Move over Gen Z; there’s a new generation approaching their teenage years. Get to know the characteristics of Gen Alpha with this guide!
It seems like all I ever see is people complaining about millennials and their avocado toast or Gen Z’s addiction to their phones. But nobody ever talks about the latest generation – Gen Alpha.
While there isn’t a strict definition of the age range for this new generation, most people agree that anyone born during the 2010s or 2020s belongs to Gen Alpha rather than Gen Z.
Today, we’re going to spend some time getting to know this new generation by taking a look at some of the common characteristics most Generation Alpha kids tend to have. Since this generation was practically born with an iPad in their hands, they’re actually a pretty unique age group.
So, if you want to understand more about a generation that learned how to use emojis before they could talk, let’s get to know the Alpha generation.
What Is the Age Range for Gen Alpha?
Before I try to explain what makes this latest generation tick, it’s worth taking a moment to try to define who they are. As I mentioned, there isn’t really a set definition of when Gen Alpha started, but we do know that those belonging to Gen Z are generally defined as anyone born between 1997 and 2012.
With that, we know that anyone born after 2012 has to belong to the next group – Gen Alpha. So, unless they were born right at the start of the decade, pretty much anyone you meet who was born during the 2010s and 2020s belongs to Gen Alpha.
Given that most kids born during this time pretty much had instant access to smartphones, iPads, streaming subscriptions, and other digital devices and services, they tend to have some rather unique traits.
What Are Some Generation Alpha Characteristics?
It goes without saying that each individual is different, but anyone can notice some of the more obvious traits that define this latest generation. Here are just a few that stand out to me:
I’ve already hinted at the fact that this generation was holding tablets and smartphones while they were still in diapers. This early adoption of digital technology has meant that many Generation Alphas are both tech-savvy and tech-obsessed.
Millennials grew up with dial-up internet. Gen Z grew up participating in the social media boom. But Gen Alpha has had access to ‘smart’ everything. Growing up in a fully connected digital world has made them incredibly comfortable with smart devices.
They can’t even imagine a world where they can’t immediately access information and entertainment on their smart devices. While this means that they are comfortable with the latest technology, it has also had an impact on their attention spans. You may notice that those belonging to Gen Alpha lose interest if something doesn’t immediately captivate them.
Independent Minded Multitaskers
While having a short attention span isn’t great, Gen Alphas are masters of multitasking. If you grew up with one eye watching your favorite YouTube streamer and the other scrolling TikTok, you’d probably learn pretty quickly how to juggle different tasks at the same time.
The constant stream of information delivered to them from a young age has also led many Gen Alphas to become independent thinkers. They don’t immediately trust everything they see. They’re used to a constant stream of sarcastic YouTube videos, cynical memes, and other forms of dark humor.
While all of this may sound a little harmful, being self-directed and capable of handling different tasks at the same time can actually be a strength. Not only do they view YouTube as an endless library of online tutorials, but Gen Alphas know that learning doesn’t stop in the classroom.
Sure, Gen Alpha kids might have a Twitch stream playing in the background, but they are capable of multitasking and independently learning new things when they’re motivated.
Growing up in the age of global connectivity has made Gen Alphas even more aware of other perspectives and cultures than previous generations. This generation embraces diversity and has a greater awareness of global events than any generation that preceded them.
Being connected to the whole world through social media platforms and other online content means that Gen Alpha is more exposed to other cultures and world views than older generations before them. Whether it’s taking in the latest global event through light-hearted memes or listening to music from the other side of the world, like K-pop, this generation of young people has been less constrained by geography than any other.
Avid Gamers and Social Media Wizards
Gen Alpha kids play more video games than any other generation before them. They also scroll social media and produce their own content like it’s their job. Have you spent any time with a kid under 12 recently? They’re obsessed with gaming and social media!
Sadly, this generation-wide addiction to video games and phone screens has also led to a noticeable decline in physical activity. And in-person socializing with young people. This is having serious consequences for both this generation’s physical and mental health. As a result, obesity and chronic anxiety are both on the rise among kids and pre-teens.
There you have it, my summary of what makes the Alpha generation tick. Sure, Gen Alpha kids might be different than older generations, but they also grew up in a different world.
Being born into the digital age means that this generation expects instant information and entertainment. While this can have its drawbacks, it also means that they are better prepared for a world where artificial intelligence and other emerging digital technologies are set to become integrated into every part of daily life.
So, don’t be just being a hater and dismiss this new generation as phone-obsessives with low attention spans. Instead, view them as a tech-savvy group of kids with unique characteristics. Don’t worry, they are equipped to deal with a world that seems to change from one moment to the next.
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