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All About Flash Mobs

January 18, 2013

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Whether you’ve been a part of one or just enjoyed the viral vids that followed, flash mobs are a huge part of modern culture, combining spontaneity, fun, and strangers. Find out more in All About Flash Mobs!

What is a “Flash Mob”?

Flash mobs bring groups of people together who may or may not know each other in order to create a spontaneous scene in a public place, which is a (usually) delightful surprise for passers-by and undeniably fun for the participants! They usually start and end at a specific time, so they are short and unexpected, and can include people singing, dancing, pillow fighting – you name it! Flash mobs first started as a form of performance art in New York City, they usually are all about the visual effect, surprising an audience, and stay away from political demonstration and advertisement (although some companies have managed to use flash mobs to make commercials and pull off publicity stunts.)

Inventor of flash mobs Bill Wasik said:

 "the mobs started as a kind of playful social experiment meant to encourage spontaneity and big gatherings to temporarily take over commercial and public areas simply to show that they could."

How is Organized?

Often flash mobs are organized online via different types of social media (Facebook events, Twitter, blogs or email), meaning you might not know any of the other people who show up! Word of mouth has to be discreet though, because while flash mobs are fun, it’s more fun if it’s a total surprise – no one wants the news cameras, cell phones and even police to outnumber the actual participants.

Flash Mob Fun Facts!

  • In the 19th century in Tasmania the term “flash mob” was used to describe groups of female prisoners, this is no relation to how it’s used now.
  • The word “flash mob” was included in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2004
  • In Philadelphia some flash mobs were later dubbed “flash robs” because people had used them to steal and riot.
  • When a company or political act is behind the event, it’s usually called a “smart mob” instead, since it isn’t just for the joy of doing something wacky.
  • The first flash mob took place in Manhattan, and in order to avoid police detection Bill Wasik had people meet at different bars and then go on to the mob at Macy’s department store.

Check out this crazy dance flash mob below!                                                                                                             

Have Your Say

Have you ever been part of a flash mob? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

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What's your fave kind of flash mob?