Urban & Hip-Hop Clothes. Street Style
Flash Mobs
October 04, 2013
By eMaReL, Special to Urbanlabel.NET


Nothing can cheer you up on a lousy day like a good old flash mob. A group of people gathers in a crowd of unassuming onlookers and without warning breaks out in dance, freezes, or engages in some other out of the ordinary activity. It’s surprising, it’s bizarre, and it’s just downright awesome.
In the summer of 2003, e-mails from themobproject@yahoo.com began to circulate inviting people to convene in a public place to take part in a random act with the sole purpose of confusing others.  The first successful mob took place in a New York Macy’s.  There, hundreds of mobbers entered the store in search of a “love rug.”  After that, about 200 people flooded the lobby and mezzanine of the Hyatt Hotel in synchronized applause for about fifteen seconds, and next a shoe boutique in SoHo was invaded by participants pretending to be tourists on a bus trip.
The idea of these mobs (and influence to future mobs) came from a man known only as “Bill.”  In 2006, the identity of “Bill” was revealed to be Harper’s Magazine editor Bill Wasik.  According to an interview with stayfreemagazine.org, his goal was to create an internet meme where people would simply be invited to do nothing to become part of the next big thing.
After the first New York flash mobs, USA Today, Newsweek, CNN, and Wired Magazine covered the new phenomenon.  These articles explained their organization by the mysterious “Bill” through the use of e-mail listservs.  These articles emphasize the random fun mobbers were having as well as the role technology and the Internet played into their success.
Soon, the New York Times ran their take on the flash mob craze:  the backlash.  This article told the stories of people using the Internet to spread anti-flash-mob sentiments, the lack of a point and even the decline of interest of mobbers themselves.

Mobs today
Flash mobs are still popular in certain cities and college campuses.  The idea of random fun or sudden protest still appeals to both young and old.  Advancements in communication technology like text messages and social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook have helped people easily organize flash mobs.
Mobs today do not receive the same media attention as the first mobs of 2003, but some local media outlets continue to cover flash mobs in their area. 
Mobs tomorrow
Flash mobs will continue as long as people are amused by taking part in random acts of silliness.  While the media exposure may continue to decline, the mobs themselves will live on through videos posted on Web sites such as YouTube, which currently has hundreds of flash mob videos available for viewing.