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1st December 2023

Gen Alpha have arrived, but can they outshine my generation?

Maybe I’m biased, but no one rules the internet quite as much as Gen Z; Gen Alpha, you better stay in your lane
Gen Alpha have arrived, but can they outshine my generation?
Credit: Christine Lynch @ Flickr

Gen Alpha is finally here, and they are bringing their own collection of slang, trends, and memes. But let’s face it, they’ve got big shoes to fill if they want to outshine Gen Z. While there is lots of debate surrounding the years that classify Gen Alpha, it is largely agreed that children born between 2010 and 2025 make the cut. So to all the 2010 babies out there reposting TikToks about Gen Z, maybe hit pause on that. Gen Z refers to the demographic group following Millennials. Alternative names for this cohort include “iGen, Post-Millennials, and Zoomers.”

Gen Alpha has been slowly making waves in slang and memes, over recent years. Whilst this is admirable, they’re crossing into a legacy our generation has been crafting for years. It will take some serious time to match our slang and meme expertise.

Gen Alpha have wasted no time in making their presence known across the digital realm. So let’s take a look at some of their popular slang terms – some of which we may already know. Take the term “Rizz”; now I must admit I thought this term originated from Gen Z, so when I found out Gen Alpha owned this term, I was baffled. This increasingly used term, which is basically short for charisma, is a blatantly obvious example of TikTok being dominated by an excessive number of kids nowadays.

If you’ve been “ratio’d”, then brace yourself for the burn – it means that your comment on social media has gathered more ‘thumbs down,’ or ‘dislikes,’ than thumbs up. Essentially, a digital slap on the wrist. Surprisingly, this strange phrase has become a norm within Gen Alpha circles. But, here we are reminded that Gen Alpha’s growing slang game is like a toddler trying to compete with a seasoned pro; let’s be real, it’s no match for the linguistic legacy Gen Z has built over the years.

Gen Z has revolutionised the digital landscape and language usage, from ‘cancelled’ to ‘glow up’ and the scathing term ‘ghosted.’ Our generation’s impact will be etched into history, shaping the internet for years to come. Gen Alpha’s aiming high, but they’re in for an uphill battle. Our language didn’t just dominate our turf; it’s roped in the millennials too. Millennials are currently scrambling onto TikTok, trying to decode Gen Z slang, all in a desperate attempt to bridge the gap and stay relevant with the younger crowd. But they still show their age with their ‘millennial pause’ at the start of each of their TikTok videos. Like Millennials, Gen Alpha has got some serious catching up to do.

Our superiority over Gen Alpha isn’t just limited to our slang – even our memes draw a stark line between our generations.

But it must be said – and I do hate to say it – Gen Z now finds themselves grappling with the feelings of being “old” and “outdated” as Gen Alpha dives into creating their own meme empire. Here’s the latest head-scratcher for Gen Z; the hype around “Skibidi Toilet,” an animated YouTube series featuring singing and dancing toilet-like creatures with world domination ambitions. Frankly, I’m not even bothering to wrap my head around this supposed trend.

Gen Z has been ruling this game for years. Our epic memes are bound to put our generation into the history books. Personally, one of my favourite trends was the ‘Zoolander’ memes back in late 2022 – you had to be there! Other notable memes and trends our generation has formed over the years include the ‘distracted boyfriend’ meme, the Area 51 raid, Bernie Sanders’ mittens, ‘Karen’ memes and the ‘Ight, Imma Head Out’ SpongeBob meme.

Gen Alpha’s claim to fame lies in their upbringing within a fully tech-savvy world. They’re the pioneers born entirely into the 21st century, with many of them being what you might call “pandemic children.”

Credit: d1lfwh0r3 @ TikTok

Gen Z’s slang and memes are like a cultural force – they’ve mastered the art of viral trends and iconic phrases. They’ve defined the internet language, setting a bar that’s too hard to beat. Gen Alpha might have been born in the digital age, but they’re still learning the ropes. They haven’t had enough exposure or time to cultivate the extensive variety of trends and memes that Gen Z has effortlessly mastered. It’s like Gen Z is the cool older sibling who set the trend, and Gen Alpha is still trying to catch up with the latest lingo.

Yet, when it comes to memes and trends, Gen Z’s creations outshine whatever Gen Alpha brings to the table. But can we expect a shift in the next 5-10 years as Gen Alpha steps into their teenage years and delves deeper into social media? Only time will tell.

The generational gap isn’t just about age though – it’s a snapshot of how societies change and where each generation stands in that evolution. It’s like a roadmap of attitudes, values, and ways of dealing with the world, with both Gen-Z and Gen Alpha using social media to create trends and memes as a distraction from the world’s ongoing changes and constant bombardment of news. Amidst all this flux, social media has become a haven for us, offering a temporary escape from the relentless updates and transformations happening globally.

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