The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Ice Bucket Challenge has been all over Facebook and Twitter. Participants dump ice and water onto their heads to promote awareness for ALS and encourage donations to the ALS Association and the Motor Neuron Disease Association. And like every other viral fad, there has also been a considerable amount of backlash against it.
There are countless statuses and articles accusing the challenge of being “hashtag activism” and just something for people to feel good about themselves without actually having to contribute to the cause in any real way.
However, according to the ALS Association’s website, as of Aug. 25, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised $79.7 million (compared to the $2.5 million the group raised last year during the same time period).
It is not just the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, though. It seems that any time our generation tries to use the technology we have to help other people, we always meet the resistance of those who believe our time could be better used somewhere else.
And while in some cases, we may just be wasting our time by jumping on some bandwagon, there are cases where our so-called “slacktivism” is actually accomplishing something — as with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
The online fundraisers and awareness campaigns are often called lazy and just something to make us feel good about ourselves.
In fact, even outside of the Internet, our elders seem to see us as narcissistic and lazy. There has definitely been a shift from our grandparents’ “all work and no play” attitude to our ideas that you can balance work and play.
We are constantly trying to find ways to multitask and make our lives easier, and one of the ways that we do that is through technology.
But the question remains, is the way our generation chooses to do things, and our dependence on technology, actually wrong, or is it that the older generations are not up with the times?