When I first started seeing it on Facebook, I thought it was kinda dumb. What does ice have to do with ALS? And then, I realized that there was a point to it, that the ice was supposed to simulate some of the symptoms with ALS.
And I realized that I really didn’t want to do it. I had no problem with donating. It’s a good cause. What I didn’t like was the crowd-sourced peer pressure to dump buckets of ice on one’s own head. The internet pressure to do something I thought monumentally dumb was more than a little ridiculous, I thought, and so I watched, as my husband was challenged, and got himself, with the giggling help of my stepson.
They had a goofy night, and I was glad of it; it’s always good to see a teenager bond with their parent.
I was glad when he didn’t challenge me. I thought the whole thing was stupid, still. I was very clear with my husband that I would donate rather than dump ice on my own head, because I thought, honestly, that writing a check would do more good than giving me pneumonia, or me slipping on an errant piece of ice and landing in the emergency room. And then, I thought, maybe it’s better to say out loud that I don’t like being pressured into doing something I don’t really want to do. In fact, I get downright stubborn about NOT doing something when someone pushes me hard to do something I don’t want to do. (just ask my parents 😉
Don’t get me wrong…I like that it’s raising awareness.
However, I also think it’s a good idea not to pressure people who are willing to donate, but don’t really have the desire to have a cold bucket of ice water dumped over their heads. I don’t like the idea of online peer pressure, or online bullying, or anything like that.
There’s some people out there who think I should just do it and donate as well, and I’m going to say no. Not because I can’t afford the donation. I can, and I am donating. I have a freezer, and water, and ice. I am physically capable of doing it. But there’s a higher purpose in my sticking to my guns.
So here’s me, saying I’m not going to dump ice over my own head because I don’t really want to, and that no one should feel shamed or bullied into doing something that they don’t want to do. I’m happy to donate to a good cause, but if me standing up and saying no I won’t do something I don’t want to do, makes even one of my nieces and nephews, or cousins, or young friends, realize that they don’t have to join a trend, just because everyone else is doing it so it must be fun…I’ll be the fuddy duddy that sends in a check. I’m secure enough in myself to say I’m not going to follow a crowd just because. There’s a bigger lesson to learn here than just how to heave an ice bucket high enough to drench myself.
So, no, I will not be dunking my head with ice water, because I don’t believe in peer pressure dictating my choices. I will be writing a check for ALS research, because I do believe in helping good causes.