It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
Over a year ago, Mumbai train commuters were astonished when Rang de basanti blared out through the PA system and a group of 200-odd people broke up out into a pre-planned, synchronized dance completely out of the blue. As one spectator declared with a beam on his face, “It was thoroughly entertaining!”
This sudden and unexpected burst of dance in a public place where no one is expecting it, is known as a flash mob and besides being just about the coolest thing ever, it is also one of the most widespread social phenomenon of our time. So what are these flash mobs, where did they come from and what’s the message they are managing to get across to the world today?
Wikipedia defines it as a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and sometimes seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire or artistic expression. However, over the last 2 years, as with most popularized things, many companies and brands have found a way to make them commercially viable as an advertising technique. Case in point – Dubai airport’s recent flash mob that went completely viral was really a form of advertising their new prepaid airport mastercard for which they wanted to spread awareness.
Many people rejected the idea of such commercial and political gimmicks being referred to as ‘flash mobs’ though and now the term ‘smart mobs’ is often applied to any such gathering that has an underhanded motive in general.
The first flash mob ever is said to have taken place in 2003 in Manhattan and was organized by Bill Wasik, senior editor of Harper’s magazine.
Wasik claimed that he created flash mobs as a social experiment designed to poke fun at hipsters and to highlight the cultural atmosphere of conformity and of wanting to be an insider or part of "the next big thing." Really though it seems as though the entire thing might have backfired on him because what it has really done is provide conformity a vehicle in which they can appear non-conformist.
One way or the other, there’s no point attempting to break down and analyze something as purely fun and creative as this. It came into force as something that was meant to be enjoyed and we should all keep it that way.
And if you happen to have been really out of the loop and have never seen one before here’s a great flash mob for your viewing pleasure:
-Picture courtesy thinkstock-
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