on the newsfeeds, and they are now seeping into other popular sites like Instagram. To some people, this overload is repetitive, but I get a tinge of excitement when I see a video of one of my friends getting ice cold water poured over their heads. However, that’s just me, but when asked about this challenge senior, Molly Gates said, “I have not done the actual challenge, but I was nominated by a few people.”

She continued, “I didn’t have time to do it, nor could I think of any creative ideas.”  The actual content of challenge videos has become something in itself because kids want to make their video funny and interesting. I have seen some that included trash buckets, roof tops, and goggles.  However, the sole purpose of these videos isn’t the amount of likes, but the donation amount the ALS Association receives.

Even with the great outcome of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, there are still some critiques.  This seems hard to believe because isn’t any publicity good publicity? People, however, beg to differ.  Some critiques include that the challenge is just a popularity contest and participants do not fully understand the disease. Other critics say participants neglect other important diseases.

When asked about these critiques, senior Margaret Kaufman said, “This [challenge] has brought a lot of great attention to ALS, but people do need to remember that there are other diseases equally as important.”

Another critique is the waste of a resource Americans use rather frequently: water.  The Ice Bucket Challenge does of course include gallons of water poured over people’s heads.  Kaufman said, “My science teacher told us that the challenge is wasting too much water that we take for granted, when there are hundreds of countries that do not have the luxury of clean water.”  However, when asked if these critiques outweigh the overall outcome of the ice bucket challenge, Kaufman and Gates both agree that there are more positives than negatives.