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A Beginners Guide To The ‘Flash Mob’ Phenomenon

flash mob (FLASH mawb) n. A large group of people who gather in a predetermined location, perform some brief action, and then quickly disperse.

If you have not yet heard of the flash mob phenomenon, get up and get online. All over the world, public places and clueless crowds are being taken by surprise.

So what is flash mobbing all about?

The answer to that question can’t be traced back to the first recorded flash mob events in Britain and New York in 2007. (Yes…I’ve read up on this and there is a wealth of information out there) in fact there isn’t really a definite reason for why people gather to carry out some truly remarkable feats in public without any inhibitions at all. If anybody claims to know what the point behind flash mobbing is…well…they’re making it up.

Flash mobs have no political agendas and no hard hitting social messages to spread. On the 27th Of November, 2011 – 200 ordinary Mumbaikars came together for the pure joy of dancing. With ‘Rang De Basanti’ booming from the CST speakers the mob danced their hearts out while surprised train commuters rushed in to see what the hell was going on. Many even joined the mob and gave vent to some seriously complicated Bollywood footwork!

How does it work?

Flash Mobs have become an internet phenomenon of the 21st century. Although Flash Mobs don’t happen online, they are organized using social media, viral emails, or websites in general. Mass messages go out giving details about the time, venue, specific instructions and a whole list of to do’s.

What I love most about this phenomenon is that people willingly come together with total strangers and put on something simply to put smiles on the faces of people doing their everyday activities or work. I have never been in the right place at the right time to see a flash mob in action but it would be a privilege to have that opportunity.

Where do they take place?

Flash mobs have appeared all over the world at the most unlikely spots. CST Station in Mumbai, The Macy’s outlet in New York, Grand Central Station, Piccadilly Circus and even malls and airports worldwide to name just a few and continue to attract participants in large numbers.

 Finally – What is the point I’m making?

You see, we all take life way too seriously- we take our work and often ourselves too seriously too. What flash mobs do is bring a little life and a little joy – even if it’s only fleeting. They force us to smile…to laugh…to clap along and keep beat…they remind us that life can be fun too and that it’s important to take time off to just enjoy yourself, to have fun, to sing, to dance, to scream, to laugh and to just be!

For all you serious thinkers out there, I know you’re thinking of how wrong this could all go and how people can be manipulated into doing dangerous things…and you’re right…I’ve thought of all those things too, but on some closer study you’ll see that there is actually quite a bit of method to all this madness and that individuals are not entirely at risk.

Just watch some of these videos …I promise you…you’ll smile again!


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