First off, this is a bizzare premise. The idea is that, when challenged, you have the option of either donating money to ALS research or dumping a bucket of ice water on your head.
This bothers me for exactly the reason you see to the right of this text. If we were truly a charitable society, this whole thing never would have started. Pouring a bucket of ice water on your head sucks, so if money is no object, you'd avoid it, and we wouldn't have all these funny videos of people subjecting themselves to buckets of near-freezing temperatures. The only reason this went anywhere at all is because there are so many tightwads who don't mind getting soaked if it means they can spend that money on a new pair of shoes once the ones they're wearing get wet.
Charity in its truest form is spontaneous. Is it really charity when someone holds a proverbial gun to your head and demands you put money in the poor box? You could argue that we are a charitable people, since Americans donate more to worty causes than the rest of the world. But there are SO MANY worthy causes out there that they're all scrambling for attention.
We host untold thousands of events to "raise awareness" for cancer or autism or multipose schlerosis or lost puppy dogs or even more cancers, and they're practically pointless. Everyone's gotta "raise awareness" for their cause, because everyone else is screaming at the top of their lungs about their own causes. And even if you do end up capturing the public's attention, the most it will do is last about a month before the next plight of humanity hosts its charity dinner.
"But wait," you might say, "Lots of people are doing the challenge and donating all the same."
Trust me. If this thing hadn't gone viral, the few people who had taken the challenge wouldn't have donated. All it took was a few people to play the One-Up Card and say "I'm may be soaking wet, but I'm still donating to this cause I haven't yet bothered to Google." Now the people who doused themselves feel like uncaring cheapskates because they'd rather spend their (probably) hard-earned money on something else. Like liquor. These people have donated out of guilt, and now they've run out of tequila.
Consider the age old question guys have asked each other when they're a couple of drinks in: "Suppose someone's got a gun to your head: would you suck a dick to not get shot?"
The logically honest answer for anyone who isn't an outright-militant homophobe is "yes." There's a long list of uncomfortable things humans would rather do than die. Just because you wouldn't like to see your brain matter scattered across the room in this fabricated scenario doesn't make you gay. By the same token, dumping a bucket of cold water on your head simply because someone dared you to do it doesn't make you a charitable person.
If you really do care about something, skip the bumper stickers, hashtags, and viral videos. Get off your ass and do something about it instead of starting another Netflix binge.
Personally, I'm not doing anything. It's not because I'm into that sort of lazy activism; it's just that I don't care. There really isn't anything out there that hits me in the emotional gonads enough to even go through the effort of changing my profile picture on Facebook.
Granted, I am extremely cynical. The first thought that goes into my head when someone tells me a sad story is "What are you selling?" You know those sad puppy dog commercials that come on right after an entertaining ad for beer? I fast forward through them because that way they become funny (slow motion looks sadder than it really is, while faster video looks funnier, as evidenced by Benny Hill) and that way I don't have to listen to some over-inflated Hollywood ego beg for money they themselves could have donated.
And the ads are all two minutes long. Who has that kind of attention span? I can make a 30-second spot with a clear beginning-middle-end story that'll make people laugh. Why do you need four-times as long to make people care about puppies?
So, if nominated for this Internet Meme of the Month, I refuse the challenge and I won't donate anything. Charity isn't supposed to be blackmail, no matter how noble the cause. Besides, we're all going to forget about this next month when someone stuffs jalapenos up their nose to raise awareness for the American Society for the Prevention of Hangnails.