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The Ice Bucket Challenge

I was wondering if ehell would comment about the “ice bucket challenge” movement currently sweeping Facebook. As I understand it, when someone “challenges” you, you have 24 hours to either donate $100 to a charity (ALS research seems to be the most common in the US) or have a bucket of ice water dumped over your head. In some versions, it’s $100 or do the ice bucket and only donate $10. Then you challenge someone(s) else. The majority of the videos are celebrities who can easily afford it. Still, I find the concept of calling someone out in a public way and essentially demanding they donate to the charity of YOUR choice or engage in a ritual of public humiliation extremely rude, besides just being out and out dumb. Yet these videos are all over Facebook and people seem to love them.

It’s currently making the rounds on Facebook among the teenagers and young adults of my acquaintance.   My thought is that, knowing who I see dumping ice water on their heads, it is quite unlikely they donated any money whatsoever due to their own limited financial ability to do so.   I don’t see any information on Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) so the ice water dumping doesn’t appear to even have a positive educational aspect to it.   It’s merely a summer fad…a video form of a selfie doing something everyone else is doing without any real conviction as to why one would submit to being doused with ice water.

I had a chuckle yesterday when a young friend of mine, a mother, mistakenly thought she had been tagged in a Facebook post to do this challenge. Her response was, “Really scared there that you tagged me and I would have to be like: ‘Hahahahahahaaaa. No.'”    You gotta love that gutsy polite spine.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • WillyNilly August 20, 2014, 7:22 am

    I agree the challenge is obnoxious in that it’s publicly calling people out to donate. But I do think it’s got some merit. I have seen people decline by instead posting information on the cause they were asked to donate to (causes, signs & symptoms, etc). Also it’s been reported that at least one ALS organization has received as much in donations in the past 2 months as they did in all of last year.
    If I’m challenged I will post something educating about whatever cause is mentioned in the challenge and not nominate anyone else.

  • Rebecca August 20, 2014, 7:27 am

    It’s just a celebrity version of the whole “lets fool all the boys by posting what colour our bra is/where we keep our purse/a certain number of inches and a winky face, etc”.

    If you want to start a fun fad, start a fun fad. I love fun fads!

    If you want to raise funds and awareness for ALS, breast cancer, or some other charity, get out of your computer chair and actually do something. Things like this can actually hurt a cause, because it gives people a false sense of self-satisfaction that they’ve done a good deed. Now they feel like they don’t actually have to go out and volunteer or donate because they “helped raise awareness” by pouring a bucket of water over their head or re-posting a picture.

  • A different Tracy August 20, 2014, 7:27 am

    It’s a little confusing. I thought the original challenge was to donate money OR dump a bucket of ice water over your head, but it seems celebrities (and the few people I know who’ve done it personally) are doing both. If it bothered me to be called out to donate to someone else’s pet charity, I guess I wouldn’t have a problem changing it to my own instead.

  • Cherrypipp August 20, 2014, 7:33 am

    Ah yes, the latest incarnation of the “No Make-up Selfie”. These fads cater more to the people doing them than those charities which are supposed to benefit from this nonsense. That said, I do hope the ALS / MND charities do well out of this.

  • Kate August 20, 2014, 7:34 am

    I’ve been very surprised by the few negative reactions to this trend. I have actually done it 2 times, because the first three people that I nominated refused to do it. (I’m also surprised by how many party poopers that I’m friends with). The fact is that this is silly and stupid and absolutely a summer sad, but the ALS foundation has raised 15.6 million this summer, compared to 1.8 million last summer. So people ARE donating. And that’s what it’s really about.

    • admin August 20, 2014, 5:58 pm

      Hmmm, so friends of yours who declined your challenge are “party poopers”? Thank you, you have provided the readers of this site with a perfect example of how the ice water challenge is used to intimidate with peer pressure on social media lest people get painted with a pejorative.

      • Steve August 21, 2014, 8:47 am

        This entire thread has removed all doubt that the ice bucket challenge is driven by negative impulses, not positive ones.

        • Peas August 21, 2014, 10:53 am

          I think you and I are reading such hugely different threads. You are determined to think poorly of it, no matter the responses.

          I will be thankful for the money and research this has inspired. If someone were to tag me, I’d quietly untag myself and go on with my day.

          Yes, some times the ends justify the means. Just because some people got their pride stung or were affronted that a charity would DARE to solicit for donations doesn’t negate the hundreds of people whose lives and health will be improved by the money donated.

          Priorities, people. Priorities.

          • admin August 23, 2014, 9:22 am

            What about the Catholics who profoundly oppose the use of embryonic stem cells in ALS research because they view it as cannibalizing nascent humans for the sake of the “greater good”? Wouldn’t you say their priorities are well principled? And if one held that kind of conviction, why must they remain silent?

      • Kate August 22, 2014, 5:14 am

        Intimidate? I think you’re overestimating my influence on my friends. Because I am not on Facebook, I literally showed them the video on my phone to show them that they had been nominated. All three of them said that they didn’t want to do it, I asked why, they said they just didn’t want to do it, and I dropped it. And nominated three new people. If people are trying to make you ashamed or embarrassed about not participating in something, they may not be your friends. They may not be people you want to associate with.

        • cduz August 22, 2014, 7:55 am

          By calling your friends “party poopers” you ARE shaming and embarrassing them for not participating. A person is not a party pooper just because they don’t want to do something that will humiliate them and make them physically uncomfortable, and calling them party poopers for not doing so is a bully move.

          • Kate August 22, 2014, 1:50 pm

            I guess the disconnect here is that I wouldn’t consider it an insult, or an attempt to humiliate me if someone did this to me. And it certainly wasn’t my intention to do that to anyone else. That is why I love this website, it constantly reminds me that mine are not the only views.

  • Cherrypipp August 20, 2014, 7:35 am

    I forgot the etiquette bit of it! As pointed out, I would feel aggrieved that I was picked out for public humiliation and for giving to a charity not of my choosing. Very presumptuous.

  • Charliesmum August 20, 2014, 7:47 am

    This is a very interesting topic.
    From what I gather, it HAS helped; the ALS charity has seen a spike in donations, etc., but I still don’t get it.
    It sounds like if you dump the water over your head, you don’t have to donate, so I don’t see why people are so proud of doing it, as it’s just saying ‘I’m not giving money to this charity.’ On the other hand, I have heard that one still ‘has’ to give money if they do the challenge, which makes more sense, but I still find it incredibly convoluted.

    Mostly I’m trying to look at it as ‘hey, it’s raising awareness’, but I agree that it’s just another ‘look at me, Internets’ thing, which will go the way of the Rickroll and no one will care anymore.

    That said, I’m very appreciative of seeing Tom Hiddleston dump water on himself.

    • Rayner August 20, 2014, 6:35 pm

      Most people do both – although it’s an either or challenge, most do both. In addition, even if they can’t donate, they raise awareness and tag others to do it.

    • JAN August 21, 2014, 1:15 pm

      Thanks for mentioning this, yes, I definitely appreciate the video of Tom Hiddleston take the challenge!

  • Skaramouche August 20, 2014, 7:49 am

    Aargh…another instance of sheep following other sheep without actually exerting themselves by doing any thinking at all. This is ALL over Facebook at the moment but I’m fairly certain that my friends know me well enough not to nominate me. One might argue that seeing this everywhere “raises awareness”. Sure. But in my information bloated brain, it gets about two minutes of publicity for the wrong reasons and then it is forgotten. It’s perfect though, for the short attention spans and desire to “do good” without actually doing anything useful that plagues the current crop of young adults. I guess I marginally fall into that group…I just turned 32 and I’m on the cusp on the Gen X/Gen Y divide but often I feel worlds apart.

    • Kate August 20, 2014, 8:18 pm

      I am 24 and I feel completely alienated from the other so-called members of my generation. I would have fit in better if I was coming of age in any decade before 1960.

  • catwoman2965 August 20, 2014, 8:04 am

    A lot of my friends have been doing it, and I’m in my 40’s. And their kids, and so on. So far, thankfully, no one has called me out, as I won’t do it, but as I said to another friend, who feels the same way I do, how will anyone know if you don’t do the bucket thing, whether or not you actually donate? She said, good point.

    If someone does challenge me, I will politely decline, and let them wonder whether i’ve made a donation or not.

  • sio8bhan August 20, 2014, 8:10 am

    Thank you for voicing what I’ve been thinking. It seems to be so attention-grabbing and self-promoting one’s self for good deeds. I’ve known 2 people with this horrible disease, and I felt the only way to honor them is to contribute to the cause, no matter how little. It doesn’t have to be $100. It doesn’t have to be announced to the world, either.

    • admin August 20, 2014, 1:10 pm

      You have hit the proverbial etiquette nail on the head. It’s a fad that exploits people’s need to show off or draw the attention to themselves. It is still considered in poor taste to flaunt one’s charitable acts or mention amounts of money given as charity and it is still in poor taste to cajole others to give to your charity du jour. I prefer my left hand not knowing what my right hand is giving away, let alone the entire world.

      • Wild Irish Rose August 20, 2014, 2:13 pm

        I completely agree. Charitable donations should be anonymous. In my book, they don’t count otherwise. But that’s just me–obviously I realize that a donation is a donation and they all count, but I really prefer not knowing who gave what.

        • Peas August 21, 2014, 7:25 am

          they certainly “count” to the people benefiting from the charitable donations.

  • Meegs August 20, 2014, 8:11 am

    Please, please make this thing go away. If I have to see one more ice bucket challenge video I might have to cancel my membership with Facebook. Its just as the Admin said, a Summer fad, and it is so depressing when people are so unoriginal and jump on the bandwagon because everyone else is doing something.
    Someone I know casually actually nominated me. All I could do was laugh and say “Um, have you met me? Because you should know that there’s no way I’d get anywhere near a bucket of ice water.”
    I really hate it when people act like mindless sheep.

  • Steve August 20, 2014, 8:11 am

    It has raised a ton of money for ALS. However, there’s research suggesting this kind of fundraising actually cannibalizes other charities. People feel they have already done their good deed, and now they can slack off. The phenomenon is called “moral licensing.” It’s especially pernicious when — as is true for many, many people who take this challenge – they never actually make a donation at all.

    Bottom line, it’s just a chain letter for the social media age, where you get to celebrate yourself publicly while simultaneously imposing your choices on other people. What’s not to like?

    Anyway, I’m amused by the large number of videos showing people who can’t manage to dump ice on themselves without also dropping an entire metal bucket on their heads. Ironic, since one of the potential causes of ALS was thought to be repeated head trauma.

    • Kiki August 20, 2014, 3:25 pm

      I love your last comment…oh, the irony of it all. I didn’t think about the first part of your comment, but it makes perfect sense to me.

      • Steve August 21, 2014, 2:15 pm

        It illustrates why all the “raises awareness “nonsense is a lie. Raises awareness to what purpose?

        You can’t avoid ALS through diet and exercise. It’s not caused by smoking, drugs, or alcohol. It doesn’t matter whether you use sunscreen or not. There is no regular check up to get. In other words increasing “awareness” will do absolutely zero to reduce the incidence of ALS.

        What about future fund-raising? Anybody who believes that Facebook ice challengers can now be relied upon for regular contributions to ALS research clearly has never worked in fundraising.

        Does the campaign encourage people to support the national institutes for health? To support greater government support for research? No. The issue is almost never raised, except for one poster in this thread.

        You know one action that each person could take that probably would reduce the incidence of ALS? Stop watching or going to NFL football games. There is a strong correlation between being an NFL football player and contracting ALS. No one knows why, but there is some speculation.

        Do you think a single person who took the challenge would ever agree to boycott NFL games until the disease was cured? Don’t make me laugh.

    • Rosie B. August 20, 2014, 5:01 pm

      That’s a good point, but I think the challenge is raising the TOTAL amount given to charity. In other words, it’s mostly people who otherwise wouldn’t be giving to charity at all. Of course not everyone makes a donation (it seems like most people don’t) but it IS raising money for an important cause.

  • Scott August 20, 2014, 8:11 am

    I was unfamiliar with any sort of financial obligation related to the ice bucket challenge. I’ve known some folks that have both donated money AND done the ice bucket challenge. I viewed it primarily as a way of generating awareness for ALS. My coworker’s father has ALS and she said it’s helped tremendously; last year she said they’d raised less than a million dollars in funding and at this point in 2014 they’ve passed 15.9 million.

    I do think your feeling is not uncommon though. My best friend expressed fear that he was going to be challenged, and what the reaction would be if he refused.

  • kj August 20, 2014, 8:24 am

    My husband just did a video; I begged him not to nominate me because I would absolutely hate to do a video of myself. However, The ALS Association said Monday that it has received $15.6 million in donations since July 29. That’s up from $1.8 million raised during the same time period last year. Video selfies or no, people are donating money that is crucial for ALS research – an “orphan disease” that isn’t a priority for the pharmaceutical industry because a cure wouldn’t be profitable. ALS is a terrible, terrible disease, and anything that could help find a cure or treatment is fine with me.

    • BellyJean August 20, 2014, 4:05 pm

      Agreed. In less than 3 weeks – that is a LOT of money.

  • Moralia August 20, 2014, 8:28 am

    A lot of people I know who’ve actually done the challenge make a donation. My friends are poor so it’s more like $10, not $100. But the rule seems to be that you can’t *challenge* someone else unless you dump the ice water…so to keep it going people ice themselves down.

  • Megan August 20, 2014, 8:32 am

    If you actually google this you will find that good is coming out of it.


    • admin August 20, 2014, 5:54 pm

      So fundraising in poor taste is OK as long as the charity in question makes a lot of money? The ends justify the means?

  • Diana August 20, 2014, 8:33 am

    The numbers as of two days ago showed that the ALS Association has received $13.3 Million in donations since July 29 (as compared to $1.7 Million during the same time period last year), and that there had been about 260,000 new donors.

    Just because people are teenagers or young adults, I think it’s rude to assume they haven’t donated any $, that they are only doing this for attention, or that there are no positive aspects to this Ice Bucket Challenge. I’m sure some people are just doing this for attention, but I think it’s apparent that many aren’t.

    My husband is a youth pastor and the kids in the youth group have jumped on the bandwagon of the Ice Bucket Challenge, but it has also inspired a lot of them to learn more about ALS. I’m continually impressed by how much they care about the world & other people. You should have more faith in the tennagers & young adults of this world, they can do amazing things.

    • Steve August 20, 2014, 2:18 pm

      Everything done on Facebook is done for attention. By definition.

    • Rosie B. August 20, 2014, 5:07 pm

      I agree! Plus, most teenagers and young adults don’t have much money to donate. Many are putting themselves through college, or they’re unemployed or working minimum-wage jobs. If you can’t donate money the next best thing is to raise awareness for the cause, and that’s what these people are trying to do.

    • Melanie August 20, 2014, 10:01 pm

      I love your reply.

  • Elizabeth Fraser August 20, 2014, 8:34 am

    In Australia and New Zealand the ice challenge is to raisemoney for Cancer. The challenge involves standing in a bucket of ice water while two other buckets are slowly poured over you. Eventually the final one that you are standing in is poured.
    This is apapparently to mimic the feelings of going through Chemo, of having wave after wave of absolute coldness going over you and being unable to get warm.

    • Kiki August 20, 2014, 3:27 pm

      At least this one makes sense and seems to have some sort of educational purpose behind it.

    • Lanes August 20, 2014, 5:41 pm

      We had one guy die from it here in NZ actually.

      He had been drinking heavily, and had been challenged to do the ice bucket challenge, which he did and then had a heart attack from the shock to his system, and because he’d been drinking his body couldn’t cope and thus he died.

      Our media suddenly started sending messages to not mix the challenge with drinking. There’s always one who ruins the fun…

    • Ange August 21, 2014, 12:13 am

      I hadn’t heard that. Maybe I have a quieter group of friends because I have not seen one ice bucket video at all and I’m in Australia.

  • GEna August 20, 2014, 8:34 am

    My 16 YO grandson was “challenged”. I asked him to explain it to me, and he said it was a fundraiser for ALS. You either dump a bucket of water on your head or you give 100$. So, I asked, if everyone is dumping the water on their heads, how on earth is any money being raised?

    But the people at ALS say 7 million has been raised in the last month alone. And I do think it’s brought some awareness to this awful condition.

    I also agree that it’s not right to put someone on the spot like that.

    • JO August 20, 2014, 3:22 pm

      The original idea was that you don’t dump the water and donated $100, or you do dump the water AND you donate $10. Because even $10 helps. And why is it so hard for people to understand that they can opt out? I myself was nominated. As it wasn’t feasible for me to participate at the time, I simply didn’t respond. Nobody demanded to know why, nobody even asked. By the time the 24 hour deadline was up, people probably forgot I’d even been asked.

  • LeeS August 20, 2014, 8:36 am

    The Ice Bucket challenge may have become a Facebook fad amongst teenagers, but it was initially conceived to raise awareness of ALS, with donations a secondary (though important) goal. Last I heard, the ALS Society has received $15.6 million as a result of the campaign, significantly more than they received in donations during the same time frame last year. To dismiss it entirely as a “Facebook fad” is wrong – many celebrities, business leaders and athletes, and “regular” people are participating because it is a fun way to raise money for a good cause.

  • Peas August 20, 2014, 8:36 am

    Except that ALS donations are 10x what they’ve been historically. It may be just a “fad” but it’s a highly beneficial one.

    If you you don’t want to do it, take a deep breath, chill out and untag yourself. Stop taking it so seriously and just appreciate the money that is going towards essential research.

    Also, it’s rude to make assumptions about people who may or may not have donated as well as posting their video.

    • JO August 20, 2014, 3:23 pm

      Thank you!!!

    • Melanie August 20, 2014, 10:02 pm

      Completely agreed.

  • Jenn Barkley August 20, 2014, 8:36 am

    A summer fad that has managed to raise $22.9 million in a 3 week time span. $21 million more than they received during the same time period last year.

    Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t make it wrong.

  • KarenK August 20, 2014, 8:41 am

    My friend went one step further and challenged all her Facebook friends, stating that people were getting it wrong – they should donate $100 or dump the bucket and donate $10. No. Just no. I intend to do neither. As long as she’s keeping it a general, “Everyone I know should do this!”, I’m fine with it and I don’t intend to say anything. Should she call me out by name, she’ll get an earful (privately, of course!).

    It’s been fun watching the celebrities and local newspeople do this, though. Our governor has been called out twice and has yet to respond. Knowing him, he never will. Although I don’t agree with most of what he stands for, I will say he is not one to be bullied into anything.

    I agree that it’s a worthy cause, but there are a lot of worthy causes.

  • staceiam August 20, 2014, 8:48 am

    According to the media, this ice bucket challenge has raised just over 23 million for ALS, a huge increase over earlier campaigns. Let’s face it, aren’t some celebrities so annoying, it’s a pleasure to watch them get dumped on?

  • Jennifer August 20, 2014, 8:55 am

    It is silly to the tune of over $15 million dollars in donations since this has started…………the word is absolutely getting out there as well as making the younger generation of not just ALS, but other diseases.

  • Jennifer August 20, 2014, 8:56 am

    *making the younger gneration aware…..

  • Lexie August 20, 2014, 8:58 am

    According to Forbes, the ALS Association has raised 15 million plus thanks to the challenge. To me, being tagged to participate in things is a long running internet tradition, an invitation to join in, rather than a demand.

    Utterly harmless fun that has raised significant funds and awareness for charity – seems like perfectly fine etiquette to me. And I have absolutely no plans to post my own video.


  • Cashie August 20, 2014, 8:59 am

    Actually, the ice bucket challenge has raised over 22.5 million for als and raised awareness. More people know what the disease is. Don’t under estimate teens ability to donate. Teens are the number one consumers in the us.



  • Kiki August 20, 2014, 9:02 am

    I agree, completely. My DH and I have been talking about this and neither of us understand the draw to this fad. It doesn’t really raise all that much attention to the real issues behind ALS, thereby informing the viewer as to why their donation is important. It’s just people dumping water on themselves, in the middle of summer, I might add. If it were a dare to dump ice water on oneself during the winter, it would probably be just as dumb, but at least that would be more daring. I’ve seen friend after friend doing this challenge, including my own brother, and I’m just waiting for the time I get challenged so I can say thanks, but no thanks.

  • Cat August 20, 2014, 9:03 am

    I feel the same way about school principals who agree to take a pie in the face or to be somehow publically humiliated if the student body reaches some goal or a parent who slams a birthday child’s face into his/her cake as a “joke”. I cannot find any fun in doing something that is aggression disguised as humor. I opposed hazing in college for the same reason.
    Anyone who challenged me in this way would find him/herself ignored.

  • Jeckie August 20, 2014, 9:06 am

    Actually, donations are up SIGNIFICANTLY thanks to this. Some reports are saying 12 times as much as normally raised during this period (that’s nearly $23M). It’s not just kids/young adults doing this – pretty much everyone in my social circle (middle age, good jobs, disposable income) has been tagged and people are donating.

    I don’t find it rude – just say no if [general] you really don’t want to do it and don’t want to donate. No one is going to come stand outside your house and shout at you until you do it.

    • Steve August 20, 2014, 4:49 pm

      Except plenty of people do shout at you on the Internet, if you dare to say you won’t be participating. Including friends as well as people you don’t even know.

      • Melanie August 20, 2014, 10:03 pm

        Then they’re not very nice friends, are they?

        • Steve August 21, 2014, 8:44 am

          Then we are agreed that people issuing the challenges are not very nice people.

          • Peas August 22, 2014, 9:01 am

            People shouting at you aren’t very nice people. Nice twisting of other people’s words, though.

          • Steve August 22, 2014, 5:17 pm

            Not twisting. Revealing.

      • Peas August 21, 2014, 7:29 am

        Says more about the quality of your friends than anything.

  • Megan Beecroft August 20, 2014, 9:10 am

    I’m sorry, but I have to comment. It may be a ‘summer fad’ but the ALS society has raised over $15 million dollars in this time period, comparied to just under $2 million dollars in the same time period last year. So as much as it is a ‘fad’ it is also raising huge sums of money for a diesease that was desperately in need of it. The celebrities are doing the ice bucket challenge AS WELL AS donating money. It’s fun to do the challenge and dare others to as well, and it is raising awareness and funds for a cause. If you want to say No if challenged, feel free to. No one is going to know if you donate money, so why make an issue out of it?

    • Steve August 20, 2014, 4:50 pm

      There is a cultish aspect to the notion that people who don’t like the challenge aren’t allowed to speak against the crowd.

      • Peas August 21, 2014, 7:30 am

        Please research the definition of a “cult” and stop over-stating things. Honestly. Hyperbole at it’s most dramatic.

        • Steve August 21, 2014, 11:51 pm

          Insult is truly central to this fad.

  • TCG August 20, 2014, 9:12 am

    Admin, your facebook feed is very different than mine because I have no teenagers on my facebook friends list and I have dozens and dozens of adults in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s participating. I don’t agree with you that it is young people driving the fad.

    I think it’s very odd, honestly. So, first of all you are “called out” and challenged and then if you DON’T donate $100, you publicly put a video of yourself getting ice over your head, basically admitting that you didn’t pay the $100.

    It seems very strange to me and I won’t be participating if I am challenged. I AM glad that it has raised awareness for the often forgotten disease of ALS. I have had three family members die of ALS, so I’m happy for the awareness aspect – and the donations received are in the millions. That’s always a good thing to fund more research. The way we arrived at that is very odd, in my opinion.

  • Devil's Advocate August 20, 2014, 9:14 am

    I couldn’t tell whether admin is for or against the ice bucket challenge, however I think it’s a great thing. Yes most of the videos aren’t giving the details of what ALS is etc.; however ALS research collected around 1.7 million dollars in donations at this time last year. This year they are up to over 13 million dollars.

    So what if the videos or challenges are stupid, the end result is fantastic. And OP, you aren’t a celebrity no one is watching if you are “called out” to see if you completed the challenge or donated–so just ignore it if you choose not to participate.

  • NoelFaro August 20, 2014, 9:23 am

    It’s more a stunt to raise awareness of ALS but it HAS also managed to raise $31+ million dollars. People appear to have some fun doing it and I I haven’t seen anyone publicly shamed for not doing participating. I warrant most celebrities have also donated money (Tom Cruise is the only one who has actually said that out loud that I’m aware of) otherwise you do come off as kind of cheap. I’ve seen lots of kids do it and perhaps they start asking about ALS and gain a better understanding of the disease. Any campaign that gets people talking about a disease that is mostly overlooked is a successful one. I personally am never offended when solicited for donations, just like any other invitation I accept or decline, politely.


  • Wendy B. August 20, 2014, 9:24 am

    On the news this morning it was reported that a sizable chunk of money has been raised for ALS research due to this. There’s no cure and, from what I’ve observed, the current treatments don’t do very much. As I understand it, getting the water dumped on you is part of the donation…bringing attention to the need to fight this disease by being uncomfortable for a short while as opposed to those with the disease who are uncomfortable for the rest of their lives. Having watched a friend die of the disease recently (and when I say watched, I mean we were there much of the time while she was in her last hospitalization and only missed her death because I simply could not fly to the hospital fast enough. I missed being with her by about 10 minutes) I can say…whatever it takes. She suffocated to death…her lungs were the last to go in her body and she was perfectly aware and rational up until the last day. She couldn’t move, could barely talk, and finally her respiratory system failed.

    Is it rude to insist people participate? Maybe it is, and no one is MAKING you do it. Is it finally bringing attention to a disease that has too long been in the shadows? You bet. While I won’t be dumping ice water on myself or anyone else, I will be making that donation.

  • Cherry91 August 20, 2014, 9:27 am

    To be fair, many of the celebrities I’ve seen doing it are taking the time to state “This is for ALS research”.

    I really liked Dave Batista (Draz from Guardians of the Galaxy)’s response, where he went “I’ve been nominated by Chris Pratt, who apparently forget that I was a wrestler, and that ice baths used to be part of my daily routine.” He then dunked himself in a full ice bath.

    I’m willing to give this trend a pass, since millions have been raised for the ALS charity. I much prefer it to “coning” or those idiots who liked to slam dunk milk bottles onto the ground in supermarkets…

  • Tom August 20, 2014, 9:29 am

    I must have been very confused as to the rules of the challenge. I thought I was supposed to dump the ice water over my head AND donate the $100, thereby giving me the status to challenge the next person. I was flattered that someone had thought of me, so I did it and enjoyed the moment.

  • myfamily August 20, 2014, 9:31 am

    While it is impressive that this challenge has raised so much money for ALS research (I heard they basically raised 4x what they normally earn during this time period), I do have to agree that it is rude to tag people and basically say ‘deal with physical discomfort and give money you may not be able to afford or don’t do it but give even more money you may not be able to afford, and I don’t care if you want to do this or not’. I refuse to participate, and a large number of my friends have also refused. I’m an adult, I’ll decide where my charitable giving goes, and while I wish I could give to every organization that I think does some good in the world, that simply isn’t possible.

    • Steve August 20, 2014, 4:52 pm

      Precisely this.

      Rude people like to hide behind the worthiness of the cause (although ALSA admits it has no idea how it will spend this money, but anyway). No one’s complaining about the cause. They’re complaining about the rude people.

      • Kimbubbley August 21, 2014, 1:08 pm

        I think that your “rude” sensor might be a bit sensitive. The “rules” of the challenge, as they were set down to me when I was challenged, were that I could donate money to the cause OR dump the ice and challenge some other friends. I CHOSE to do both but only publicized the ice dumping part.

        Turns out, one of the people that I challenged COULDN’T do it for health reasons that I was not aware of and she said so, which prompted a very nice conversation between us via PM. No one was “called out” or “ridiculed” or “humiliated”. I think if anyone is feeling “ridiculed” or “humiliated” for not taking part if they are challenged, then those feelings are either on them or a result of friends that are very unsportsmanlike.

        I challenged four people. Two did it and posted hysterical videos. One demurred for health reasons. The fourth, I never heard from and it would never occur to me say, “Hey, yooouuuuu! Did you do your ALS thing?” That’s just poor form.

        Interestingly, one of the folks that was challenged by one of my friends went through the whole process of talking about ALS, stating the rules of the challenge, challenging a few others and then getting an ENORMOUS bucket up-ended over her. She squealed and curled up in anticipation and everything, only to smile, reach into the bucket and take out an envelope addressed to ALSA. She held the address close to the camera and said that she hates to be cold, so she was sending them money, instead.

        • Steve August 21, 2014, 11:53 pm

          So a person was forced to disclose a personal health condition to you as a result of your challenge, and you bring this up as a defense that the challenge is not rude on an etiquette board?

          • Peas August 22, 2014, 9:05 am

            “Forced”? Wow. You give FB tagging a lot more power than you should. People have brains and wills.

          • Kimbubbley August 22, 2014, 11:12 am

            I’m with Peas. She wasn’t “forced” to do anything! She is someone that is living an expatriate life, doing good, clear across the globe and, because of the vagaries of the FB Newsfeed these days, when I tagged her I was unaware that she had recently been in an accident – that she had previously posted about – and she wrote to tell me that she didn’t think she should do it because of her wounds. Thus began 3 days of catching up and giggling between us via PM.

            “Forced” is a bit extreme considering that my fourth nominee, who might not have even SEEN my challenge to her, and I have been bantering back and forth several times about her birthday and a truly awful photograph of us that was posted by someone else. I’ve not asked and she’s not offered up anything about the ALS challenge and, in all likelihood, it never will!! Although, admittedly, she’s the sort that may happen upon it 6 months from now, squeal that she never saw it and then start the whole thing up, again, in January!

          • Steve August 22, 2014, 5:18 pm

            Rather than following me around the thread simply to argue, it might be more productive to read what people have written more closely.

  • Vdrog August 20, 2014, 9:35 am

    They did a piece on the news where I live last night on this very topic. The ALS society (whatever the proper name is) say if nothing else, it is bringing awareness to the disease. Awareness is always good as it leads to education. The report also says that over $300,000 has been raised so far in Canada. As for being publicly challenged to donate or dump water on yourself, you either accept or ignore the challenge, the choice is yours to participate.

  • Elise August 20, 2014, 9:37 am

    My cousin just ‘challenged’ me on Facebook yesterday. My response to her is no response. The way I see it, this fad is the modern equivalent of a chain letter. I have no obligation to do something just because I was ‘challenged.’ In a similar vein, I also don’t do the chicken dance at weddings just because the DJ orders everyone to do it. Also, I agree that the charitable aspect of this has been completely lost; the videos I’ve seen don’t even mention ALS.

    Even if I were inclined to pour icy water over my head, I wouldn’t do it because I don’t want to ‘challenge’ anyone else. Not everyone is as bitchy/curmudgeonly/able-to-resist-pressure as I am. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    • Mags August 26, 2014, 2:12 pm

      I was thinking exactly that about it being a chain letter, and I have no qualms about breaking the chain.

  • TheT August 20, 2014, 9:47 am

    If it were educational I wouldn’t care; but I didn’t even know what ALS was and had to Google it to find out that it was Lou Gehrigs disease.

    • Devin August 20, 2014, 1:06 pm

      So the act did raise your awareness of a debilitating disease? Goal 1 accomplished! Hopefully you’ll find yourself more inclined to donate to this cause in the future (Goal 2).

    • A different Tracy August 20, 2014, 3:12 pm

      So you learned something. How is it not educational?

    • JO August 20, 2014, 3:30 pm

      But you learned something, didn’t you? That’s called raising awareness.

  • Robin Davidson August 20, 2014, 9:48 am

    The effect ice water has on your nervous system gives you a temporary sensation similar to what ALS patients experience full time.

    • Steve August 20, 2014, 2:24 pm

      ALS affects muscular neurons, not sensory neurons.

      • Peas August 22, 2014, 9:06 am

        The sensation is similar, not the physical effects.

        • Steve August 22, 2014, 5:44 pm

          We are fortunate that the web gives us access to many explanations and stories that describe the symptoms of ALS., which include weakness, a sensation of heaviness, tiredness, muscle twitching, and difficulty breathing. None of the symptoms are sensory.

          Since the ice bucket challenge has done so much to raise “awareness, “I would be fascinated to learn how many of the participants can accurately describe ALS symptoms.

  • Library Diva August 20, 2014, 9:49 am

    It’s funny to me how passionate people have become about this challenge…one way or another. One FB friend railed against the conformity of it, called everyone who was doing it a bunch of sheep and attention whores…and then participated in one of those gratitude challenges that have also been making the rounds. I saw another woman get really indignant about someone poking gentle fun at it because she cares for someone with ALS. She called them cold, insensitive, cruel, selfish…you would have thought the person came to her house and mocked her suffering family member to his face.

    To me, people are taking it way too seriously. I don’t see how this is necessarily any more rude than tagging people and asking them to share the three things they’re thankful for, or what they would say to you if the two of you ended up in the back of a police cruiser, or any of the other Facebook memes. Calling people out is what makes this social and a “challenge.” As for it being stupid, that’s kind of the point.

    Folks, the summer is rapidly fleeing and there is unrest all over the world, from Ferguson to Gaza to Liberia. If you want to stay inside and get upset about something, there are plenty of real issues to worry about. Otherwise, soak up what remains of the summer sun, whether you’re drenched in cold water or not. If you get tagged and don’t want to do this, don’t participate. If you do want to be part of it, have a good time with it and make that donation.

    • mimi_cat August 20, 2014, 1:26 pm

      I agree with you 100%. In the past I’ve seen “challenges” to post something as your status in “honor” of those who have “X disease” for an hour….which IMO does absolutely nothing. Or the vague cutesy memes that were supposed to raise awareness of breast cancer. I think they are silly, so I simply don’t do them. I don’t feel the need to make a big production out of it.

      The ice bucket challenge is actually doing something good that will have a positive impact on those living with the disease. A friend of mine was dx 2 years ago, so perhaps this hits me a little more personally than another cause would.

      I have not been challenged, but I went ahead and made a $100 donation anyway.

      I’ve seen local businesses raising money for it as well as individuals. How much money? While technically I’ve heard it’s either “Ice bucket and donate $10″ or No Ice bucket and donate $100” I highly doubt anyone is checking up on an individuals contribution. And I really don’t care if someone chooses to donate a dollar, or some other amount.

      ALS is a disease that has historically been way underfunded in terms of research, so this is all pretty amazing.

  • Lenore August 20, 2014, 9:54 am

    Be that as it may, the ALS Association has reported that it has raised $15.6 million as a result of the challenge, NINE TIMES what it normally would have raised in the same time frame (http://www.alsa.org/) . Furthermore, I have seen at least two videos where ALS sufferers also participate in the IBC, and explain a little about their disease.

  • Leah August 20, 2014, 9:58 am

    The ice bucket challenge was started by the ALS foundation and while a good many people are just doing it to do it, the majority of the participants have managed to help raise $13 millions more in donations above last years count at this time. It’s a way to make charitable work (donation of money or time) fun, viral, and interactive. I’m sorry that you felt being called on was rude, but it’s not a jury summons. Also, the donation amount, should you choose to donate, is not a mandatory $100. My husband (a member of the 501st Legion) participated in the video collage after JJ Abrams called the group out and I donated.

    • Steve August 20, 2014, 2:25 pm

      No, it wasn’t started by the ALS foundation. It originally had nothing to do with ALS. It was already going when that charity was glommed onto the social media chain letter.

    • CookieWookiee August 20, 2014, 3:02 pm

      My husband and I just watched that! He’s an aspiring 501st member (he’s been putting together a Darth Vader costume, piece by piece, for awhile now). It was a really great video! It’s wonderful that you and your husband participated and donated.

      I honestly wasn’t sure what the Ice Bucket challenge was–it kept popping up on FB and I had ask my husband to explain what it was. It seems harmless enough to me. Like you I don’t see it as attention-seeking, or rude, or a demand for money, or akin to announcing it with trumpets so the bucketee can be honored by others. Nobody is forced to participate or donate. It’s just a unique way to raise awareness. And if it’s raised a whole bunch of money for ALS research in the process, that’s even more wonderful.

      Nowhere have I heard that there’s a “mandatory” $100 donation whether you participate or not. How would people know how much you gave, to what organization, or even whether you donated at all anyway? Some friends of mine who have participated mentioned they were still donating money but did not say how much, which I think is just fine, because it’s nobody’s business anyway. And if they decided to donate to an organization other than ALS research, I don’t see why that would be a problem either.

      If I am challenged I don’t know if I’ll participate, but if I decide not to I just won’t say anything. I doubt any of my friends would call me out for not responding–because THAT would be really rude.

  • Leah August 20, 2014, 10:00 am

    Correction, $31.5 million. The ALS Association, not foundation.

  • Scuslidge August 20, 2014, 10:07 am

    It does seem silly, but according to legitimate news sources, “the ALS Association has received $22.9 million in donations over the last three weeks from people who took videos of themselves being doused with cold water. That’s compared to $1.9 million donated during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 19). These donations have come from existing donors and 453,210 new donors to The Association.”

  • Sad August 20, 2014, 10:08 am

    George Takei did the challenge and then he donated to ALS research as well. He can easily afford it.

  • Ellex August 20, 2014, 10:12 am

    Put this in perspective. Yes it’s kind of dumb, even if it’s for a good cause. But it makes about as much sense as 5ks for breast cancer awareness.

    Additionally, compared to other viral video stunts, this one is objectively better than lighting your chest hair on fire, spiking milk jugs into the ground at the grocery store, or planking (which actually got a couple of people killed).