Just when you thought Americans had been measured and analyzed in every possible way, along comes a group of number crunchers to point out more regional differences. The folks at floatingsheep.com decided to see if the country was tweeting more about beer than church and, if so, where did the tweets originate.
During the last week of June, they extracted all geotagged tweets with the word “beer” (more than 14,000) and the word “church” (more than 17,000—most of which were sent on Sunday). Interestingly, Los Angeles and Boston had the most “beer” flavored tweets, while Dallas had the most mentions of “church.”
Here’s what the country looked like after the tabulators had a few beers themselves:
One immediately notes a strong correlation with the political red state/blue state map, showing the religious right concentrated in the Southeastern states—the traditional Bible Belt. Beer-tweeters are more likely to be found in the more liberal Northeast and upper Midwest, what the researchers called the Beer Belly of America.
Even so, I venture to disagree with the postulation of these esteemed statisticians; their “study” is not a true measure of either imbibing or godliness. Though I have no survey to give credence to my claim, I contend that church goers and beer drinkers are not that different. In the South, where hypocrisy is a cultural art form, people drink the same amount of beer, but they don’t talk about it, preferring to chitchat more about their churchyness. In the North they choose to boast about their drinking habits rather than their church attendance. It’s a cultural aberration.
Admittedly, I’ve only lived in the South and Midwest, and can’t draw pretty maps, so this astute observation is based solely on a hunch.