I was challenged to dump a bucket of ice water over my head as part of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Now, this isn't to slight the person who issued the challenge, an individual whom I consider to be one of my best friends, or ALS or any of that, but I will not be partaking. While I'm certain the ALS Association appreciates the exposure and the influx of donations, the IBC screams of narcissism and emotional bullying. The challenge is to dump a bucket of water over your head or, as punishment get out your checkbook; sometimes "or both" is added as a third option. Mind you, that's a complete 180' from the challenge as it was initially configured, which was to donate to ALS research, or as punishment pour the water over your head.

I may be teased for not doing the challenge or some may claim I'm an asshole for not publicly supporting ALS research, but that behavior is part of the problem. It's presumptuous for people to impose on others how their charitable giving should be directed. Charity should come from the heart, not from coercion. Additionally, I feel a great many people do these types of things not because they care greatly about the underlying cause -- I question if a significant number of people dumping water on their heads even know what ALS is -- but because they want to feel part of a group.

I don't think the IBC significantly differs from the LIVESTRONG bracelets, or when people changed their various profile pictures to the red equal sign, or the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. Certainly the IBC is the most successful of these examples, but as soon as the weather turns from summer to fall, people will stop doing the challenge and it will quickly become an afterthought as we shift gears to the next cause of the month.