It seems like we were all just getting used to Generation Z, right? Well, all that talk might end soon! Read on to discover the newest generation, Generation Alpha, that scientists and historians have decided to create…
Generation Alpha Is Born
So, most importantly: Generation Alpha are those born between the early 2010s and the mid-2020s, though experts are still debating the exact years. Of course, many media outlets are already trying to determine precisely what Generation Alpha will be like. Analysts say Generation Alpha will continue to become more educated and friendly with technology, though experts are divided on the financial future of this generation. Meanwhile, others say it’s still too early to judge how this group will grow – they’re only children right now!
Dan Woodman, a sociology professor at the University of Melbourne who studies generational labels, said that the generation features become cleaner as they grow into teens. “A lot of things we attach to a generation are around the way they start to think about politics, the way they engage with the culture, and [whether they] are a wellspring of new social movements,” he said.
Picking A Name
Generation Alpha did not come out of thin air. Mark McCrindle (seen above), a generational researcher from Australia, came up with the term. He narrowed it down from a long list that also included “Generation Surf,” the “Technos,” “Generation Hope,” and even the “Survivors!” Through it all, McCrindle kept returning to the idea of moving on. So, he decided to move on from the Latin alphabet used in previous generations to the Greek one, selecting its first letter, Alpha.
Of course, most generations are ultimately known by a nickname that’s decided later on. For instance, many know Gen Y better as millennials and Gen Z-ers, also still young, better as “Zoomers” “One of the things we do with generational labels is make claims about how different this cohort is—they’re so different, almost alien in their attitudes, that you need to pay some experts to come in and explain them to you,” Woodman said. So in the end, if you don’t like Generation Alpha, a nickname is sure to come along…
How To Draw The Generation Line
Believe it or not, drawing a generation line is even harder than picking the name! “There’s a continuous stream of people emerging in a population. How do we draw the line between the end of one cohort and the beginning of another?” said Rick Settersten, a professor of human development and family sciences at Oregon State University. Differences in cultures, gender, diet, and a myriad of other things mean people age at different rates, leading many to view generations as more of a social construct, like race.
This is very important to keep in mind before you decide to label an entire generation as one thing or another. “Attach[ing] attributes to an entire group, like optimistic or pessimistic or entitled, snowflakey, resilient, or whatever, has always been a stretch, but it’ll probably get even less helpful as time goes on,” said Woodman.
Meanwhile, around 2025, Generation Beta will be born. “If the nomenclature sticks, then we will afterward have Generation Gamma and Generation Delta,” McCrindle said. What a world to see!
Sources: Huffington Post, MSN.