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Dangerous Flash Mobs: Are Flash Mobs Positive or Negative?

What Do We Say About Flash Mobs


Social networking got a bad rap this past week, being named as the cause of the violent flash mob in Philadelphia and destructive riots in London.

While flash mobs were once an entertaining phenomenon – large groups of people breaking out into song or dance – they have recently become violent, with large groups breaking into stores, ransacking malls and assaulting innocent people. Social media is the vehicle for organizing these events.

Have you been invited to a flash mob, positive or negative? Do you know friends who have participated? What are your thoughts?


Sure social networking is responsible for the current riots and mob violence, but throughout history riots happened without things like Facebook or Twitter. If people have a cause, they will join together and make their voices heard. It has happened all over the world as far back as any of us can remember. Sure, social networking just makes it easier to pull things like that together, but the over all benefit of networking and the fact that riots happen with or without networking makes people’s attempt to pinpoint Facebook as a tool of terror seem laughable.

And yes actually I have seen many flash mobs and have participated in one. And in fact the one that I did participate in was not created through a social networking site.

If you haven’t seen this one yet, CHECK OUT THE BEST FLASH MOB EVER!!!! GO BUCKS!


Facebook has brought our society together in a way that could never have been done before. I strongly believe that the world is entering a new age of communication that allows for people to identify with each other and take action in ways they were never able to before.

Like everything in life, this has its pros and cons. Being able to assemble massive groups of people under one purpose wields more power than most people can imagine. It can be destructive. However, the world is not run by anarchists, and I do believe that the pros outweigh the cons. Regardless of what people think, this is the way life is going to be from now on. So we better get used to it and do what we can to keep things civilized. I’ve been invited to a few flash mobs, and they all seemed very creative and fun. If we start fearing flash mobs and involving police in the most innocent gatherings, then they are more likely to become disasters.


For every one negative action organized over Facebook or other social networking sites, there are probably 250 positive events. Parties, birthdays, hangouts with friends, meeting new people, and more are all organized over social networking systems. I think that when we hear about riots or violent flash mobs that occurred and were organized over Facebook, we forget about the way social networking has brought our society together. When something goes wrong, I think we all like to blame these social networking sites. I don’t think these sites were created for people to get together and cause mayhem, so why blame the creators of social networking systems or the sites themselves?


All technology has plusses and minuses. We can certainly blame Twitter and Facebook for the violent flash mobs, but how about all the great ones (such as the Ohio State one above). Even more important is the significant role that those same social media play in the opposition in Iran, Egypt, Libya and Syria. Through the internet people are able to gather and rise up against tyranny and oppression.

Don’t hate the technology. Hold the people that abuse it responsible.

Mindy Gallagher is the Social Media Manager for Your Teen Magazine. She is the assistant coach for the girls’ lacrosse team for Solon High School in Ohio.

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