American teenagers have been doing stupid things probably since the days of the Revolution, but today, courtesy of social media, they can almost instantaneously multiply their numbers and the amount of damage their stupid behavior causes. Posting incriminating tweets about and photographs of that behavior on the Internet goes beyond the realm of foolishness, however, and it enabled former New England Patriots offensive tackle Brian Holloway to use social media to expose these deplorable actions. Painful as it may be to see, it should be seen.
As many as 300 teenagers are thought to have participated in a "flash party" at Mr. Holloway's home in Stephentown, N.Y. over Labor Day weekend, causing extensive damage. With Mr. Holloway living primarily in Florida, no one was home when the house was broken into, and word quickly spread via Twitter and other means that a party was about to start there. The result was urine-soaked carpets, vulgar graffiti, broken windows and door frames and empty bottles of alcohol strewn about. Perhaps unaware or not carrying that their communications were transported via the World Wide Web, the partygoers thoughtfully chronicled and posted their misdeeds on Twitter.
This made it relatively easy for Mr. Holloway to collect the photos and the names of roughly 100 of the flash partiers and post them on a website for all to view. This has angered a few of the parents of the miscreants, but they would probably feel differently if it was one of their homes that hosted the party. Police are using this information in their investigation.
A motivational speaker, Mr. Holloway asserts that the 300 partiers, from Pittsfield to Albany and points in between, are in need of help, and he makes a good case on his website, which is called helpmesave300.com. The graffiti that greeted Mr. Holloway when he returned to Stephentown contains vulgarities and the tweets from participants in the flash party are riddled with them. "So glad my parents don't give a f
what I do," read a tweet from one young man. Reading that, it is possible for anger to turn to pity.
A crew of six Cohoes High School students and some parents did cleanup and repair work at the house, but that is a tiny fraction of those directly (partiers) and indirectly (parents) responsible for this disgrace. "Perfect way to end the summer," tweeted one partygoer, and that trashing someone's home and bragging about it on social media represents the ideal summer's end speaks poorly not only of the tweeter but of more area young people than many of us would like to think possible.