Call them Alpha kids, Generation Alpha, or even Generation Glass, they all add up to a generation that is well suited for the 21st Century. The cohort is the latest in the queue of demographic cohorts and one that best fits the digital native description. Generation Alpha is projected to be the most transformative and tech-savvy generation yet when it reaches maturity – and for good reasons.

All Alpha children are born entirely in the 21st Century, at a time when technology is at the core of parenting. They are wired to co-exist with the digital ecosystem in its entirety, and anything out of that reality is unthinkable.

The Alpha birth years fall between 2010 and 2025 and the cohort replaced Generation Z, whose birth years fell between 1996 and 2009. Despite the slight differences in age, the two generations are experiencing the influence of technology in many similar ways. They are all championing the re-birth of technology through the second wave of digital disruption.

As of 2020, the eldest Alpha child is only 10 years old.

Why Generation Alpha?

alpha and omega
The Alpha and Omega symbols from the Greek alphabet. Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

The word alpha was preferred by Mark McCrindle, the award-winning Australian social and demographic researcher, in 2005. McCrindle and his team ran a survey across Australia to find out the most fitting name for the new generation. After months of research and discussions, the word Alpha was agreed upon. The name represents a new dawn of livelihood all built around technology and related sciences in the 21st Century.

The alpha letter happens to be the first in the Greek alphabet and the most befitting replacement of the Roman/Latin alphabet, which was used in the previous generation cohorts. The Latin alphabet just expired with the letter Z to represent Generation Z.

In its entirety, the Alpha cohort is the first to be born entirely in the 21st Century.  Statistics point to over 2.5 million Alpha births every year, culminating into a total of 2 billion Alphas when the last one is born in 2025.

The Alpha Parents

millenials, the generation alpha parents
Millennials, the Generation Alpha parents. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Generation Alpha children are considered to be millennial babies, simply because millennials make up the bulk of their parents. Millennials were born towards the end of the last century, between 1981 and 1995, and are mathematically primed to be Alpha parents. As of 2009, the eldest Millennial male was roughly 28 and capable of fathering the first Alpha child, born in 2010. And so too was the 28-year-old Millennial female very much capable of bearing an Alpha child in the same year. Likewise, the oldest Millennial will be 44, and the youngest, 30, by 2025, all still capable of parenting the youngest Alphas.

Much as Millennials form the bulk of parents today, Baby Boomers and Xers too, continue to father children. By 2025, the youngest Baby Boomer will average 61 years and still in the business of producing children. Equally true, the youngest Generation X parent will be 45 in 2025 and capable of fathering more children.

Alpha Kids and Technology

generation alpha kid with smartphone
A 21st Century child studying nature using a smartphone. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The first Alpha children were born in 2010, the same year the first iPad was released, and Instagram was unveiled for IOS. The two innovations proved to be very integral in the life of children born after that year. The iPad became a hit with parents because it suited well as a play-thing for the newborns, and Instagram became the app for siblings and millennial parents to share photos of the new babies. 

Soon, other manufacturers (besides Apple, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger), shipped their own tablets and phablets to tap into the lucrative market. The new additions were all were designed for educational purposes and of course befitting toys for the Alpha kids!

As of 2020, tablets and mobile phones are ubiquitous and are necessary companions for children at home and in the classroom. Alphas are therefore immersed deep into touchscreen devices, they hardly envisage a world without them. Yes, Alphas will use the touch interface for years and are, visibly unimpressed with the keyboard and mouse, which happen to be boon for the older generations!

At only a few years on earth, Alpha kids are capable of amazing skills and easily find their way around the internet and YouTube in particular with limited reading abilities. But typing on small screens will seem old-fashioned very soon, and when they grow up, Alpha adults will not interface with apps, smartphones, and tablets the way we do today.

They are also in favor of voice assistants and the whole spectrum of audio-visual interactions than their counterparts, a few decades ago. Because they cannot read and type, their preferred mode of communication via social platform apps happen to be voice and video input. And this will remain so even as they grow up.

… into the Second Wave of Digital Transformation!

Alpha kids will spearhead digital transofrmation for speed, simplicity and intelligent automation. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Alphas are also experiencing first hand the introduction and implementation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) which is centered around Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

All the new changes and revolution in tech are designed to be powered by faster data bandwidth in 5G and 6G, to usher in new experiences in robotics, Virtual Reality (VR), autonomous automobiles, advanced automation, biotechnology, etc.

The changing landscape mean even more:

While technology has always been about enhancing productivity, improving livelihoods, and solving mathematical headaches, the second wave is about harnessing the co-existence between the biological being, the digital landscape and the physical sphere to work together as one, in what is popularly known as cyber-physical systems.

In the years to come,

  • service delivery will be fast and prompt
  • digitalization to be simplified
  • a preference for intelligent automation

The changes will make existing user interaction with computers rather obsolete, with Alphas favoring speed, simplicity, and intelligence.

Facts About Generation Alpha Kids

  • The first Alpha children were born in 2010
  • The last Alpha children will be born in 2025
  • Around 2.5 million Alpha children are born every week
  • Alphas will total around 2 billion in 2025
  • They are brought up in front of screens right from day one
  • They will not text or use email much when they grow up
  • Instead, they will use audio/visual tools for communication
  • Alphas are being made to wear health trackers all-day
  • They are largely born to Millennial parents
  • Alphas are culturally diverse owing to increasing interracial parents
  • They are less attached to family and cultural history
  • When grown-up, Alphas will be very savvy technologically
  • The generation will increasingly become urbane
  • They will be affected most by intrusion from technology giants like Google and Amazon
  • They are and will continue to be ardent gamers
  • Alphas will interact less face to face, and more through technology
  • They will probably outgrow addictive technology earlier in life

More About Generations:

Generation Alpha Predictions: What Alpha children will become when adults

Generation Years Chart: 20th to 21st Century Generations