I don’t know about you, but I really hate viral videos and campaigns, and half the time, don’t understand the point. This past 12 months has been the yeah of the selfie and viral video (neknomination, I’m in me mum’s car, James Franco’s weird semi-nude selfies) and I hate how they clog up my twitter, facebook, and Tumblr feeds. I don’t want to sound bitter about the use of social media for charity, in fact I whole-heartedly support it – if it wasn’t for Tom Hiddleston and his video regarding Live Below the Line, I never would have signed up!
I’m pleased that some good is finally coming out of it all. I reluctantly took part in the no-make up selfie, as I knew it was raising awareness and money for a good cause, but I hated the manner in which they did it. At the time I wrote:
Thank you very much for the #nomakeupselfie nomination. I was very unsure about this campaign to begin with, and whether it would work to raise awareness and money for Cancer Research. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with a campaign that based itself upon vanity, and was worried that it would become a project that lost its overall meaning. That said, the success of the project has been undeniable, with over £2m raised in a short space of time. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the campaign, that cannot be argued with. There is still a long way to go in the fight against cancer, so please give what you can and raise awareness. Most importantly, check yourself regularly. For more information, check out the cancer research website: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org
To donate, text BEAT to 70099, or do something special and go the extra mile, like my friend Lauren. Instead of texting in, I have chosen to sponsor her in her first ever 10K race for Cancer Research UK.
When my facebook filled with neknominations earlier in the year, I was very thankful that no-one nominated me. As a negligible drinker, I would have felt very uncomfortable about the whole thing before my grievances about the whole viral craze itself. One thing to come out of it that I did like was the nicenomination, for which I did complete. I dislike the fact that it took such an abhorrent viral idea to spark good-will gestures from the masses. (I do love the stories about Random Acts of Kindness)
The new trend that appears to have swept the digital world is the ice bucket challenge:
Within 24 hours of being challenged, participants are to video record themselves in continuous footage. First, they are to announce their acceptance of the challenge followed by pouring ice into a bucket of water. The bucket is then to be lifted overhead and poured over the participant’s head. Then the participant can call out a challenge to other people. The participant is expected to donate $10 if they have poured the ice water over their head and donate $100 if they have not.
It has been adopted most prominently by ALS, and seems to have boosted their fundraising efforts immeasurably. I can finally see little fault in this campaign. So many celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon, from Oprah to Tom Hiddleston, Bill Gates to Cristiano Ronaldo, Justin Timberlake to Usain Bolt (see here) So far, the only complaint that seems to have arisen is the fact that celebrities appear to be accepting the challenge rather than making the donation; I expect this is not that case, and that in actual fact they are doing both, raising awareness and encouraging their fans/followers to donate or help too. I just hope I don’t get nominate, as it looks a little chilly!
Slacktivism is always going to be evident in modern day society, especially when a simple picture or 30sec video can raise personal moral, and increase a feel-good factor that surrounds a campaign. The message and donation element was lost to some during the no-make up selfie campaign, and I am sure it will happen here as well, and continue to do so during the inevitable slue of campaigns that will grace our screens in the months to come.
Rant over! Please help raise awareness and donate to any of these good causes that grace your screens, and find a cause you’re passionate about – you never know, it could be your campaign next!