Social media has allowed people from all over to share, like and comment on social trends that have been exposed on the Internet in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, not all these trends are beneficial or safe for continued sharing.
The ALS Challenge generated more than 2 million videos, 28 million Facebook conversations, and many different variations of nominations. This major social trend begs the question, what do ice buckets have in common with ALS?
ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
The challenge was originally accredited to Pete Frates, a Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2012. Although the athlete was unable to communicate through speech and movement, he used a 1989 song by Vanilla Ice called “Ice, Ice Baby.”
An article in the Wall Street Journal reported that the idea behind the challenge first came about when pro golfers started dousing themselves in ice water to prompt fellow golfers to support animal charities.
Time Magazine reported that the challenge raised more than $12 million in proceeds to help those with the disease. Although the videos may seem to make light of the seriousness surrounding Lou Gehrig’s disease, the playful and sincere nature provide an inviting atmosphere for others to join in support.
These challenges stem from social trends and one undeniable fact about the American culture is the innate need or want to follow the trend. Everyone knows about the Kardashian family and the different trends that they have fostered. The latest is the “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge.” Videos surfaced of the face altering challenge after Kylie Jenner let fans know her lip plumping technique.
Instead lip challenges that yield the “Kylie Jenner lips” there are videos of so many who have bruised their faces or burst blood vessels. Since when did fuller lips start being a trend that others follow?
Being a woman of ethnic background, I haven’t felt the need to do the challenge. I do not see the value in wanting to look like, talk like or act like another person. This challenge supports the idea that it is not OK to be satisfied with who you are and that affects our generation of women negatively.
Why not create a challenge that empowers our generation instead of contributing to the wave of body alterations?
Not all of the challenges are for a cause or trend. Some are posted just for a good laugh.
The Cinnamon Challenge.
I had not heard about the challenge prior to researching about the viral videos that are flooding social media. This challenge requires a person to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon within a time frame without the use of any liquids.
I decided I had to see what all the rave was about. The first video that popped up was by the comedian GloZell. Instead of following challenge rules, she chose to use a ladle to pour the cinnamon. This challenge has no relevance or benefit to anyone watching, but it was just the laugh that I needed. Sometimes these challenges are better spread than the ones that have negative connotations. Everyone could use a good laugh.
Unfortunately not all social media challenges are a positive contribution to society. A recent addition to the many challenges is the Eric Sheppard Challenge. This “challenge” looks to have others disrespect and trample the American flag. In light of current events, this sort of behavior is not beneficial or supportive to America. There are not many who have participated in this disappointing social media “trend” but the video is still going viral regardless of participation.
All in all, I believe these waves of spreading charities or benefits are a positive and creative way to make a change. Some Americans take something that can be used for positivity and shape it for personal agenda.
Does everyone agree with the way that the government runs everything? Should girls be attempting to change their bodies without consulting a professional? Not in the least bit. Social media should be used to empower, spread joy and create change.
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