New, Global Study: Technology And Growing Up In Generation Alpha

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Children sitting on bench with tablets outdoor

Do you think your child loves their tablet more than you? If you do, you’re not alone.

One in three American parents believe their kids value their phone and tablets more than other possessions or activities. They also believe that by the age of 8 their children will understand how electronic devices work better than they do themselves.

These research findings are part of an on-going, global study into the way technology is impacting Generation Alpha, AKA children born after 2010.

generation alpha - The Everyday Mom Life

The research, conducted by OnePoll who surveyed 8,000 parents across eight countries, was commissioned by Hotwire and Wired Consulting. Together with with neuroscientists, cultural commentators and educators, they created a survey to determine how technology will shape the next generation and what they will expect from it. In this latest round of research, they focused specifically on how parents feel about the relationship between their kids and the technology in their hands.

Countries included are the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands and Australia.

“As a parent of Generation Alpha myself, I’m experiencing first-hand how technology is just natural to today’s children,” said Laura Macdonald, head of consumer, North America at Hotwire. “From turning the lights on by talking at Alexa, to expecting that a robot does the vacuuming, and preferring to watch YouTube videos of the latest Beyblade battles versus playing it in real-life, Generation Alpha’s digital prowess is staggering.”

According to the study, U.S. parents agreed that Generation Alpha is learning tech skills at a lightning fast pace and they aren’t sure how they will keep up on the future.

To cope and keep up, parents have been downloading new apps and joining social networks to keep an eye on their kids. In fact, a whopping 84 percent of parent say they downloaded Instagram and Facebook because their kids are on those networks.

Parents admit to engaging on specific networks like Facebook (27 percent), Instagram (22 percent, YouTube (22 percent and WhatsApp (20 percent) to understand how these virtual hangouts have been influencing their children.

When looking at technology purchases, parents are also considering their kids. More than half (54 percent) said they considered how their kids would use a device when making a purchase and 25 percent even asked their children’s opinion before buying.

Sadly, 31 percent of parents raked the phone or the tablet first in their children’s’ lives. This compares to 18 percent ranking days out with the family at the top of the list, other toys (18 percent), the family pet (7 percent and holiday (5 percent).

Despite all this, 87 percent of parents think technology will help their children’s future careers and 40 percent believe it helps their confidence.

“American parents aren’t scared of technology today, but recognize it is now an essential skill for getting a good job tomorrow,” Macdonald said. “While screen time shouldn’t overshadow kids getting the right amount of exercise and playing outdoors, it can no longer be seen as a cheap way to entertain the kids, but as a necessary tool to helping build a brighter future.”

To read the full  findings from The Parents of Generation Alpha study, click click here. The report will also be discussed on-stage at the Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing Conference on October 27 in Orlando, Florida.

For more research and news, click here.


  1. This is a very interesting post, my little brother is addicted to his Nintendo, but I don’t think my parents are going to give him a phone anytime soon!!

  2. Those are definitely very interesting stats. I do worry a little bit that my son is on his technology for too much time. There are days I am more relaxed about it than others. I think it is a necessary evil but I do want them to be running outside and having fun too!

  3. All too familiar! We barely give our kids any screen time besides Netflix, but the other day they watched cable TV and LITERALLY didn’t know what commercials were. They’re growing up in a very different time than we did. In terms of tablets and phones, it’s crazy how quickly they pick up how to use and navigate them. I agree it’s the way of the future but that a balance between screen time and outdoors/play time is essential for bringing up well-rounded, healthy children.

  4. I believe that young kids know a lot about cell phones and tablets. My granddaughter who is two learned how to unlock her mom’s phone and call me!

  5. I think there’s a place for technology in children’s lives, even at a young age. I just think it’s our job as parents to make sure there’s a balance.

  6. I know that this is a serious concern nowadays thus, I try to limit my kids time with the gadgets. We still make sure to do old fashion// nontechie stuff to keep them entertained. It may not be easy but finding the balance with the use of this new technology should be a top priority.

  7. I think it’s pretty cool that kids growing up with mobile devices are able to pick up tech skills so quick. Hopefully many of them can make careers out of that.

  8. I really enjoyed reading this post. I had no idea about all of the statics. As a mom, I think it’s great to have some type of balance with the kiddos and technology.

  9. What an interesting study! As with most things, it’s about moderation and balance. There’s a lot to be gained from “screen time” but also a huge amount from real world activities.

  10. Very insightful post, I don’t have kids yet so this is good to know. My husband and I have talked a lot about age limits for certain devices and apps.. haha but again we don’t have kids…

  11. These children look like my son glued to his phone. Although I have cut way back on how much time he can be on the Game pr phone each day. I just hope it sticks because he needs to be outside not inside.

  12. I agree with the comment above me from Dennis – serious pros and cons. Without knowledge and use of technology, they won’t advance in a tech world when they are working citizens. It’s such a tough debate!

  13. Technology – especially screen time – is such an issue with kids. So important to find some balance and use common sense. Interesting to hear the new studies that come out about technology.

  14. I do not think my child will love their tablet more than me, but I am sure it will be a popular item. Technology is a part of our life now with games and ways of teaching. I think it is important to make sure they are timed just like Tv time.

  15. As a work at home mom, I feel guilty when I let my children watch their favorite shows on YouTube. I just make sure that I monitor screen time. I also try my best to play outdoors with my children every day.

  16. Today’s generation is such super techie people. It may be advantageous and there are also downside in it. In the future, I would love that my future kids will not be like this or probably make some controls when dealing with gadgets.

  17. Such a great post. My kids are constantly glued to a device. It gets harder and harder to get their attention for learning life skills. A tablet doesn’t cook them food.

  18. Kids now can do so much it’s crazy my son was 1 years old and able to search for cartoons on YouTube. Crazy. I do monitor his screen time we have a healthy balance i feel

  19. My kids get very little (if any) screen time, and I am confident that they’ll be just fine when they grow up. In fact, I already see evidence that they’re going to be much better off than their friends. My children spend time interacting with each other and the rest of the world instead of with a phone or tablet.

  20. Technology has been changing the world like never before and the younger generation have grown up with this change. There is nothing wrong with this but the kids need to be rooted.

  21. It’s definitely a different world from which I grew up in. Technology grows by leaps and bounds every day. For our children to have success in the future they need to be exposed to it. I do believe that moderation and limiting screen time is important though.

  22. Wow this is very interesting to see. the stats are neat to see. technology is absolutely taking over and it makes me so sad that my kids are so obsessed with devices.

  23. Very interesting read. I’m ok with technology evolving and kid’s being around it a great amount of time. I think as long as there’s a healthy balance just like anything else it shouldn’t be an issue.

  24. Having a career that rests on social media makes it hard to be such a naysayer but when it comes to my children, I see so many issues. I feel Facetime isn’t on a my tablet but instead something I want my kids to really learn – face to face live communication.


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