Generation Alpha (also commonly referred to as Gen Tech, Net Gen, The Global Gen and Gen Glass) refers to the generation born between the years of 2010 and 2025. 2,500,000 of Gen A are born each week. They are the first generation to be born entirely in the 21st century. To put into perspective how novel this generation is, the oldest person from their generation is only 9 years old. But why will Gen A be one of the most interesting generations yet?

Generation Alpha is predicted to be “the most innovative, most creative and most digital” generation yet according to Mr. Khan Bophan. They will have the most technology of any generation at their disposal and are expected to be the most formally educated generation in history. Since the first of Generation A was born in 2010, they are the first generation to be born in the time of social media (Instagram was created in 2010); they will never know a time without it. They will have access to technologies beyond our imagination with ideas like commercial space flight becoming a reality instead of a dream for them. They will be adept at using tablets and smart phones and parents will most likely will be learning information about technology from their children.

The parents of Generation Alpha will mostly be Generation Y or, as they are more commonly known, ‘Millennials’. Millennials are increasingly having one-child families, so most of Gen Alpha children are expected to grow up as only-children. The rise of interracial marriages in the past decade has led to a 50% increase in multi-cultural youth and as a result, Generation Alpha will be the most diverse group in history.

Gen A can be referred to as Generation Glass as they will almost exclusively learn and communicate though glass (e.g. tablets, interactive school desks etc.) They will be more influenced by video and visual information than written and verbal and will prefer communication via images and voice control over texting and typing. ‘Alphas’ will learn through a more visual, hands on method in future classrooms. With machine learning and A.I, they will become more specialised earlier in life with very specific educational needs. However, due to education becoming more specialised and marketed, they will start with careers with a greater debt burden and will start earning later.

Despite all this, there is one large concern for Generation A: privacy. With every corner of the internet filled with cookies and advertising, how will this generation stay safe? The biggest concern is over voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri; they are constantly listening for information and store voice recordings of its users. In the modern homes that Gen A are growing up in, these children will regularly interact with these online assistants. The Federal Trade Commission in 2017 stated that they would not take enforcement action against assistants collecting audio files of a child’s voice but they would not allow personal information such as a child’s name to be held by these private companies. Holding any personal information of children bellow the age of 13 violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act so it seems Generation Alpha is safe for the moment.

In conclusion, Generation ‘Alpha’ certainly looks like it will live up to its name. They are predicted to be the smartest, richest and most technologically advanced generation in history which could be a brilliant or terrifying combination; Only time will tell.

By Amelie Hogan