A couple years ago, it seemed like the only thing we could watch on Facebook and Instagram were videos of people screaming while dumping ice over their heads.
It was kind of a weird time.
By the time the viral video trend was over, most of us had forgotten what the Ice Bucket Challenge was even about (which, by the way, is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, which causes extreme muscle weakness and currently doesn’t have a cure).
Instead, most of us were just vaguely annoyed by the nonstop stream of ice-dumping videos clogging up their social media feeds.
But something really amazing happened in the time since the Ice Bucket Challenge became a distant memory: the donations all those crazy videos brought in funded a major breakthrough in the fight against ALS.
If you’ll remember, the whole point of the challenge was that if someone challenged you, you had to either make a donation to ALS Association, or dump a bucket of ice on top of your head.
Turns out a lot of people actually opted to donate, raising a whopping $220 million for ALS research.
Yes, you read that right.
One million dollars of that money went to a research company called Project MinE, which announced this week that they have identified a gene associated with the disease, which is a huge breakthrough for scientists trying to figure out how to prevent and cure it.
How freakin’ cool is that?
What a great reminder of the power of social media for doing good and sparking positive change.
Next time someone tells you social media is a waste of time or has a mostly negative effect on the world, tell them this story. And maybe dump some ice over their head, just to really get the point across.