Kidscreen magazine recently released some predictions about the next generation of kids.
Gen Alpha is the newest generation to be identified. These are children born between 2010 to 2025.
There are currently more than 2.5 million Gen Alpha Kids being born each week. By 2024, there will be more than 2 billion of them.
They are the children in your ministry. These are the babies being gently rocked by your nursery volunteers. These are the toddlers who explore anything that can be grasped in their small hands. These are the elementary age children who you will find giggling in the hallway at church. These are the pre-teens who are trying to navigate the newest cultural trends they are surrounded by.
Let’s look at these predictions for a few minutes and identify the effect it will have on this new generation of children.
1. TikTok will rule.
Google has dominated for many years now. The answer to any question has been “Google it.” The search for an image has been “Google It.” Google has been the leading platform where people can find basically anything in world.
But that is changing. Google may be pushed over with today’s kids who are flocked to social platforms that feature short, video clips. In 2022 there was an 125% increase in the number of kids (ages 10 to 18) who watch TikTok for informative information. 40% of Gen Alpha used TikTok in 2022. Kids in Mexico (68%) and Brazil (63%) led the way.
2. Video games will continue to dominate
78% of kids ages 3 to 18 say they have played a video game in the last 3 months. Gen Alpha kids will continue to love playing video games whether it’s on their mobile phone or tablet or the latest gaming system.
One thing to note…their parents want them to have the same experiences that they
did as children, so they’re emphasizing play with Legos, Hot Wheels,
Barbies, Fisher-Price toys and other brands with retro vibes and
3. Experience will trump product.
41% of tweens say they would rather spend money on an experience instead of a product. Like their Millennial parents, they will place more value on personal experiences than possessions. An astounding 72% of them prefer to spend money on
experiences over material things.
4. Alpha Kids will be entrepreneurs.
Today’s kids have lots of options to make money. They are eager to be their own boss and make lots of cash. They are doing this through things like YouTube videos, number of subscribers, playing games for rewards, etc.
We will see Gen Alpha dive into the world of entrepreneurs by starting their own businesses and cashing-in by monetizing their online interests.
Every generation from here on out will become more entrepreneurial than
the next because they will have had more access to information, people
and resources earlier in the life.
According a report from The Insights Family, 36% of teens in Canada, 34% of teens in the United States and 32% of teens in Australia are earning their own money. You could call it “kidpreneurship.”
We will see lots of kids starting companies even before the age of 10. Some will fail, but even from that they will learn a lot and have much more success as they grow older.
They will be more successful
entrepreneurs because they will have had taken more risks earlier and
had time to build reputations and relationships before Millennials, Gen
X’s and Boomers did.
5. They will be the most tech savvy and not know a world without social networking.
Gen Alpha will be introduced to mobile phones at birth as their parents take pictures of them moments after they are born. Their pictures will then be posted all over social media through posts, tweets, stories, videos, etc.
Their parents are heavy social media users, and their children are on the internet long before consenting age. By the age of 11, 66% will have their own smartphone or have access to one.
Even before they can walk, they will have a smart phone in their hands…learning how to navigate their way into the technological world they will live in.
One important thing to note is the effects of COVID -19. During the pandemic, Alphas had to rely on their devices to learn, play and communicate with their friends.
Another differentiator: Alphas didn’t just choose to use technology. Instead, they had to rely on their devices to learn, play, and communicate with peers when COVID-19 caused months-long (and, in some regions, years-long) lock downs globally.
Gen Alpha kids have grown up in a more connected world, and they are
more diverse and globally-minded than previous generations. They are
exposed to different cultures, languages, and ideas from a young age.
All of these affect the way we do ministry. Keep these in mind as you strategize, plan and think about how you can reach and disciple Gen Alpha.