Generation Alpha describes the generation born between the years of 2010 and 2024. While the times affect us all, the impacts are greater when experienced in our formative years. The age at which we’re exposed to a new technology or transformative event determines how embedded it will be in our psyche and lifestyle. As the first generation to be entirely born in the 21st Century, the influences that shape them are different to previous generations.
The digital and virtual world
Millennial parents of Generation Alpha are tech savvy in and of themselves. Traditional marketing or advertising has moved to inspiration through influencers for the Millennial parents of today through social media as well as podcasts. While parents play an important role in protecting and guiding their children, Generation Alpha are operating in spaces free of parental influencers. This generation has access to technology and platforms that their parents don’t even understand. In many cases, children are making their own decisions and even guiding the parents. They have ownership, authority and influence in the realms they operate, and influence others of their own age. Generation Alpha don’t want products just pushed at them – in many ways they are having a seat at the table and having influence over a brand.
Lasting impacts of COVID-19
When COVID-19 first rocked our world in early 2020, there were immediate significant changes to Generation Alpha’s lives. These included being confined to their homes and not being able to visit friends, play in the park, go to school or see grandparents or family who lived outside of their home.
Generation Alpha have become the COVID-19 generation, not in terms of virus impacts but in the resulting economic, social, educational and psychological impacts for their future.
Some of the longer-term impacts on Generation Alpha that we can expect to see from COVID-19 include:
- They will be a more creative and resilient generation due to the challenges they experienced and will want to keep the new hobbies and way of living they adopted during COVID-19, in the future.
- Technology will become even more integrated into their life.
- They will appreciate the things that were lost – interpersonal relationships and going to school.
- They will value family time more, as it has become an expected and regular part of their life.
- Working and learning from home will become a regular part of their future.
- There will be a shift in who they define as aspirational in the future, from traditional superheroes to everyday superheroes like medical researchers and nurses.
- They will connect more with regional areas as work from home becomes a common way of working.
Their future is bright
Generation Alpha are being shaped in different times to generations past. They are more digital, global, mobile, social and visual than any generation before them. There’s no doubt that Generation Alpha will come up against their challenges, their own storm clouds and uncertainty. Yet, one thing is certain to us: their future is bright, and like every other generation they will find the tools they need to thrive in it. The future for Generation Alpha is exciting – full of creativity, innovation and opportunity. They’re not only following the positive examples set by older generations but they are also empowered to take action, stand up for what they believe in and pave a new way forward.