It started with the no make up selfie, and now, the ice bucket challenge. The first few days of any online charity challenge is filled with enthusiasm, everyone secretly wanting to be nominated, a fuzzy feeling around doing something good. However, after just a few days of news feeds being filled with videos and photos of everyone you know undertaking this challenge, raising awareness and money, the negative status’ start. ‘Surely we don’t need to raise awareness of Cancer Research?!’.
I have very mixed views about Clicktivism. On one hand, it makes me happy to know that we are using the platforms and tools at hand to spread the message about something we care about. On the other, slightly more cynical hand, it is clear to see that for a lot of people, whether they are conscious of this or not, this is just a chance to show to the world how ‘good’ a person they are. This is obvious by the fact that often, the original message gets lost. People become so wrapped up in the novelty of the action, and their 15 minutes of fame, that they forget to donate, or to even mention that it is for charity. If there was not a way of making everyone on your ‘friends’ list aware of what a charitable person you are, would you still donate to these causes? Is it all just a neat add-on to our online personality?
That said, regardless of the motivation behind it, surely we should be celebrating the fact that money is being raised. Although I am now pretty bored of watching people throwing ice-cold water over their head, I appreciate that people are still donating (to ALS in America, and Macmillan in UK) and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next nomination challenge brings.
Personally, after my IBS video, I’d love to do a campaign of #IPooToo – where you post a picture of your ‘poop face’ with that hashtag and donate to one of the bowel illness charities, such as http://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/research
What do you think?!