There's another headline: "Stop Dumping Ice Water on Your Head. Just Give Money."
Apparently icebucketchallenge wasn't the ALS ice bucket challenge when it began, despite revisionist attribution to ALS sufferer Pete Frates. It was a dare among a bunch of athletes (a golfer and race car driver among them) to either dump the ice water or donate $100 to a charity of their choice. Matt Lauer, for one, took the challenge prior to its association with ALS and donated to a hospice.
Says the article:
"Watch the golfers’ videos and you’ll see the stunt was really just about getting their friends to film themselves doing something dumb for no reason. The charity part was an afterthought."
The altruism was tacked on. Maybe future viral trends will give more thought to the algorithm, as this one pretty much encouraged people NOT to give money and do the stunt instead. Ultimately many participants realized that was pretty tacky and opted to do both, and once ALS commandeered the trend, a lot of money was raised for ALS. But, I do think that if athletes or other celebrities are going to have a public presence on social media, putting a little thought into what you're doing and saying and why you're doing and saying it isn't too much to ask. Otherwise it just comes across as sorority-level social fun and games, and considering a serious issue is usually the pretext, the hijinks can seem incredibly insensitive if the issue isn't highlighted, or is marginalized, and becomes simply a pretext to have a good time.
There's also this article on HuffPost:
@Icebucket challenge - why you're not really helping
In the case of icebucket challenge, I disagree with Huffpost when Huffpost says all that was accomplished was getting people to talk. A lot of money was raised when #icebucketchallenge was eventually affliated with ALS, but I think that's because the terms of the challenge became so widely publicized people were shamed into donating. Everybody who poured a bucket on their head was on parade as somebody who declined to donate, so very rapidly people started saying they were doing both. That said, I think most of these stunts DO end up the way Huffpost says they do:
Slacktivism is a relatively new term with only negative connotations being associated with it as of recently. The whole thinking is that instead of actually donating money, you're attributing your time and a social post in place of that donation. Basically, instead of donating $10 to Charity XYZ, slacktivism would have you create a Facebook Post about how much you care about Charity XYZ- generating immediate and heightened awareness but lacking any actual donations and long term impact. Previous examples of slacktivism are not hard to find- remember in 2012 when everyone, and I mean everyone, shared the Kony video? Very few people knew who Kony was, how they could donate or where they could get involved- but all of a sudden, these viewers (myself, included) could contribute! We could share the Kony video on our Facebook and Twitter -- and while doing so, eliminating any chance we may have had at donating our time or money towards an actual prevention or cause directly related to the capture of Kony. You see, we valued our social posts at an incrementally higher cost than a donation- and by placing a sub-concioucs value on our Facebook post or Tweet, we told ourselves that we had done our part in trying to find Kony and then were able to pleasantly shift our thinking back to what we were going to eat for lunch. We had helped. We had participated. We patted ourselves on the back.As I've said before, among other things, this blog chronicles Tessa and Scott's p.r. and marketing, and in the process, it's often helpful to examine p.r. and marketing initiatives overall.
Just to get this out of the way - I believe Tessa Virtue recently let it be known she was going to get an instagram account. That was in no way a set up. Nor was this, barely a beat afterwards:
OMG Bare midriff!
Where did her abs go? All the chocolate and pastries she scarfed down, not to mention the "summer five pounds" she habitually gains each year (except not), has left her suddenly slimmer than ever, but absent definition or striation in her abdominals. That could be Cass Hillborn's midsection, wobbly/floaty pixilation and all. Who stole Tessa's ab definition and replaced it with Gumby's?
So now in addition to "Flat Tessa" the Sham presents "Smooth Tessa."
I read this about the ice bucket challenge:
A few weeks ago, [Pete Frates'] family started the Ice Bucket Challenge. For those living in a cave and unaware of what it is, the challenge is simple. People dump buckets of ice water on their heads and call someone else out on social media to do the same within 24 hours. If a person refuses, he or she must donate money to an ALS organization.Why are people choosing to dump the water on their head instead of donating money to ALS?
What are the odds Scott and Kaitlyn Lawes will ice bucket side by side?
Speaking of bare midriffs, I thought this was educational (more photos at the link).
This woman is 39 years old. From what I've read, she came damn close to doing her circus tricks in the delivery room. There are many people who believe that if even a high performance athlete is within two weeks of delivery, she best be bubble wrapped and kept indoors. Michelle Arvin (the mama-to-be in the images above and at the linked article) is not a high performance athlete. She's a fit woman with a specific skill set, more in the neighborhood of a yoga instructor or dancer. Local talent, not best in the world.
Michelle Arvin isn't crazy. Yet, no matter how much is on the internet about athletic, fit women and pregnancy, many people get all their pregnancy info from soap operas or Gone With the Wind. They believe tripping and falling is the biggest miscarriage risk. But, according to what I've been reading, the two primary athletic activities doctors and midwives discourage are scuba diving and marathons. If the mom is fit and the pregnancy healthy, the child is not at risk for being jostled, startled, or jarred out of the womb, absent a truly traumatic event such as a car accident.
P.S. No surprise, Alexandra Paul and Mitch Islam did the icebucket challenge right:
Jeremy Abbott also understands that just because he's a figure skater on social media doesn't mean he's a lemming:
Honestly, it's okay to to be thoughtful, to consider what you're asked to do, and evaluate. There's no rule in sports that you must live in a socialite/sorority-esque/fratty universe forever.