Are We All Narcissists? Viral Social Media Campaigns
Following the pattern here would make an intriguing assignment for secondary students. Campaign goes viral, campaign gets criticized, campaign gets forgotten or breaks down horribly? Are those always the steps? I know we saw it with Kony 2012 and Invisible Children. I doubt we'll see that kind of public flame-out from the good people at the ALS Association, but it's certainly worth studying viral campaigns.
For deeper thinking, ask students to consider this quote from Kashmir Hill's article:
"Narcissism is often part of philanthropy; we give because we want to make the world a better place and to be known as a person who helps the world become a better place. The ice bucket challenge ups the narcissism ante, because in addition to vaguely suggesting you care about philanthropy, you also get to post evidence to a social network that you’re a zany person who appreciates memes."
So, is this slacktivism at its best, and does it matter, since money is allegedly being raised for research? Can your students come up with other ideas, perhaps ones that result in more lasting involvement by participants?
For more on this topic, see this card which gives specific questions to help students understand the Ice Bucket Challenge, ALS, and critical thinking skills: http://www.vingle.net/posts/459799-Ice-Buckets-and-Social-Media