California; Hayward — Did you know that there’s already a name for another generation of kids? According to Insider, 2024 marks the final year for Gen Z to bear children who will be part of "Gen Alpha." The subsequent generation — born from 2025 to 2039 — dubbed "Generation Beta" has struck a chord of surprise among Gen Z.
Gen Alpha, currently the youngest generational cohort, encompasses those born from the early 2010s to the mid-2020s. The majority of Gen Alpha members are offspring of millennials and the older members of Gen Z.
As a growing number of Gen Z individuals, with the eldest among them approaching 27 years old this year, appear to be embarking on the journey to parenthood, a trend is emerging where some are turning to social media platforms to share their existential anxieties concerning the relentless march of time.
In a particular video shared on June 28, a TikTok user by the handle of @sar.poooooh candidly revealed a need to revise her "life plans" after grappling with the realization that her window for bearing Gen Alpha children is limited. This video has since amassed over 3 million views.
Viewers largely resonated with the sentiment that "Gen Beta" pales in comparison to the resonating label of "Gen Alpha." Many expressed the revelation that the video had triggered a sense of urgency within them to hasten the decision to become parents.
Engagement also extended to parents who contributed to the discourse, expressing pride in their status as parents to Gen Alpha offspring.
One observer humorously disclosed their anticipation for the arrival of "Gen Gamma," projected to emerge post-2040, for the prospect of raising "Hulk children," alluding to the Marvel Cinematic Universe's portrayal of Dr. Bruce Banner's transformation into the Hulk due to gamma radiation exposure.
Remarkably, even prior to the birth of the first Gen Beta child, the name "Gen Beta" had been subject to jest for years. A Gen Z TikTok creator, @cathcorn, in a video shared in March 2021, shared a sense of preemptive sympathy for this yet-to-be-born generation, humorously lamenting, "I feel sorry for them already and they're not even born."
While a multitude of viewers identifying as Gen Z took the opportunity to jest about the nomenclature assigned to forthcoming generations, it also initiated a broader discourse among viewers who voiced a divergence from the traditional path of parenthood, attributed to factors such as environmental concerns and economic considerations.
Derived from the initial letter of the Greek alphabet, the appellation "Gen Alpha" designates the first generation born exclusively within the 21st century. The name itself was coined by social researcher Mark McCrindle.
As millennials have long been pointing out the sensation of aging in the face of Gen Z's rise, the burgeoning online presence of Gen Alpha has led some Gen Z members to grapple with analogous challenges, mirroring those for which they have playfully teased millennials, thereby accentuating a sense of disconnection from the prevailing spirit of the times.
Noumaan Faiz, (he/him) is a journalist and entertainer from Hayward, CA who covers culture and entertainment.
Edited by Nykeya Woods