Generation Alpha Kids: Who Are They?

Generation Alpha birth years fall between 2010 and 2024, and will be succeeded by Beta generation starting in 2025.

Generation Alpha is the name given to the latest demographic cohort, a generation born entirely in the 21st century.

The Alpha birth years fall between 2010 and 2024 and will be succeeded by the Beta generation starting in 2025.

Also true, Alpha children came on the heels of the Generation Z cohort, a generation whose birth years stretched from 1996 to 2009.

Besides the name Alpha other labels for the new cohort range from Generation Glass to simply, Alpha kids. All the above describe a demographic cohort that is all set and pepped up for the 21st Century.

Given its exposure to modern technology devices and diverse cultures, Generation Alpha is projected to become quite tech-savvy and transformative cohort yet, and for good reasons:

For one, the Alpha years is a period when technology is experiencing a whole new wave of digital transformation. All its children are born at a time when technology is at the core of productivity, lifestyle, and of course, parenting.

These children and soon-to-be adults are wired to co-exist with the digital ecosystem in its entirety, and anything out of this reality is unthinkable.

Generation Alpha is defined by technological devices like smartphones and tablets, video games, driverless trains, autonomous cars, and smart speakers that speak back to you.

McCrindle

The new technologies and aspirations are built around Metaverse, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning and happen to be the hallmark of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

… why Alpha?

The award-winning Australian social and demographic researcher, Mark McCrindle, preferred the word ‘alpha‘ for the new cohort in 2005.

McCrindle and his team of forecasters ran a survey across Australia to find a befitting name for the new generation.

Part of the challenge was that the Latin alphabet used to name the previous cohorts had just expired with the Z cohort.

They were also looking for a name that represented the new century all built around technology and the new digital disruption.

They chose the word Alpha because it fitted the bill perfectly well:

  • First up, Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet and a meaningful replacement to the Roman/Latin alphabet.
  • Second, Alpha stands for a new beginning as depicted in the Bible, in Isaiah Chapter 44 verse 6.
  • In the contemporary world, the word Alpha represents courage, determination, and a strong sense of self.

Parenting Generation Alpha kids

millenials, the generation alpha parents
(Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

Most generation Alpha kids are born to millennial parents. Millennials, who were born between 1981 and 1995. are mathematically primed to become the Alpha parents.

The eldest Millennial was roughly 29 in 2009 and capable of fathering the first Alpha child born in 2010. And so too was the 29-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 2024, all still capable of parenting the youngest Alphas.

Much as Millennials form the bulk of parents today, younger Baby Boomers and Xers also continue to father children. By 2024, the youngest Baby Boomer will average 60 years and still be in the business of producing children.

Equally true, the youngest Generation X parent will be 45 in 2024 and capable of fathering more children.

Alpha kids and technology

They’re born into it, not as a new development, an experiment and stumbling innovation, a toy to grapple with, but as a fully-formed service.

Joe Nellis, Professor of Global Economy

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 crucial to the life of children born after that year. The iPad became a hit because it suited well as a plaything for newborns, just as Instagram became the app for older siblings and millennial parents to share baby photos. 

Soon, other manufacturers (besides Apple, Kevin Systrom, and Mike Krieger), shipped their own tablets and phablets to tap into the lucrative market.

As of 2022, tablets and mobile phones are ubiquitous and necessary companions for children at home and in the classroom.

After only a few years Alpha kids are capable of amazing skills with gadgets. They easily find their way around YouTube even with limited reading abilities.

To them, typing on small screens will seem old-fashioned when they grow up. Alpha teens will not interface with apps, smartphones, and tablets the way we do today, because they will likely get buried in augmented(AR) and virtual reality(VR) devices.

From whatever angle you perceive it, technology is considered part and parcel of life to Alphas, which is slightly different from Generation Z and Millennial parents who view technology as a tool.

For them it’s a tool. For alphas, it’s a way of life.

FLUXTRENDS

Millennial parents also happen to be the driving force behind economies around the world. As such,

If Generation Alpha possesses similar behaviours, attitudes and beliefs to that of their parents, then to win a certain segment of millennial consumers (millennial parents), we must target Generation Alpha.

GOOGLE

… enter the second wave of digital transformation!

Alphas also happen to experience first-hand, the implementation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) like no other generation.

The 4IR is at the center of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Metaverse, all of which are designed to run inside faster data bandwidth in 5G and 6G technologies.

These will lead to new experiences in robotics, virtual reality(VR), augmented reality(AR), autonomous automobiles, advanced automation, biotechnology, etc.

The changing landscape means even more:

While technology has always been about enhancing productivity, improving livelihoods, and solving mathematical headaches, the second wave is about harnessing the 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.

Alpha and Education

Education for Generation Alpha children is more tuned around personalized learning which takes full advantage of technology tools and the new 21st-century classroom.

Right from early primary through secondary education, teaching for Alphas will move away from the traditionally structured and audio-based instructional methodologies to more hands-on and visual interactions.

They are and continue to favor problem-solving skills and collaborate offline and online with peers and instructors.

They prefer using iPads and other instructional gadgets to sitting and listening to continuous lectures and writing notes. They prefer to design projects and visualize ideas with peers and feel that is how education should be shaped going forward.

In any case, we are all yet to understand how the future of work and employability will pan out:

Generation Alpha will take on jobs that don’t yet exist. This generation will be well educated, and wealthy families especially, will invest in increasingly specialised education. A percentage of alphas will avoid the higher education system altogether and opt for cheaper online learning.

Cranfield University Professor Joe Nellis

Generation Alpha characteristics and facts:

As mentioned above, Alpha kids are born into a highly digitalized world, which in itself means they will always experience life in a digital realm, like no other generation.

  • The first Alpha children were born in 2010
  • The last Alpha children will be born in 2024
  • Around 2.5 million Alpha children are born every week
  • Alphas will total around 2 billion in 2024
  • They are largely born to Millennial parents
  • They are a very curious lot
  • They will not text or use email much when they grow up
  • Instead, they will use audio/visual tools for communication
  • Many Alphas will grow up wearing health trackers
  • Alphas are culturally diverse owing to increasing interracial parents
  • They are less attached to family and cultural history
  • Have access to a lot of information and data compared to other generations
  • When grown-up, Alphas will be very savvy technologically and ‘always on’
  • Alphas will be poor at interpersonal and social skills and interact less face to face
  • The generation will increasingly become urbane
  • Alphas will have to deal with intrusions from technology giants like Google and Amazon
  • They are and will continue to be ardent gamers
  • They will probably outgrow addictive technology earlier in life
  • May develop reduced attention span
  • An indoor generation
  • Are ethnically diverse
  • Are largely receiving personalized learning

In conclusion

As of 2022, the eldest Alpha child is only 12 years old.

Most Alpha children will most likely live into the 22nd century, given the promised improvements in health services, general welfare, and positive insight into life.

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