The Viral Phenomenon of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

You’ve seen it everywhere by now. If it’s not all over social media sites like facebook and twitter, there are videos shared on news sites, blogs, and challenges even being featured on TV shows. Millions around the world have been pouring buckets of ice water over their heads all in the name of ALS awareness. It has raised nearly $80million dollars, but it also has its fair share of doubters. Has the real point of the ice bucket challenge been drowned by folks just trying to put a video on the internet? Or has this phenomenon just been a fortunate result of viral campaigning in the social media age? Either way the results have been positive. However, let’s look at the origins of the challenge as well as a few ALS facts. The origin of the ice bucket challenge comes from Pete Frates, a college baseball star from Boston who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as “Lou Gherig’s Disease, at age 27. After his diagnosis Pete dedicated his life to fight ALS. His goal was to bring more attention and more action to the disease in order to raise awareness and funds to aid his fight. Pete’s friends started the ice bucket challenge in order to raise awareness and funds for Pete’s charity. It was simple, dump a bucket of ice water on yourself then post it on social media. While Pete could not do it himself, he nominated others to do it. What started out between Pete and his friends has spread globally through the power of social media, with celebrities, athletes, and families everywhere...