Flash Robs: Teens Organize Negative Actions On Social Media

Today’s post comes from Ypulse’s Research Intern Phil Savarese.

Flash Robs: Teens Organize Negative Actions On Social Media

Millennials always want to be a part of something much bigger than themselves and the popularity of flash mobs is evidence to that. Social media makes it easier to orchestrate large events out of thin air and being part of a large group takes away the fear of being self-conscious to cut loose. A recent Lifeline quote stated: “Flash mobs are a big trend because it's easier to be crazy in a large group with a small amount of anonymity.” (Female, 25, FL).

But with the popularity and mass appeal of flash mobs, a sub-culture has emerged. Flash robs are a mischievous and dangerous type of flash mob, where participants (usually teens) gather at retail stores among other places and rush inside. Once there, they proceed to grab as much as they can and leave as quickly as possible. In and out.

Over the past few years, flash robs have become more common. Store owners are worried for the safety of both their customers and their stores profits. CBS New York reported on a wave of flash robs that have targeted various newsstands and convenience stores. One shop owner has been targeted a total seven times. In recent attacks, an employee was struck with a bottle and hospitalized while another left a customer with a broken arm. 

In 2011, the robberies got the attention of Washington state legislators. The Wall Street Journal reported that Senator Mike Carroll proposed a law that will classify a flash rob as organized retail theft (a felony) if nine or more individuals planned the crime using electronic messages and collectively steal $250 (previously $750) or more. Other legislators are worried that the decrease in the minimum amount stolen will cause the…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “There was a travel commercial where the mother was stressed and daydreaming about laying on the beach escaping it all and then told the benefits and specials of the travel company. I felt like this commercial made parenting look like a chore and children something to be escaped.” –Female, 32, MA

It’s only April, but talk of prom is already buzzing. Promposals are a trend we highlighted last year, and as they become increasingly popular, they’re also becoming increasingly pricey. According to a Visa survey, this year the creative, out there, and publicized prom invites are costing an average of $324. Although these numbers are only predictions of what will be spent, they illustrate the popularity and growing importance of the new custom. On average, the promposal makes up about a third of the total cost of prom, which for 2015 is said to be $919 for everything including clothes, limos, tickets, flowers, and so on—down 6% from last year. (Washington Post)

Need some midweek inspiration? Well, this will either make you feel motivated or extremely jealous: These 12 teens are probably making more money than you, and if they aren’t now, they will be soon. The list includes a 17-year-old who has made millions with her jewelry company, app developers, self-published authors, and YouTube stars—all “beacons of multi-tasking excellence” who founded their companies while simultaneously going to school, applying to college, and just trying to do normal teenage things. (Inc.)

Here’s another Millennial name to keep an eye on: Olajide “KSI” Olatunji is a 21-year-old YouTube star who has used gaming, vlogging, and his online experience to become a self-made millionaire. KSI is being featured in Vice’s e-sports documentary series, and is reportedly the second most watched YouTube channel in the UK, with almost 9 million subscribers, and 1.5 billion video views. Fans tune in for his “boisterous” personality and energetic gameplay. While some companies have severed ties with the rising star thanks to some NSFW antics, he is continuing to expand his brand to include merchandising, music, and acting. His fame could continue to grow as young e-sports stars become more mainstream figures. (Business Insider)

Grocery shopping: It might not be glamorous, but it is a regular part of most consumers’ lives—including Millennials. As supermarkets struggle, they’re working to win over this generation of shoppers by stocking more of the foods they want, like “local, craft and fermented foods, and big international flavors (i.e., kimchi).” Experts also advise making grocery shopping an experience rather than a chore by hosting seasonal events, tastings, and cooking demos, to foster the “connection and community” Millennials want. Finally, eliminating store visits altogether might be necessary, as the “food tech sector is booming” and young consumers want everyday chores cut out of their schedules. (NPR)

Gender targeting isn’t just an issue in the toy aisle; it’s also extremely common on the mobile apps the next generation is spending a lot of their time on. But some parents don’t want their kids to feel excluded from certain games, or play in spaces where pink is only for girls and only boys can play with cars. Popular app developer Toca Boca recently announced that they’re actively focusing on creating gender neutral content to make all of their games more inclusive. Their Toca Hair Salon app has male, female, and androgynous characters, and the Toca Cars game features a brother and sister who are equally good at driving their cars. From the colors used in a science lab to the shape of robots, the developer works to create “gender balance” and make apps that appeal to boys and girls equally. (coolmomtechToca Boca)

Who has time to sift through data? If you do, please let us know your secret. For those of you who don’t, we have good news. Ypulse regularly publishes informative Infographic Snapshots to make even complex data easy to understand and quick to digest. These infographics are data visualizations that take our proprietary monthly survey stats and synthesize them to tell a story about this generation’s behaviors and views. (Ypulse)

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