As a little kid, I was obsessed with the idea of generations. The fact that we could be grouped into categories based on age and they impacted how we interact with those older and those younger than us was mind-blowing. Fast-forward to present day and this passion has turned into curiosity on human bonds within society. Or lack of?
Steve Jobs changed the world in 2007 with the release of the first iPhone. Norma Diaz changed MY world with the release of my brother in 2011. Both unwelcome and unfamiliar at first, but nowadays, just another part of life. He’s your typical 5th grade 10-year-old. I mean, aside from how he has all of humanity’s acquired knowledge at his disposal within a couple key clacks, he’s honestly pretty much just like any other kid since the dawn of the Homo Sapiens. Due to him being on a generational cusp, he’s at a unique perspective where he’s old enough to see the changes GenZ has brought about yet is also influenced by the changes in his own generations use of technology. He has seen how GenZ’s total and complete dominance of the social media world has been powerful and helped us create change, even from the safety and comfort of our homes. By this new generation having seen the dawn of a new era, one led by the ever-increasing forces of Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, they are at a unique point in time where they are changing how we’ve typically used technology for the last millennia.
I’m sure you have all recognize what I see in him in your own younger siblings, this change is not difficult to notice, kids are having less and less quintessential American childhoods. According to Natasa Djukanovic, a writer for CustomerThink, less than 2% of GenAlpha has no personal touch with technology. They have found that his generation tends to enjoy online conversations with their friends over in-person ones because it removes the obstacle of social anxiety. This then begs the question, can we truly categorize these changes as negative if they’re aiding our children’s social skills. Yes, while they may not be face-to-face any longer, we live in a changed world thanks to Covid19 and have seen firsthand that this won’t stop the world from revolving and because the pandemic occurred during the formative years of Alpha’s life, socializing through technology won’t be an obstacle. As said in a quote by Wired Consulting, “Artificial intelligence/voice will become increasingly common methods of communication between humans and machines, as keyboards give way to gesture-based interfaces and conversations between devices and humans”. This means that while GenZ has gone through the changes of a past world to a media-focused world, Gen Alpha will have the new world at their fingertips after having had the advantage of growing up with it. They will more tech-savvy than any generation before, more trusting of AI, hyperconnected and more physically diverse from having the worlds cultures at their every call and beckon.
Gen Alpha faces an uncertain future in the face of rapid political, economic, and climate change; none of those faults of their own, more things past generations failed them in saving and preserving. It will be up to them, with their help of their older siblings, GenZ, to prosper towards a new world. One filled with opportunities for all. They have the pressure to lead the fight against climate change and transition into a more sustainable planet. With the help of all this technology at their disposal, one may come to wonder how far they may come in the battle for a new and improved world.
This is why we shouldn’t be so opposed to their new environment, their new way of existence amongst their peers because we may find out there are things we could learn from them. From how they now interact with their world. Also, they’re primary students, let them learn to read and write, then we can debate their influence while we sip on virtual martinis.