With the oldest of the Millennial Generation – people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s – now approaching their thirties, researchers have begun to look at the next generation coming of age. Who are they? How will they differ from those who’ve come before them? And what will they be most interested in?
Who Are the Next Generation?
Whatever you call them, this generation is going to be defined by things that were revolutionary ideas to the Millennials preceding them: things like Facebook, the smart phone, and even video games
The parameters of the generation following the Millennials haven’t been completely defined yet, but in general, they are considered to have been born from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s. The group has yet to have an official name. Some call them the Homeland Generation, a reference to being born around the time of the 9/11 attacks. Other names thrown around include the iGeneration, Gen Net, Gen Tech, and Generation Z. Perhaps the most fitting moniker so far is the Post Generation. After all, most of this generation was born post-2000, post-Internet, and post-9/11. And indeed, they are largely a product of what has come before them.
What Defines the Post Generation?
Whatever you call them, this generation is going to be defined by things that were revolutionary ideas to the Millennials preceding them: things like Facebook, the smart phone, and even video games. The Post Generation will take these things for granted. What was new and cool to Millennials will be old hat to them. For the Post Generation, the Internet Revolution, texting, iPads, and social media will just be part of the terrain.
They will also have grown up in a world of racial, gender, and sexual equality. They will not have known a time when an African-American president was a history-changing event, nor a time when natural resource depletion and climate change weren’t issues that touched everyone’s lives. Social consciousness is also likely to be a defining characteristic of this group.
What Will They Be Most Interested In?
While it is a little early to predict what the Post Generation will be most interested in, there are indications. This generation sees themselves as, perhaps more than anything else, connected. They are rarely truly alone, as they have the Internet in their pockets and the ability to stay in constant contact with all 500 of their closest friends. With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and texting, connectivity is a major contour of their lives, and there’s no reason to think this will change anytime soon. Also, when combined with globalization and social consciousness, this connectivity points to a high level of diversity. This is a generation that will take differences in stride, see the whole planet as one entity, and seek to make a positive impact.
Maybe most significant, however, is that this generation will be, for lack of a better term (and not in a bad way), impatient. They will have never heard a busy signal, never had to wait for their favorite television show to come on, never thought, “I have to go to the library to research this.”
The Post Generation lives in an age of instant communication and mostly instant gratification. So if you want to get their attention, you’ll have to work for it: innovative, attention-grabbing content will be almost a certainty, even if you don’t yet know exactly what that content will be.