As a daughter of parents belonging to Generation Y, I am a part of Generation Alpha. My generation consists of babies born between 2011 and 2025. Many of us haven’t been born yet but we are estimated to reach almost 2 billion by the time we’re all here. Make way for Generation Alpha!
The parents of my generation tend to be older by the time their first baby is born, and our families will generally be smaller than the majority of families from the past. Many of our parents will live longer lives than their parents, and will enjoy a slightly higher standard of living. Our parents are more open to switch careers and look for alternative work arrangements. The best feature of Generation Y is that they are much more likely to lavish upon their children both love and material possessions.
Generation Alpha will continue in the footsteps of our parents by becoming the most educated generation to date. In order to be successful, we will need to be adaptable and creative in response to a changing and highly competitive marketplace. With high levels of education and an ingenuity when it comes to career choices, my generation is likely to be wealthier than its predecessors. We will certainly have our share of challenges but plenty of opportunities too.
Unsurprisingly, my generation is, and will be much more technologically supplied. While our parents may remember a world where having an internet capable computer in their home was a luxury, or at least slow dial-up modems that made surfing the net a headache, the world of my generation has free WiFi at every corner. We are being raised in a world of cell phones, tablets, and internet access for all.
However controversial, Generation Alpha is getting a lot more screen time. There are shows and apps made for even the youngest members of Generation Alpha. Some offer exhilarating entertainment and others are brilliantly educational. Some of us are practically being raised by technology and even parents who limit screen time will still allow us more than they had when they were our age. Because of this some people are labelling us Generation Glass.
I have never hidden the fact that I love my screen time and that mommy allows me to play games and watch shows. Some may criticize our family but we have to find the right mix of activities that works for us. Each of our days consist of outdoor activities (weather permitting), indoor play, reading, social time, learning, and screen time. In our family we aim for a healthy mix of activities for well-rounded fun and education.
During the week TV is reserved for evenings when we relax after supper. I usually play with my toys while the TV plays in the background but I might watch it if something good comes on. On weekends I love to watch TV first thing in the morning on those lazy days, but if we have a family activity planned we might not watch any TV at all. Weekends are spontaneous and less structured days. They’re full of surprises.
Most days I watch one of my shows on the tablet while I’m eating breakfast. Mommy likes to use that time to empty and reload the dishwasher, and get us ready for the outdoor activity we have planned for that day. The tablet does a good job of keeping me entertained while I eat my fruit. It also comes in very handy if I get impatient on long car rides.
The tablet is where I keep my apps. Mommy likes to get me apps that have some educational component, but a few are just for fun. Some apps I play by myself when I don’t feel like playing with my toys during indoor play time. Other apps mommy and I play together as part of my learning time. These usually consist of pictures which depict common objects and mommy and I talk about the things we see on the screen.
No post about screen time can be complete without a mention of mommy’s cell phone. I never watch shows on it and there are virtually no apps on there, but I love playing with it. Whenever I see it, which is often, I pick it up and play with it. There was a time when I would have to ask mommy to turn it on for me whenever the screen went dark, but after watching mommy do it so many times I can now turn it on by myself.
Mommy’s cell phone looks just like a mini tablet and it functions very much like one too. Sometimes it works more like the house phone. The cell phone rings and a voice comes out of it. A few times mommy put it up to my ear and I could hear daddy’s voice! I try doing that on my own from time to time but daddy’s voice is never there when I do it.
Overall I do spend a good deal of time in front of a screen of some sort. Maybe mine really is the Glass Generation. Some people might see this as a problem but in our family our screens are tools like any other. Sometimes we use them to sit back, relax, and waste time. Other times we use them as aids in our daily lives. Would I be better off with no screen time? It’s hard to say.
What we can be sure of is that screens are not going away and there will be a lot more screen time in my future. Technology has revolutionized the way we work, how we have fun, and the means by which we keep in touch with those we care about. As technology infiltrates our lives further it’s sure to become even more of a necessity. I have many things to learn and skills to acquire and I have to make time for those things, but screens are going to be just as much a part of my life and I need to know how to use them too.