Pouring cold water on cause lost in craze

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I’m not a fan of Internet fads.

You won’t find me tuning in to videos that go viral, I don’t create daily lists of good and bad things which happen in my day, and I won’t ‘like’ something to find out what my future holds. Mainly because the latter is ridiculous.

And no, I won’t even join a craze which is purportedly for a good cause. Anyone who actively engages in social media, and in fact most who don’t, will know what I’m referring to.

In the past few weeks, the ALS ice bucket challenge has swept the western world. For those still blissfully unaware (how I wish I was in your camp), the challenge involves tipping a bucket of ice water over your head, before - and here is the crucial part I feel far too many have missed - donating to ALS, otherwise known as motor neurone disease. Participants then nominate friends to do the same, and so the cycle continues.

The craze started in the United States, and when friends across the Pond started posting videos of themselves taking part, I didn’t really pay much attention.

And didn’t have to, until celebrities got in on the act and the challenge went global.

Again, no problem with the rich and famous getting in the charity spirit (though one does hope it’s for more than good PR) but when my news feeds started to become filled with people who have little idea what they’re doing or why, yours truly had to draw the line.

As with every other Internet fad, things have gone too far. News pages are now awash with tales of ice-bucket injuries, foul mouthed children and, in the case of one Scottish Island, fears of a water shortages.

For me, the straw which drenched the camel’s back came this week when I overheard one colleague tell another, ‘Make sure you don’t donate to Macmillan. Some people have been, and it’s the wrong charity.’

The wrong charity. Is there such a thing? Would we not bother to throw water over ourselves to help those suffering from cancer and their families? The world has gone mad.

Have I been nominated? Yes. Will I be taking part and passing on the challenge? I’m afraid not. Though I will make a donation to the charity of my choice, and would be more than happy to encourage others to do the same. Maybe that will catch on...