Flash Parties, the offspring of Flash Mobs, yet another Example of Teenage Immaturity and Unethical Behavior
Teens Crash former ex-NFL Player Brian Holloway’s home and document their obnoxious behavior on social media
Today’s teenagers think and act at least five years younger than their chronological age. The latest example of immature young kids acting ridiculously is flash parties whereby a group of young people plan a secret event and then stage it in public or, in the example of ex-NFL player Brian Holloway, hold an unauthorized party in his house and invite hundreds through Twitter and Facebook postings.
On Labor Day weekend 2013, about 300 teenagers broke into Brian Holloway’s second home in Stephentown, N.Y. and threw a flash party that caused $20,000 in damage. Holloway was away at the time living in his Tampa, Florida home. Oddly, Holloway found out about the party from his son who told his dad he was receiving tweets about a party at their home in Stephentown.
After the event was over, Holloway looked at tweets of the event such as: 'I'm partying with the NFL.' 'I've never seen so much alcohol in my life', 'I can't wake her up', 'Oh we're being busted. We gotta hide. Get rid of all the drugs.'
Holloway contacted police, but by the time they arrived, the damage was done. The partygoers smashed windows and glass doors, urinated on carpets, made holes in the ceilings, and stole an eagle statue that was part of a memorial for his stillborn grandson.
In a CNN interview, Holloway contemplated how to save the 300 lives of kids that thought the flash party was a good idea. He began a campaign to not only hold the teens responsible, but to also address the problem of teen alcohol and drug use.
"So I used the same technology they did to communicate to them and unveil this conversation that was going on," Holloway said.
He compiled a list of the tweets and photos from the party to identify the teens, and he created a website, www.helpmesave200.com.
"We have 170 tweets with people and their pictures, so we know who was there just by doing security searches with the sheriffs," Holloway said.
As a result of his work with law enforcement, he says that 200 partygoers have been identified and the rest were expected to be as well.
Holloway said parents threatened him after he posted pictures of their children online in an attempt to hold them accountable. He was perplexed by the response of parents who had ignored the fact their kids broke in, took drugs, used roofies, and engaged in underage drinking.
Holloway thought he had the answer to personal responsibility. He invited the parents and teens to help clean up his home in preparation for a military personnel picnic that up to 1,000 people were expected to attend. Fifty volunteers showed up to clean up the home, but only four persons who were there actually attended the party.
The scariest flash party event was held on August 10-11 when hundreds of revelers flocked to the Manhattan Bridge in New York City for a pop-up electronic dance party. The party brought roughly 600 people to a pedestrian walkway in the middle of the Manhattan Bridge and was hosted without a permit.
Dubbed “Xandernation,” the event was organized by Brooklyn native Alexander Shlaferman, a 19-year-old New York University dropout who has made a fortune running a multimillion dollar toy company.
“What more could you ask for? Everybody else is stuck in a little box they call a New York City club,” Shlaferman told the N.Y. Post. “We had people out in the open air for free, having the time of their life.”
According to the Post, the party started around 9 p.m. on the 10th and lasted almost three hours. Soon after 12:30 a.m. on the 11th, police from Brooklyn’s 84th Precinct arrived and took Shlaferman and two other organizers into custody.
“The sergeant said he’s never seen anything like that in 15 years,” said Shlaferman. “I told him, ‘Thank you.’"
Flash parties are the offspring of flash mobs that have been occurring for several years and often target retailers. I have blogged before about these social media-driven events whereby swarms of teenagers and young adults who plot via Twitter, phone texts and Facebook invite others to descend on stores and steal merchandise. They gather in masses, organized through social media or during large events to shock and stop witnesses in their tracks. But these aren't satirical flash mobs — they're planned heists, and they're gaining momentum in youth circles across the country.
Ironically, flash robbers, like flash partiers who, one would think, want to remain anonymous get caught on security cameras, and become fodder for YouTube. What does it say about a growing group of kids ages 15 and up that they value social media exposure more than doing the right thing? Do they even know what the right thing to do is? Are they even aware of societal values that emphasize respect for others and personal responsibility? I doubt it and the blame starts with the parents who don’t seem to be able to (or don’t care to) control the behavior of their kids.
Here is an example of what I mean: Several parents of the kids who partied at Brian Holloway’s home are considering filing lawsuits against him because he posted their names on www.helpmesave300.com including photos and tweets (made by their little darlings) that documented the reckless destruction.
The problem with parents today is they fail to set limits of behavior for their kids; fail to expect their kids to own up to their actions and take responsibility for them; and fail to hold their kids accountable for their actions. Why is this happening to such extremes today? It is because all these kids see around them in society is bad behavior being rewarded, those who commit crimes not serving the time, and leaders who pursue their own interests without regard to what is in the best interests of the country. Why should we expect young kids to be any different and recognize their role in the community; act in accordance with accepted standards of behavior; and step forward and man-up when caught violating the tenets of good behavior that have been the backbone of our society since the beginning in 1776.
Blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on December 12, 2013