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A New Generation Of Socialites

On New Year’s Eve, my husband surprised me with dinner at one of the classiest restaurants in downtown Minneapolis. Upon our arrival, we were surprised to discover that most of the people eating there weren’t established couples enjoying a romantic evening, but rather boisterous groups of Gen Ys

On New Year’s Eve, my husband surprised me with dinner at one of the classiest restaurants in downtown Minneapolis. Upon our arrival, we were surprised to discover that most of the people eating there weren’t established couples enjoying a romantic evening, but rather boisterous groups of Gen Ys .Being the generation-enthusiast that I am, I have read and written about YoCos, but this was my first up-close and personal encounter with them.YoCos is short for Young Cosmopolitans. They are the urban, early twenty-somethings who aspire to live their lives as young socialites. They are a generation of Paris Hilton types, if you will. They live on maxed-out credit cards, share the rent with a group of friends, frequent fancy restaurants, buy designer clothes, drink martinis, and travel often.When I was just out of college, going to an upscale eatery on New Year’s Eve was not affordable and didn’t hold much appeal. Like most Xers, I spent most of my early adulthood drinking beer in bars or going to house parties. Many of our friends still go to house parties on New Year’s Eve.But Gen Y has a different definition of fun. In fact, beer companies are observing a drop in sales for the first time in decades because Gen Ys would rather drink martinis and mixed drinks. In many ways, this new generation of socialites is a return to the Frank Sinatra era when people frequented night clubs, sipped liquor, and donned glamorous evening wear.No longer are the finer things in life considered a rite of passage. The YoCos don’t want to wait to experience the finer things. They want to experience them now.Some say that’s the result of being raised in a world where violence hit close to home, as it did on September 11th and in the school shootings. Others say it’s the result of being raised with technology and credit cards which provide instant gratification, or due perhaps to the influx of reality television and Hollywood media that turned Ys into fame junkies and money-mongers.In any case, YoCos are a demographic that is changing history and setting trends with their socialite-inspired values, purchases, and interests. I guess you could say these young adults have already ‘arrived’ – and the companies that cater to their extravagant whims are likely to prosper, too.

Sarah Sladek

Concerned about declining engagement in our nation’s membership associations, non-profits, and workplaces, Sarah Sladek founded XYZ University, the nation’s first and only generations-focused training and engagement strategy company, in 2002.

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