Scientists have observed that the time between one generation and the next is shrinking because of rapid digital transformation: “so much so that generations are increasingly defined by the use of a technology rather than by historical or social events.” Defined as the age group born between 2010 and 2024, Generation Alpha is considered to be the first true digital natives, or a “more pure version of Generation Z,” and is expected to total 2 billion once the entire generation is born. Are we really ready for how Generation Alpha can change the game? Read on for more.
Generation Alpha has only ever known a world where Instagram and iPads exist, both of which were released in 2010. Despite being the youngest generation, they have more spending power than previous generations. “81% of Gen Alpha kids significantly influence family purchases” while 46% of children 16 and under have direct access to an Amazon Prime account. They also live in a world that normalizes wearable technology. Now that Gen Z is reaching adulthood, they are currently the fastest growing group of wearable devices. This trend will most likely continue with Generation Alpha as well.
As technology continues to become more incorporated into everyday life, social media will continue to take over in-person socializing. Video is expected to be their most popular form of media consumption. While social media will strengthen multitasking, it’s expected that this generation will struggle with a reduced attention span, as well as problems with creativity due to physical toys becoming less popular. Studies also show a “link between the rise of smartphones and social media and the increase in depression, anxiety and loneliness in today’s youth,” which implies that there’s still a need for in-person socializing.
Generation Alpha is expected to show less interest in sports. While 69% of millennials consider themselves sports fans, only 53% of Gen Zers consider themselves fans. This decline is expected to remain consistent for Gen Alphas as they age. Some potential explanations for this include the infinite amount of non-sports content online available to Alphas, as well as an increase in different ways of consuming sports-related content, like watching the highlights over social media.
COVID-19’s impact on in-person gatherings has only further exacerbated a declining interest in sports among younger generations, with 35% of parents with kids born from 2013-2017 reporting they lost interest in sports during the pandemic. As generations grow up and become more digital than tactile, it is expected that this trend will continue to grow, leaving Generation Alpha to redefine the role of sports in society.
The overwhelming presence of technology in our society leaves us to redefine what it means to experience human interaction and what it means to genuinely develop creativity. With this said, it’s worth noting that the most popular hobbies among Gen Z and Millennials take place offline, so being immersed in technology doesn’t necessarily mean that younger generations won’t have hobbies, or that tactile hobbies will become obsolete.
Generation Alpha already has a great deal of influence in a rapidly changing world, and while they’re already technologically advanced, they’ll continue to shape the world around them with an independent perspective as they age into adulthood and gain even more purchasing power than they already have.
Bianca Gonzalez is a queer, disabled, Latina B2B writer and social change advocate. She became a brain cancer survivor at the age of 20. Find her on Twitter at @ourstellarwords, Instagram at ourstellarwords, and on her website, b2binclusive.com.