By Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU.
Alpha Generation: A generation where the virtual world is more significant than reality.
McCrindle an Australian sociologist first gave the name “Alpha Generation” to the generation of new born children after 2010. These children won’t see technology as a tool but as an extension of themselves. The only concept differentiating the virtual and the real world will be the perception of technology.
It won’t be all bad because these children will be the most scholarly human beings in history, so knowledge will be easy to find. But will writing still be essential? Growing in the world of the iPhone, of the Oculus Rift, of Youtube, of Instagram… Children’s brains will evolve to understand better images and videos than just plain black and white writing.
But if a child doeread reed, how can he develop his imagination? If all he does is look at images, there is no place for imagination an essential need for a child’s mental health.
This very connected generation might also be a very solitary one. Growing in a world as superficial as Instagram will slowly end the concept of human relationships. Pure love and pure friendship will not exist anymore, people will calculate their life in function of their popularity.
In 2043, life will be easier, people won’t need to learn how to drive. Autonomous cars will take them wherever they want. The world will be ruled by machines helping us in our everyday life.
It won’t be necessary to learn foreign languages, instantaneous translators will take care of these difficulties to communicate. Learning new languages stimulates the brain, without it our brain will become slower.
Robots will rule our houses doing the everyday chores while humans become lazy and dependent to machines.
The Alpha generation will also live much longer with the elongation of life expectancy. Calico, the start-up of google and the Ancestry DNA society are working together to find the secret of longevity.
Should we wish for this kind of future? People around the world are scared that artificial intelligence will one day kill the human race. What if biological improvements would create better human beings than other and create a fracture within humanity.
Will a Alpha child understand what is effort? Will they do any? By doing nothing, is happiness still possible? Will he be able to concentrate?
How will a good parent educate his children in the Alpha generation?
It will be essential to help them differentiate the good and bad aspects of each new technology. The most important qualities of a human being are his capacity to think, to be creative, to make some art, to respect others, to respect the environment, to love.
These qualities will have to be enhanced every day to be sure they are not forgotten.