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Children 21 May 2018

Generation T: the generation that will inherit the world

Generation T refers to those born from 2010 onwards. These are children who know the world through a digital screen and what is more important through touch. Hyperconnectivity, speed and instantaneousness are some of the words that go along with these children as they grow up.

generation T children babys touch resource bbva

Millennials continue to cause the most headaches for companies. How to get on their wavelength and inside the heads of these young people, who already form part of the working force, is an unknown. Centennials, or digital natives, belong to the latest generation to have grown up with smartphones, social networks and wearables. The time gap between generations is becoming shorter than ever but at the same time the differences are greater than ever.

A third generation has joined these two bent on being masters of the digital world. A group of children that, although only accounting for about 15% of the global population, are set to conquer the future. Who are the members of Generation T?

Why the letter T?

Generation X (1965-1980) gave way to Y (1980-1996) before Generation Z appeared on the scene (the 2000s), with the nomenclature in apparent alphabetical order. For some media, the latest generation forms a sub-group of the previous one, named Z2. But most have opted to use the letter T on the premise that the changes are so notable that the generation merits its own label.

Albeit that the letter T had already been used for those born before 1945, known as the traditionalists, or more commonly, the silent generation marked by religion, austerity and respect for authority. It is important, therefore, to keep in mind that over half a century of social and cultural change separates the old T generation from the new.

Why T then? Children born fewer than 10 years ago come to a globalized and hyperconnected world immersed in technology that engages not only sight and hearing but also touch and hence the use of the letter T to describe them.

Digital, tuned-in and impatient

Generation T refers to those born beginning in 2010, years marked by an exponential technological leap accompanied by social movements that have in turn have left their mark on mothers and fathers and others that make up the child’s education circle. Time will tell the impact of these sociological changes but the advances in technology have already left a series of shared characteristics.

How Media & Technology Affects Children

In 2016, about 81% of babies already had a presence in the internet (photos in family profiles, including profiles managed by their parents). As a result, apart from being a generation born into the digital age as their predecessors (G-Z), they are ignorant of an analogical style of life and are not overwhelmed by hyperconnectivity.

This has led to another aspect of the ‘touch’ generation. From the age of three, these children can have complete control of devices connected to the internet that provide an immediate response through touch screens but cannot adapt this process to analogical devices. That is why they are impatient because they follow a “touch and get’ rule.

Lastly, as a result of information overload and hyperconnectivity, these children make no apparent distinction between what is public and private since they are used to seeing everything shared on the web. The security of data that they share, and will share, in the web is most certainly an issue that will be dealt with in the future.

The future generation is already here

Experts say it is still too soon to tell what the effects might be of the prolonged use of digital devices from childhood. Some link it directly to visual fatigue due to the extended exposure to the light generated by devices in addition to a number of problems relating to physical health.

Hyperconnectivity to social networks and the internet can also create some psychological problems, for example, not being able to react rationally to an absence of connection and not being able to pay attention for more than a short period of time.

If anything is known about the coming years it is that this generation will change the view of the world and once again require brands and companies to adapt to their outlook to take on the changes. There are managing to do so with the millennials and little by little with digital natives, which points to the touch generation not being far behind.