How Do You Segment Millennials? Based On Technology.

Author: #NAMB Guest Author, Entertainment

How do you define a millennial? How do you segment millennials?

It seems like almost every article on millennials cites a slightly different range of birth years. Strauss and Howe, the gentlemen who coined pop generational theory as we know it, defined millennials as those born between 1982 and 2004.

For the purposes of this article, a millennial is anyone born between 1981 and 2000, as it’s a neat 20 years, and because I think the turn of a millennium should start a new generation.

Do a Google search of ‘millennial’ and you’ll come across articles that perpetuate all sorts of generalizations. Millennials are lazy and entitled. Millennials value making a difference above all else. The reality is you can find millions of millennials who fit these generalizations, and millions who don’t.

However, one thing that many millennial articles do touch on is that during the boom of the millennial generation, social media, and technology in general, took off in full force. But, not all millennials grew up with each form of technology and social media. The technology that we’ve grown up with has helped each segment of the millennial generation. It’s shaped our likes and dislikes, what types of media we’ve had access to, and even some of our personality traits.

Since demographics are typically the dojo of the marketer, the blogosphere is overflowing with articles on how millennials are “killing” virtually every industry. But, how can an 18-year-old and a 35-year-old possibly share the same characteristics when they’ve never occupied any stage of life at the same time?

To accurately analyze millennials, or any generation for that matter, you have to segment the generation into subgroups of three to five years. For instance:

  1. Pre-Millennials: 1981 to 1983
  2. First Wave Millennials: 1984 to 1988
  3. Second Wave Millennials: 1989 to 1993
  4. Third Wave Millennials: 1994 to 1997
  5. Post-Millennials: 1998 to 2000

Pre-millennials and post-millennials are the transitional subgroups. Pre-millennials have more in common with late Gen-Xers than third wave millennials. Post-millennials have more in common with early Gen-Zers than they do with first wave.

Since one of the most-perpetuated millennial generalizations is that millennials are “digital natives,” the focus of my analysis is on 25 of the most significant technological milestones between 1995 and 2016. This range of years was chosen because it is when millennials ‘grew up,’ and it is during this time that our psychosocial makeup develops.

Pre-Millennials (1981-1983)

Age in 2017/2018: 34-36 

Pre-millennials were 12-14 when the world wide web went mainstream in 1995, and 14-16 when AIM launched in 1997. The internet as we know it didn’t really take shape until pre-millennials were in college. This subsection experienced their entire pre-pubescent childhood without the internet.

Pre-millennials were 16-18 when Napster launched in 1999. They, along with the youngest third of Gen X, were the first digital music pirates. Pre-millennials were a driving force behind Napster’s growth, as well as the normalization of music pirating.

Speaking of music, pre-millennials were 18-20 when the first iPod launched in 2001. They can remember burning CDs to listen to in their Sony Discman. They played a large role in the mass adoption of the iPod.

Pre-millennials tend to not have the social media obsession that is typically assigned to millennials, as they were 20-22 when MySpace launched and 21-23 when Facebook first launched to college students. They were also 28-30 when Snapchat was released, and tend to not have the affinity for Snapchat typically associated with millennials.

First Wave Millennials (1984-1988)

Age in 2017/2018: 29-33 

First wave millennials were 7-11 when the world wide web went mainstream. This subsection has memories of dial-up and pre-Google internet, as well as memories of a pre-internet childhood.

This subsection has inklings of digital nativity but are not the true digital natives. First wave millennials were 11-15 when Napster launched and 13-17 when the first iPod launched. Their adolescence was shaped by the ability to carry their entire music library in their pockets.

Three-fifths of first wavers were in college when Facebook launched to college students in 2004. They were the first adopters of Facebook and the start of the “Social Media-savvy” millennials. They were out of college by the time Instagram and Snapchat launched. First wavers may use these platforms now, but they were not the millennials behind their popularity explosion.

Second Wave Millennials (1989-1993)

Age in 2017/2018: 24-28

Second wave millennials were 2-6 when the World Wide Web went mainstream. They most likely do have some vague memories of life before the internet. It is in this subsection that the transformation from digital trailblazers to digital natives is complete.

Let’s look at music streaming as an example. Second wavers were 6-10 when Napster launched and were not a part of Napster’s growth. They were, however, big users of P2P services like Kazaa and Limewire. Pirating music was normal to them.

Second wave millennials were huge users of AIM in their pre-teen years, and they were 10-14 when MySpace launched in 2003. They were avid users of MySpace before Facebook opened up to high school students in 2005. Many were heavy users of Facebook in high school, and they are the first subsection to have every person they’ve known since high school as a Facebook friend.

This subsection has a large number of Apple loyalists among its ranks. They were 14-18 when the iPhone first launched, 15-19 when the App Store launched, and 19-23 when iMessage launched. Many got their first iPhone late in high school or early in college. They were 17-21 when Instagram launched and 18-22 when Snapchat launched, and were the trailblazers of the “selfie.”

Third Wave Millennials (1994-1997)

Age in 2017/2018: 20-23

Third wave millennials are the start of the true digital natives, as the oldest were only one year old when the World Wide Web went mainstream. They were only newborns and toddlers during all of the major digital milestones of the 90’s and do not have memories of a pre-internet childhood. They also don’t have memories of pre-MP3 world. They were 4-7 when the first iPod launched, and many most likely never have burned a CD or used a cassette.

When it comes to social media, third wavers were 6-9 when MySpace launched and 9-12 when Facebook launched to everyone 13 and up. Third wavers had Facebook accounts all throughout middle school and high school.

Third wave millennials were 10-13 when the iPhone launched and 11-14 when the App Store launched. Most third wavers probably got a Smartphone as their first cellphone in high school. They were 13-16 when Instagram launched and 14-17 when Snapchat launched, so they played a huge role in the growth of these two platforms. They were 15-18 when iMessage was released and played a huge role in the popularity of group messaging apps like WhatsApp.

Post-Millennials (1998-2000)

Age in 2017/2018: 17-19 

Post-millennials were unborn when the World Wide Web went mainstream and for most of the digital milestones of the ‘90s. To post-millennials, the internet was never “new” technology. They have always known the internet as a normal part of life, and they grew up in an era where buying and selling things on the internet became normalized. They were also never exposed to the pains of dial up internet, as WiFi went mainstream when they were 3-5.

Post-millennials were 1-3 when the iPod launched and grew up in a world where MP3 players were the norm. CDs to them are a foreign technology. Mobile music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify became the new normal for the music industry as post-millennials were in their teens.

When it comes to social media, post-millennials were 6-8 when Facebook launched to Everyone over 13, 5-7 when YouTube launched, 10-12 when Instagram launched, and 11-13 when Snapchat launched. Post-millennials had social media since they were preteens and have experienced their teen years in the age of social video. In this sense, they relate more to the oldest members of Gen Z than the oldest millennials.

 

If you were waiting for me to tell you how each of these millennial subgroups thinks and feels, then I’m sorry to disappoint you.

I think assigning psychosocial characteristics to a group based purely on demographic information such as birth year is utterly useless. Instead, what I hope to have accomplished with this article is a crack in the cognitive armor of those who have gotten all of their information regarding millennials from those on Madison Avenue. This chart gives you a method for taking a deeper look at the events that actually shaped the psychosocial development of millennials. With that being said, this is not meant to be anything but a conversation starter.

Am I missing any events that you felt had a huge impact on you growing up? I’m always down for a chat on Twitter (@BPucino).

About the Author:

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Brett Pucino is a multi-passionate millennial blogger who loves to write about entrepreneurship, career advice, branding, and personal development. He is a regular contributor for ChelseaKrost.com and JustHaves.com, and is in the process of becoming a career coach under the guidance of Jay R. Lang of BreakthroughJobCoach.com.

 

 

Wedding Cake

Wedding Planning for Millennials: Balancing Apps, a Budget and Your Sanity

Author: #NAMB Guest Author, The Dating Game

One minute my boyfriend was kneeling in the wet grass with a beaming smile and a shiny diamond. I blinked my eyes, and I was standing on a pedestal in my first choice bridal salon while wearing the gown of my dreams. I was starting the process of wedding planning, and discovered that time really escapes you as a bride-to-be.

Somewhere in between the two events I probably cried four times, was told by a family member which single style of wedding dress my plus size body would look good in and asked when I planned to get pregnant (you know I’m not getting any younger). Your bookstore wedding planner won’t tell you about these fun details. They also don’t tell you that you might just call your fiancé once or twice and ask if you can simply elope in Hawaii. The answer is always no, in case you were wondering.

I’m not going to fib—planning a wedding takes dedication and some extra doses of positivity. I learned early on that zero planning can happen when the bride is running on fumes. You’ll only exhaust yourself and scare the local Starbucks staff. I now make sure I have “me” time, as in no wedding planning, no fitness training or meal prepping and no emails. Last Friday I sat in bed watching The Great Gatsby from under my comforter. Zero guilt.

It’s definitely hard to escape the constant need to write to-do lists and check for emails from vendors every five minutes—especially as an avid smartphone user. Within 48 hours of being engaged, I downloaded various wedding planning apps and viewed a number of websites —each with their own timelines for planning.

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Although I found these timelines to be helpful as general guides, I’ve decided not to use them as the ultimate outline for my wedding planning. They throw in a lot of unnecessary, anxiety-inducing tasks. Book your day after the wedding brunch? Hire a personal trainer? Interview babysitters to watch your guests’ children? No thanks. I check the apps maybe once or twice a month just to make sure I’m generally on top things.

My true path to organization has been my wedding binder. I took elements from the physical wedding planning books my friends and family purchased for me, and organized them in a way that made sense to me. The wedding binder lives in two places—in the car or on the dining room table. The sooner you can organize yourself in a way that makes sense to your brain, the more mentally stable you will be in the long run. Trust me on this.

One of the most aggravating aspects of wedding planning for engaged couples is the big old budgeting task. Everyone has a different budget, and all I can say is try your best to stay on track. Most importantly, leave some wiggle room in the funds. Don’t overextend yourself, because there can be hidden expenses you never accounted for. It’s all just part of the process. Just find yourself a fiancé who cuddles well and pours wine as often as needed.

Which brings me to another important point: make sure that you and your fiancé continue to make time for each other throughout the process. Don’t lose sight of what brought you here in the first place. You’re still dating– spend time together using some of these date ideas. In many cases, you’re still balancing your relationship with not only your wedding planning, but also with work. It can be done. It’s not only about the wedding. It’s about the two of you, together.

My last bit of advice is super unpopular. I avoid Pinterest-only wedding planning at all costs. Although it’s certainly helpful for inspiration and ideas when needed, every aspect of one’s wedding shouldn’t be drawn from a super perfect Pinterest ideal. If you pinned a wedding dress in 2013, chances are the designer discontinued the style already.The flowers from your inspiration bouquet may not be in season for your wedding, and therefore super pricey. Don’t fall in love with only one idea—be open to changes as needed. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the end result.

At the end of the day, it can be hard to remember the most important part—this is truly a labor of love. I trust that every worry will work out, even the tiniest of details. When family and friends tell me to simply enjoy the process, I know that at times I really will. I think of how happy my fiancé will be when he sees me walk down that aisle, and I realize it’s all worth it.

About the Author: 

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Alaina Gizzo graduated from Salve Regina University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and English Communications. Currently living in Long Island’s wine country, she is an insurance professional with a passion for collecting antique books. When she’s not at the office, the local bookstore or a winery/brewery tasting room, she can be found befriending almost any furry creature on four legs.

Millennials Have Revamped Dating

Author: Michelle Ioannou, The Dating Game

Do you remember growing up in the ’90s and watching Saved By The Bell and thinking to yourself, “I can’t wait until I’m in high school so I can date like Kelly and Zack?” I distinctly remember watching my favorite shows and getting a glimpse into what dating was like — two people would meet, one asks for the other one’s number, and then a date happens. Little did I know that by the time it was my turn to enter the dating scene this wouldn’t necessarily be the case.

Millennials have revamped dating.

No longer do people meet while out, exchange numbers, and go on a date. Don’t get me wrong, of course it still happens, but it’s not nearly as prevalent as it used to be. Between online dating websites, dating apps and even social media, you don’t even need to be out anymore to meet someone.

In fact, in terms of what I’ve seen at least, being approached at a bar or a club is becoming less and less common. When millennials go out, they stick to their groups. They stick to the people they came with. Not that the practice has become nonexistent, but millennials are just not seeing someone at a bar, and going up to that person to say hi anymore. People aren’t meeting the same ways that they have in the past.

Is this phenomenon a bad thing? Well, that’s up to you.

We’ve come to an age where we don’t even have to leave our couch to meet someone. Why even go out then? We already know that millennials are not frequenting nightclubs as much as those of generations past did. I know that I can vouch for this fact – there’s just less of an appeal. Why are we going to go out, spend more money than we should, feel like crap the next day due to a hangover and wear clothes that aren’t comfy when we can instead lounge on the couch in sweats and still meet someone?

Dating just isn’t the same anymore.

People are meeting online. They’re meeting on apps. They’re meeting on social media. People are messaging and texting with each other before they even go on their first date, and get a feel for each other without even having to go on a date.

Plus, let’s not forget the fact that millennials are getting married at later ages than those of past generations. Of course this fact has an affect on dating – it’s arguably not as necessary as it once was. Millennials starting out in their careers may not even have time to date as they are trying to prove themselves in their respective fields.

Dating is a lot more casual than it once was. If you get a first date that includes dinner and a movie, consider yourself lucky. In fact, if you get a first date that includes anything more than grabbing coffee or grabbing a drink, consider yourself lucky. First dates have become significantly less formal (for the most part, that is).

Millennials are “talking” instead of dating. They hook up. They may go on casual dates here and there. They play around on dating apps to see what’s out there or for a quick fix. They aren’t getting married right out of college like members of past generations did.

Is any of this wrong? Once again, that’s up for you to decide.

We do know that millennials can sustain healthy, long-term relationships. We do know that millennials do date – but they are meeting each other in new ways.

Millennials are revamping the dating scene. I personally am still trying to figure it all out, but until I do, I’ll keep watching reruns of Saved By The Bell to fantasize about what dating once was.

5 Dating Apps To Use Other Than Tinder

Author: Michelle Ioannou, The Dating Game

Keep on swiping right, don’t worry. I’m not telling you to delete Tinder — trust me, I know as well as the next person how entertaining Tinder can be, and I also know as well as the next person that relationships have started on Tinder.

I’m just here to broaden your horizons, and introduce you to some other dating apps that you may enjoy even more than Tinder.

Happn
What makes Happn unique is that it matches you with people whom you cross paths with. That’s right, instead of just inputting a specific mile radius, you’re instead being shown people whom you have actually crossed paths with. Still not understanding? Let’s say you frequent a coffee shop. If you were to go on Happn after this visit, you may find someone who was also at that coffee shop at the same time. Happn shows you exactly where you crossed paths with the other person, as well as how many times you have crossed paths with said person. Once two people like each other, a conversation can start.

Hinge
Remember when people used to set their friends up? Well, that’s sort of the premise of Hinge, except your friends don’t have to do any work. Hinge connects with your Facebook page to show you other singles on the app whom you have at least one mutual friend with. What makes this app even more unique is that it shows more information than others, such as interests and religion (assuming the other person filled it out in his or her profile). Additionally, once two people like each other, not only can a conversation start, but you’re also able to see the person’s full name. That’s right, you can then go to whomever the mutual friend may be and and ask that friend for the scoop.

Bumble
Bumble is similar to Tinder, which makes sense as it was created by Whitney Wolfe, Tinder’s cofounder who is no longer with the company. What makes Bumble unique is that once two people match, a conversation can’t just automatically be started – females must make the first move. That’s right, this app is defying traditionalism by having girls initiate. Additionally, once there’s a match, a female only has 24 hours to send a chat and if she doesn’t, the match disappears. In terms of same-sex relationships, this app allows either to send the first chat once there’s a match.

Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel is huge on quality versus quantity, meaning there’s a significantly less chance (if there’s even any chance) of you finding an obscene pic or an almost nude that you may find on other apps. Every day, the app sends you a new match. What makes this app even cooler? There’s a “private line.” When you match with someone, you have the ability to send messages to your match via your phone, but without giving the other person your phone number. You have a week of chatting through this private line before you have to decide whether you want to continue this conversation by giving the other person your phone number.

Social Media
People should start considering social media a dating app. Of course, the entire purpose of social media is not to find a significant other like these other apps are; however, relationships have started on social media. In case you missed it, I explored the idea of how social media should be considered a dating app last month. Assuming the message is appropriate, pay attention the next time someone slides into your DMs.

Your Finance Cheat Sheet

Adulting, Author: Michelle Ioannou

Not all of us are good at finance. In fact, not all of us even understand finance. No, it’s not because we’re dumb millennials — it’s because we’re human beings and we’re unfortunately not perfect. This situation, of course, raises an important question as to how are we supposed to be responsible with our money when we don’t even know where to start?

Well fellow millennials, here’s a little cheat sheet full of great assets for you to utilize to better understand finance.

Twitter
You’re already on Twitter, so why not follow financial advisors? Plus, some of these advisors tailor their work specifically towards millennials. You can get financial advice in 140 characters or less, plus sometimes they even tweet out other free resources to help you. Unsure of who to follow? Douglas A. Boneparth and Winnie Sun are a great start!

Podcasts
With podcasts all the rage, why not spend some time listening to ones that can help you with your finance skills? You can drive to work and better understand finance at the same time.

You Need A Budget
Yes fellow millennials, we (most likely) unfortunately do need a budget—and this podcast is upfront with you about it, which in turn will help you budget.

Listen, Money Matters! 
That name grabbed your attention, didn’t it? Mine too. It gets better. If you go to their website, in big letters it says “manage your money like a badass.” Interested yet? You should be.

Blogs
Do you prefer reading to listening to podcasts, or enjoy doing both? Here are some fun blogs for you to read—and yes, I did just refer to finance blogs as fun.

Millennial Money Man 
Don’t be fooled by the name, this blog is very much applicable to women too—and, well, the name is pretty self-explanatory. This blog has been featured on Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Forbes and many more, so you know it’s legit.

Budgets Are Sexy
Before I continue, do you see a trend with budgets here? Budgets are so crucial, and sexy (of course). There are plenty of ways to save money shared on this blog, as well as free budget templates.

Broke Millennial
Raise your hand if this sounds like you! You are not alone. I repeat, you are not the only broke millennial in this world. This blog will not only show you that there are others in similar situations to you, but also show ways to stop being broke.

Apps
There’s an app for that! But really…there are many apps out there to help you budget (ah, that key word again!) and keep track of your finances. Mint is arguably the most common money manager that I know of, used by many of my friends (I should probably download it as well, right?).

Books
Ah yes, the good ‘ole fashion book! Of course, there are loads of books out there to help you with your finances — and no, I’m not talking about Personal Finance For Dummies, which of course does exist. There are much more interesting, millennial-targeted finance books out there for you to read and enjoy. For instance, check out Millennial Money: How Young Investors Can Build A Fortune and Smart is the New Rich: Money Guide for Millennials.