Updated: Nov 22
Author: Simone Bellezza
Date of Publication: 16/02/2023
Understanding Generation Alpha: the first very digital native generation to see how new technologies and digitalisation have impacted them.
Generation Alpha is the following generation after the Z one. Alpha gen begin in 2010 and is still ongoing, it encompasses all people born from 2010 onwards and who have therefore grown up in a fully digital world. Its oldest members are now 13 years old and they represent approximately 9% of the total population.
The term is coined by Mark McCrindle. According to him, generation ‘alpha’ conforms to the scientific nomenclature of using the Greek alphabet instead of the Latin one. After all, "they are the first generation born fully into the 21st century and therefore they are the start of something new, not a return to the old.’’
Gen. alpha is completely different from the other in its relationship with the technological environment. Alpha gen is the first which is allowed to learn, play and interact in whole new ways, thanks to technology.
Experts point out that the world is changing quickly due to digital transformation, which shortens the period between one generation and the next. So much so that technology use is becoming to define generations more than historical or social events.
Unlike other generations, they do not rely on physical interaction with their peers. As technology advanced new gesture-based interfaces and interactions grow. These will overcome old ways of communication. Technology-related items influencing this generation's present and future include: smartphones, virtual assistants, and toys.
Generation Alpha Understanding
Here are the main traits of generation Alpha
- Hyperconnected: as they are born in a digital world, they also continue to live in a world where they are always connected in digital ways. While doing everything they are connected, just think about the increase of e-learning by schools.
- Independents: they assume their demands will be taken into account. For example, they also decide autonomously what cartoons or YouTube videos to see on their smartphone.
- Visuals: they prefer images and videos rather than texts, so platforms like YouTube and TikTok are really important for them. They prefer shorts and fast contests.
- Technological: they are experts in the use of digital and new technologies. This supports their digital learning and offers a variety of opportunities.
- Diverse: referred to skills, tastes, lifestyles, and points of view.
By the way, they also believe in diversity in gender, ethnicity, race, body size, etc. It will be the segment of the population that is less tolerant of social inequalities. They already live in a multicultural and inclusive world.
Neuroscientists and psychologists point out that the growth of digital technologies will bring negative consequences too. These are:
- Deconcentration and decrement of attention: They have a shorter attention span and are less focused. This happens because they are used to utilizing many displays at once and reading information fast.
- Less socializing time: There is less time for learning, playing, and socialising when people spend a huge part of their day online. In actuality, social networks play a large role in socialization.
- Reduced creativity and imagination skills: The reduction of the use of physical toys will hurt the growth of imagination and creativity.
- Fewer abilities to reach happiness: There is a connection between the use of social media and phones and the growth in sadness, anxiety, and loneliness among young people today.
Understanding Generation Alpha means drafting a portrait of a generation that has been profoundly influenced by new technologies and social networks. Generation that faces greater uncertainty due to accelerating political and economic changes. What's more, they are constantly under pressure to advance global warming efforts and switch to a more sustainable world.