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All About Flash Mobs

Jan 18, 2013

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?

  • Dance
  • Pillow Fight
  • Singing
  • None of the Above

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Author's note: This is just something quick that I whipped up, and I thought someone might enjoy it. I'll try to put up the ending in a few days, but don't count on it unless I'm reminded enough. If you have edits or whatever, comment. Okay, here it is: The bullhorn had sounded at the third hour of the shadow’s presence. A dark shape on the horizon, first noticed at dawn, and mad clear be the rising of the sun. The people were frightened, and the king was forced to make a decision. “I will fight it myself!” “My young lord, although I respect your decision, it would be horribly foolish for the last of the royal line to waste his life on a foolish attempt, and to die a death meant only for fools.” The advisor was cold, stern as he looked at the very young king. He sighed to himself. The boy was too young to be crowned. “I would advise you to send the only other people in this kingdom who have experience in such matters.” The boy puffed out his cheeks and crossed his arms, looking away from the advisor. “I need to prove to my subjects that I am a brave king!” He stood up as he said this, but the huge crown on his head was driven down over his eyes by the movement. It didn’t help him much. “I could do it! I will do it!” “My lord. I do not wish to enforce the command your late parents gave me.” The advisor’s eyes were showing a rare emotion for him: frustration. “But, I highly advise that you send the wizard and his apprentice.” Turning away, the advisor handed a written order to the guard, then looked back at the “king.” A slight twinkle of amusement was now shown from his usually cold, grey eyes. “I also highly advise that you retire for the afternoon. 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