The Mob Mentality

Some mobs are good; Mobb Deep, Goodie Mob. Some mobs are bad; Capone, Giancana. And some mobs are just plain our wrong; lynch, flash.

Most of the examples above are debatable (with the exception of lynch) except the flash mob.  Here in Philly, teens have started to massively gather in an area for no other reason other than being told to do so by Facebook, text message and word of mouth.  The media, in it’s effort of sensationalism, has labeled them flash mob which happens to be the most recent buzz word for large gatherings of people.

No one, including the participants themselves know how or why this started or even why they are doing it.  Regardless of this, some members of these crowds have caused problems in their meeting spaces by fights, looting and causing damage.  Of course this doesn’t sit nicely with the inhabitants of the areas which they are rightfully justified for feeling as such.

Throwing away the thought that these gatherings have only happened about 2 or 3 times as of this writing I wonder why can’t our youth gather for a cause rather than random mass loitering.  I as well as many others, would have applauded them had this been a protest on the Healthcare Bill to say "Yes, we want this for our future!" or even to demand an education bill of the same magnitude.  Come on youth, give us something to say that you are ready to step up and take the lead where the previous generation let you down.

Of course I can’t put the blame solely on the youth.  There are many factors here.  First there is the organizers whom ever they may be.  Was this done for the sole purpose of causing trouble or was the meaning lost somehow?  Secondly, the media, merchants and law enforcement may have over reacted at bit.  Why’s that?  Well, if you look at the videos below you will see that there’s little to no media coverage of outrage against the events below. True these events were clearly planned and thought out, there’s just something about jumping at the chance to label a large gathering of young black people as a problem that bothers me.  But of course we can’t let them off for the trouble some people did cause.

So what should we take from this? 

  1. If your going to gather in a large group, know what it is for and if you don’t know, don’t show.  No need to be a sheep following the herd. 
  2. If you are going to be part of a flash mob, make sure you are doing something cool like the people below.  Some of them are stupid but they don’t have the police commissioner and mayor threatening to change curfew laws.
  3. If you are going to organize a flash mob, see #2.



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