Viral social media trends could make changes in world


photo or infographic by Brody McNew via Canva

BE THE CHANGE. After the successful FDA approval of a drug for ALS, there is proof that viral videos could make a difference.

A bucket with ice cold water, and a camera – all for a good cause.

Flashback to 2014 when everyone was spending their days pouring ice cold water on themselves to post on social media. This was known as the Ice Bucket Challenge, where many would record themselves dumping frigid water on themselves to spread awareness for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Late last week, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Relyvrio to treat patients with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

There are many ways that social media could do some good and shine light on good causes. It is time that society uses the power of social media to change the world. 

Social media is not always used for good or supporting causes like this, there’s lots of arguments, greed and lust for fame. However, sometimes, social media can be used for good, like in this case. During this time, Vine was used by many, and was a big outlet for creators to spread awareness for causes they supported such as ALS. With this outlet came the Ice Bucket Challenge, a challenge in which many influencers and celebrities dumped ice cold water on themselves online and advocated many to do the same. What at the time seemed like a pointless internet challenge like many we see today, turned out to be a major step forward in ALS research. Throughout the years, challenges have changed from fun outlets of spreading awareness to pointless dangerous acts for temporary fame.

Now, most internet challenges are dangerous and are for no purpose other than fame

— Brody McNew

Now, most internet challenges are dangerous and are for no purpose other than fame. Some examples of these dumb challenges are the Tide Pod Challenge where people would eat Tide Pods, or the Nyquil Chicken Challenge in which people would make fried chicken with Nyquil as an ingredient. These challenges accomplish nothing and are extremely dangerous. The world could be doing a lot more with social media, like actually making a difference. The  internet has come a long way and it could be used as an outlet to help with actual issues. The internet has a lot of potential to be very helpful to society and the world. If instead of these self-harming challenges, everyone did more things like the Ice Bucket Challenge, we could get a lot done and have fun doing it. There have been recent trends that have been helpful, like the app TrafficCam that asks users to post pictures of your hotel rooms to help identify rooms where victims are photographed.  If more was done like this, there are a lot of issues that could be helped through social media.

Supporters of these challenges could say that social media platforms were created for fun. Yes they were, but they could be used for so much more. Vine was also a platform for fun, but then the Ice Bucket Challenge came along and it was fun for free and for a good cause that anyone could support. There’s no problem with having fun on social media, but why not do both? Have a little fun and spread the word about overlooked issues. It could make more of a difference than most would think.