All Posts Tagged ‘slacktivism


Star Wars, ALS, and Ice Bucket Challenges Worth Watching

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Yes, even R2D2 is getting in on the action.

But before I go any further, I’m just going to put this link up right yonder: (because let’s face it, donating is far more impressive than dousing yourself in cold water).

And actually, before I even step into the realm of discussing the ice bucket challenge, let’s talk about the less entertaining side of this whole shebang. Let’s talk about ALS. It’s a horrifyingly awful disease that attacks nerve cells controlling motor function – specifically nerves controlling voluntary motor functions, such as walking, speaking, and even potentially breathing. ALS sufferers remain completely cognitively aware as their bodies deteriorate and eventually fail. It’s one of those diseases that ranks up there with Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s – absolutely terrifying.

The Ice Bucket Challenge exists to create awareness and generate donations to help fight ALS. I’ll admit it. The cynic in me turned her nose up at the idea. It’s classic slacktivism, or lazy activism, at its best. I became further frustrated when I started seeing #IceBucketChallenge pop up on my feeds with no mention of ALS at all. It’s a freaking fad, screamed angry inner-monologue Amber – one that began by challenging people to dump the ice and donate $10, or fail to do so and donate $100. The water wasn’t supposed to be in lieu of donations.

But then something beautiful happened. Videos of ALS patients taking on the challenge began cropping up. I saw gratitude. I saw courage. I saw the face of the campaign, and they weren’t cynical or frustrated or disillusioned. I saw smiles and laughter and I cried like the giant, hormonal pregnant woman that I am. It completely changed my perspective.

Yes, this is a fad. Yes, it will likely die out soon. No, it’s not meaningless slacktivism. The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $40 million for this cause. It has spread awareness. But even more than that, it’s spread hope.

I began this post with a silly video, in keeping the spirit of the blog, but I want to end it with the only ones that have had any impact on me. I don’t care to watch celebrities get drenched, and I’ll be honest, I scroll right past all the videos on my feeds of family/friends. These are the videos I care to see.