Everyone who enjoys even a small degree of social buoyancy has already been asked to do the Ice Bucket Challenge, experts say, leaving only “socially undesirable” types who would actually do more harm for the cause than good.
Researchers at the Bennett Institute of Social Science examined thousands of social networks, noting every interesting, attractive or successful member of each network has already been “called out” to participate in the challenge, requiring them to bask in the glow of social approval while pouring ice on their heads to raise money for research into ALS, the neurodegenerative disease commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.”
The team concluded any remaining individuals must be socially awkward introverts, if not actually despised by their peers and viewed as a lethal form of social plague. However, the researchers do wish to inform such rejects it is not the end of the world.
“Not getting tagged to do the Ice Bucket Challenge doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, or that your clumsy attempts at making lunchtime conversation with coworkers is abnormal,” said Rebecca Stapleton, who has written a number of books on social diseases.
“It just means you don’t rank in the top three of anyone’s list of friends,” she said, referring to the rule that each participant has to publicly call out three other people to complete the challenge.
“Actually,” she added, “you’re what we affectionately refer to as, well, we don’t really refer to you, do we?”
The organizers of the challenge have expressed their agreement with the research team’s findings, confirming that the number of socially desirable people doing the challenge peaked near the middle of last week. On Monday, the ALS Association released a statement saying, “We’ve had a great run, and we’ve earned a lot of money for ALS research, so we’re calling it quits. If you didn’t get a chance to participate, well, don’t get any ideas.”
The statement continues: “Pouring a bucket of ice on your head now, without being asked to, will only make you look very silly, and if you’re so shameless as to record your sad attempt, and if you put such a video on YouTube, you might actually do serious harm to ALS research, causing people to take back their donations out of fear of being associated with you.”