Formerly SpringBlog

Sunday, April 3, 2011


The idea of a flash mob is new to me, so when discussing flash mobs in class last Thursday, I was still a little bit confused on the whole idea. We discussed how the media enables us to get large groups of people together to accomplish something by using flash mobs, and I was ecstatic to see a new show by FOX called Mobbed. The purpose of the show is to allow people to tell their greatest secrets in very dramatic and theatrical ways. The episode that I saw, which I believe was the very first episode aired, was about a man who wanted to propose to his girlfriend. Not only did producers want him to propose, but they wanted him to ask her to marry him right then and there on the spot. They also wanted to create a bit of conflict by bringing another woman into the picture at the beginning of the set up to stir things up a bit (all for the viewers pleasure of course). The man agreed to everything and the preparation began.

Host Howie Mendel uses flash mob to gather hundreds of strangers to meet in a certain area to sing and dance while the man proposes and then marries his once girlfriend, now wife. The show portrays all of the work that goes into such a quick production and how truly random the participants are. The flash mob learns the choreography for the dance but it is clear that many of the mobbers who have come out for the performance are not experienced dancers. Some of them said that they follow the choreographers who taught the dance and they saw their flash mob ad and that is why they came out. For whatever reason that all of these mobbers gathered, it made for one amazing proposal. The evening started out in a restaurant where the girlfriend became angered over a planned out intrusion by another woman. The man ran off while the servers started to sing and dance all while pointing the woman in the next direction. As they directed her through the streets, she was met by her soon to be husband where he danced, proposed, and then got married.

I cannot wait to watch some of the other episodes on Mobbed. I think that the idea of random people gathering for one purpose without really knowing what is going on is so cool. The performance had to be put together very fast but it was amazing and definitely something worth watching. I think it would be such a neat experience to be a part of a flash mob. Who knows... maybe someday I will.

You can watch part of the performance here:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Personal Responsibility: A Novel Concept?

Throughout our discussion of the digital age, more specifically the rise of digital social technology, it seems that we have come to a crossroads in how to deal with the vast and ever-increasing information that we are exposed to that hurls itself at the speed of light towards us. "With great power comes great responsibility." If you are any kind of nerd like I am, that line has been used to sum up an overarching theme within the Spiderman universe that has at times crossed over into the mainstream. Perhaps its popularity resides in its simplicity. Every great technological innovation usually has led to great praise and at times severe consequences. So I see no difference in how social media has brought both of these issues to the forefront. Perhaps what is most important to understand is that a powerful and innovative social tool can breed many darker aspects. The automobile gave rise to the birth of mass transportation in America, allowing them to traverse the country on their own terms, perpetuating our need for freedom and independence. However, it also allowed criminals in the twenties and thirties to rob banks and make speedy getaways from slower police vehicles. On a much broader scale, automobile accidents and fatalities rank much higher than any other forms of transportation. I would doubt however, that many people see the automobile as an innovation that has plagued society.
What we have come to understand is that risk will always be involved. Every time you crawl into an automobile you run the risk of severe injury or even death. While federal regulations have stepped in to reduce this risk in terms of speed limits and safety standards, what matters most is personal responsibility. So as we have come to adapt to the fast-changing world of social technology, that need for personal responsibility is even more important. This is due to the fact that our government, being a democracy acts extremely slow to new innovations, and the speed that technology is traveling has exacerbated that problem. However, an individual can act much more quickly in deciding how best to use this ever-increasing digital information and spread the word to others. The power is right there in the technology itself.