Saturday, August 23, 2014

Insight - Social media is for more than cute cat videos

This week Facebook has blown up with videos of people dousing themselves with ice cold water in the ALS #IceBucketChallenge. The idea was an attempt to gain more awareness of the disease and to increase donations. According to reports this has happened. There has been an increase in donations by 1,000 percent in the last week. Over 1.4 million dollars has been raised for ALS research. Imagine the good things we can do with social media.  
I took part in the challenge thanks to the publisher’s twin boys who called me out. My son took great pleasure in dumping the water over my head. I took great pleasure in dumping him into the lake, which was too easy because we were standing on the dock at our family camp. 

I followed those I tagged to make sure they followed through, and most of them did. Thanks to Tyler DeFosse, Tony Bessey and Jeffrey Thivierge. Still waiting for my cousin in Indiana and my daughter at Camp Hinds to get involved. In my daughter’s defense, she isn’t on Facebook much this summer. However, I did catch her pouring water over campers in Pack 805 for their Ice Bucket Challenge. So she knows it’s going on. And there is still time for her to get in on the fun. 

Now I hear there’s talk about how to do the challenge. Do you dump the ice in just before you pour it over your head? Do you put in the ice and wait until it melts, then add a little more for good measure? (That’s what my son did.) Or do you put in the ice, let it melt while you call out your, three, five or many closest friends? I haven’t seen anything that suggests there’s a right way, so if you’re “hating” on the people who are doing this…stop. Step up to the bucket yourself. It’s about the organization and the fun of being tagged. (I do know a few people who still have remained untagged, if you need suggestions.)
This brings up the question of do you donate or don’t you? In my opinion it’s a personal choice. Maybe you don’t want to donate to ALS, but at least learn a little about it to know what you are using all the ice in the freezer for. 

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. From 

Bravo for whoever started this trend. You have accomplished your mission. We should all be fortunate to have people who love us, and who are willing to raise money for a cause we believe in. 

-Michelle Libby

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