Generation Y have come of age – even the youngest are in higher education or have jobs.
This means that there’s a new generation in town – the younger crowd who are coming into their own and becoming the new ‘cool kids’, trendsetters and taste-makers as their older counterparts venture into real life. Generation Z are under 17 and still at school, so trends, early adoption and collective behaviour can exhibit itself more clearly.
Unlike the generation before them, Generation Z aren’t approaching adulthood at a time of flux and development.
Generation Y remember that there ever was not an Internet, and were conscious and aware of the transition they were making into digital communication. It’s second nature for them. However, Generation Z cannot truly remember a time without the internet and social media.
Following on from my last look at Generation Y, I wrote this for OnePoll about the biggest differences between these generations.
Generation Z is the buzzword of the moment. Those now-16-year-olds born with iPhones in their mouths and social networked from the womb.
But, with all this excitement around a new generation to categorise and stereotype, I couldn’t help but wonder: who comes after Generation Z? What defines them, the kids being born now, and what can we call them?
There are no more letters left, so I went for the Post-Alphabet Generation.
And based on the Apple Watch keynote that just took place – post-alphabet is exactly where mobile technology is taking us.
Doodles and personalisable emoji are going to be the most frequently used form of communication. If you want to send a reply, the language in the messages you receive is scanned to automate responses. Alerts and notifications are a series of vibrations, like a tap or a nudge. Motion sensors know when you’ve lifted your wrist to even engage with your Apple Watch. There’s no keyboard, so the written alphabet is already gone in favour of dictation.
To the Post-Alphabet Generation, this first Apple Watch will be like a Nokia 3310. These, and Google Glass, won’t be fads tech giants are trying to make work. (The Apple Watch is the first sign that we’re on the way there.) In 16+ years time, they’ll have struck gold and converted us all.
Here are my initial thoughts from last month when I started thinking about the Post-Alphabet Generation and their relationship with tech. I’m publishing now after the official Apple Watch announcement because I’m interested to hear everyone else’s thoughts!