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Now trending: What makes new viral trends so successful?

The Ice Bucket Challenge spread throughout the country, with people nominating each other and donating various sums of money. More than 17 million people participated in the challenge, and over 2.5 million people nationally donated a cumulative $115 million to support the cause (source: CNN.com).

Why was the challenge so successful? It is the curiosity in our nature that makes us so intrigued to see what is happening. When a friend gets nominated to do the challenge, the first thing we ask is “What is he or she doing?” or “Why is he or she doing that?” After we discover why they are doing the challenge, we naturally feel inclined to partake in the activity too. We can raise awareness easily because we have mob mentality; whenever someone does something interesting or unique, we want to take part to it also. But what is most important is how the attention can actually be beneficial toward the cause it is trying to bolster.

A new type of awareness has been growing: the #22KILL challenge. The movement started in 2013 after the Veteran Analysis (VA) released that an average of 22 veterans commit suicide everyday. There are normal citizens that commit suicide too, but the veterans in particular make up for more than 50 percent of the suicides. The movement raises awareness for the veterans suffering from post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and other stresses that the military lifestyle results in.

The challenge requires participants to do 22 push-ups each day and has totaled around 44,315,896 push-ups. The organization also sells merchandise to donate to the cause and hosts extracurricular activities including triathlons.

What made this trend so successful is the convenience that also popularized the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The two trends are simple, easy to film and anyone can donate money to the cause. We can raise awareness easily because we have mob mentality. Whenever someone does something interesting or unique, we want to take part to it also. But what is most important is how the attention can actually be beneficial towards the cause it is trying to bolster.

By Albert Law, Feature editor
Photo by Richard Zhang


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