Social Media Impact

Google “Social Media Impact”. As of today, the first link that pops up is either news, an image or a link regarding the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. It just goes to show how social media has taken over the world by a storm. And what do I mean by this? Well, I’ll explain more below.

If you haven’t heard (which I’m sure you have), the #ALSIceBucketChallenge has brought the world together in support of ALS. ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spiral cord.

The challenge requires a participant to post a video of them, pouring an icy cold bucket of water and ice over their head. The participant has 24 hours to complete the dare after being nominated by someone else; otherwise they have to donate $100 to the ALS Association. After completing the dare, the participant then nominates 3 people to complete the challenge or donate $100.

The ALS Association has raised over $15.6 million from the start of the challenge, compared to $1.8 million donated during the same duration last year. The #ALSIceBucketChallenge or #IceBucketChallenge hashtag has been mentioned on Twitter 2.2 million times over the last month and has been posted 1.2 million times on Facebook. Pretty impressive!

This challenge has been spreading worldwide, flooding everyone’s social media feeds and to be honest, has been pretty entertaining to watch. Avid social media users love participating in global trends, whether it’s to share to friends and family, expressing their own opinions, or just for plain old self-promotion. Mixing together a challenge and supporting a good cause is rather ingenious, it just reaks attention from those in on the social media game.

Many celebrities have also taken part in the challenge, which is probably the main reason for all the hype. Celebrities are both completing the challenge and donating money, taking this challenge to a different level. Some celebs that have participated include Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Timberlake and an extra hot shirtless (now icy cold) Cristiano Ronaldo.

But with a positive, there’s always a negative. Some skeptics believe that the #ALSIceBucketChallenge is just a social activity rather than a tool to actually raise awareness. I mean do people who complete the dare donate money to ALS? Or is this campaign just the latest social trend? Do those competing even know what ALS is all about?

A simple challenge of dumping a bucket of ice cold water wouldn’t have grown so largely popular without the help of social media platforms. The stats from the ALS Association seem to show that this challenge has been working by raising awareness and money. Some may argue that yes the challenge may not be effective, but because of its social media presence, people are seeing and talking about ALS everywhere they go. So, think about this: if the #ALSIceBucketChallenge is going global, sure enough social media is taking over the world.

Do you think that #IceBucketChallenge is effective or not? Let me know your thoughts!

In the meantime, I challenge you to take part in the #ALSIceBucketChallenge or donate to a charity you think deserves your contribution!

Until next time,

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