May
18
2009

OMG! Is this why my liver hurts all the time?

I thought you said this was a "bar": Apparently the branding was cleverer than we had thought.
I thought you said this was a "bar": Apparently the branding was cleverer than we had thought.Courtesy SWP Moblog
I… I think I may have a drinking problem.

This isn’t so much based on an analysis of my own lifestyle, as it is on which pithily-termed demographic I belong to. It’s just that I’m not totally sure exactly which group I belong to.

See, for years I was pretty sure belonged to the Pepsi Generation, but then that turned out to be an ad campaign that ran its course in the twenty years before I was born. Talk about an identity crisis.

Then I hoped I might be part of Generation X, mostly because I was really into the X Men at the time, but my parents’ refusal to get cable pretty much put the kibosh on that. And it turned out that I was a couple years too young anyway, which put me firmly on the exploring end of Generation Y.

For the most part, Generation Y has suited me fairly well. Union dues are minimal, and group picnics are infrequent and subdued (mostly we’re just trying not to get mayo on our laptops). But now I hear I might be a “Cyber Millenial.”

I know what you’re thinking. “JGordon, don’t worry, buddy. It doesn’t matter what group you’re in. You’ll always be part of Generation JGordon, and nobody can take that away from you.”

Yeah, I know. Thanks. It’s just that if I am a Cyber Millenial, I might have a drinking problem. It turns out that many of us do. A new study has shown that today’s champion drinkers aren’t just frat boys and racing fans, but also so called Cyber Millenials—youngish, urban, college-educated professionals who are ironically also extremely health conscious.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the group behind the research, used a novel method called “audience segmentation” to identify the C.M.s as heavy drinkers. I think audience segmentation is sort of the reverse of looking at a group and trying to figure out what they’re into. Instead, it looks at an activity, a product, etc, and determines what groups are into it. The technique is generally used for marketing purposes, but when they combined data from an audience segmentation study with statistics from the CDC, NIAAA found that “heavy drinking” (defined as the consumption of five or more drinks in one sitting, at least twice a month) was dominated by Cyber Millenials.

It’s weird, because, as a group, Cyber Millenials are also into healthy foods, exercise, and not smoking. Researchers think the behavior might be a holdover from hard-partying college days, combined with the C.M.’s ability to buy lots of alcohol with the money from their fancy jobs. And it’s not good for them.

But I don’t care about anyone else. What about ME? Am I a Cyber Millenial? I get the feeling that Cyber Millenials are just yuppies who don’t want to be called yuppies, and wear ironic t-shirts instead of suits. I often wear ties, but I also have some very ironic t-shirts. (Some Japanese t-shirt designers can’t write in English as well as some American t-shirt designers? Hilarious!) I don’t think that gets me anywhere. I do own two Apple products, both aluminum, and that makes my liver nervous. But I don’t have internet at home, and if you say “QWERTY” around my phone, it just goes, “What?” That’s good, maybe.

I don’t have a gym membership, but I do have gym shorts.

I look for organic groceries, but I often wake up covered in Doritos.

I drive a hybrid car, but I litter constantly.

So, I don’t know… should I be concerned? What about y’all? Are you twittering, jogging, and blogging your way into alcoholism?

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

stephanowicz's picture

so cyber millenials are hypocrites? That's lame, and doesn't make me sound at all cool, no matter how many organic grocery stores I know my way around. Not that I do...

posted on Mon, 05/18/2009 - 12:49pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Seems like slackers is the term often used. Or is that gen X? DO

posted on Fri, 05/22/2009 - 3:11pm
DO's picture
DO says:

Most market segmentation theses days is based on attitudes and opinions. Once relatively homgeneous groups are formed their other characteristics are examined to determmine which are of interest and how best to reachthose who may be receptive to your products (or politics or issues these days!).

posted on Fri, 05/22/2009 - 3:10pm
rae's picture
rae says:

who drinks that much in one day?

posted on Sun, 05/24/2009 - 3:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this article is rather boring and not very informative.

posted on Mon, 05/25/2009 - 12:52pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

I'll accept that.

In fact, I rather think you're on to something.

posted on Mon, 05/25/2009 - 1:39pm

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