2014 so far in social media has been dominated by viral posts where someone does something and then tags friends to join in on the antics.
First were neknominations, where someone downs a drink of choice and then nominates friends do the same. Neknominations were largely uninteresting videos with a rather boring concept around them, once you had seen one or two. These also got bad press, and probably deservingly enough, for glorifying binge drinking and being dubiously tied to the tragic deaths of some young people. Although it took a good few weeks, the neknomination trend fell by the wayside.
From there came random acts of kindness, where people more altruistically tagged friends to do something nice for someone after posting their own good deed for the day. They never became as popular as neknominations despite being of much better intentions.
And then followed the craze from the last week or two: the cancer donation selfie. Initially, when I saw it, it was designed just to raise awareness – but then it went on to encourage people to donate to cancer research charities. It has been enormously successful, with Cancer Research UK alone raising over £2 million at last count from the donations of those taking selfies. Some have criticised the campaign as an exercise in vanity, and for some it might well be, but something that raises such an amount for charity, especially with plenty of other uses for hard-earned cash around, can’t be a bad thing. If only someone had the idea of donating money along with their neknomination, then that would have added to the success.
So, the other night I received my call to arms from a friend. Of course the campaign first began amongst girls who were asked to take selfies with no make-up but as men we (generally) can’t really say that would take much of an effort. Although there are some varieties of getting around that fact out there, I chose to go with the “clart my face in food” option for my part in spreading the message. Below are the messy results:
With my selfie I donated £5 to CLIC Sargent, a great cancer charity that works with children that have the disease, as it’s one that helped me when I had leukaemia at a young age and a charity that will unquestionably help make a massive difference in people’s lives.
I can be a cold-hearted cynic at times about them, but selfies and social media have redeemed themselves with their ability to make people come together to support charities.
If you’re interested in CLIC Sargent’s work, or would like to make a donation, here are some helpful links: