"Gen Alpha Needs A Reality Check": 22 Gen Z'ers Were Brutally Honest About The Difference Between Them And Gen Alpha

    #5: "My brother got a doctor's recommendation to go outside more often. They are so invested in electronics, that they are being told to touch grass by medical professionals."

    Recently, we spoke at length about the differences between Gen Z'ers and older generations, but I feel like their younger siblings, Gen Alpha, were left out of the conversation.

    So, I asked Gen Z'ers in the BuzzFeed Community to share how they differ from Gen Alpha, and the responses were wayyy more dystopian than I thought they'd be. Here's what they said:

    1. "I’m solidly Gen Z and both of my younger siblings are Gen Alpha. I think the main, defining difference is HOW technology has changed us."

    "For Gen Z, it made us socially conscious, connected, and globally aware. For Gen Alpha, it made them self-centered and unaware of anything except their own experience. Both generations have mental health effects like anxiety and depression, but Gen Z has support systems, online and in person, to combat that. Gen Alpha is growing up lonely and isolated. I honestly pity them."


    2. "I am an older Gen Z, 26 years old, and I remember having ACTUAL textbooks in school. Nowadays, almost EVERYTHING to do with education requires a tablet or laptop."


    3. "The things I had when I was younger were very unfashionable, but it worked."

    "Now, everything is about how it looks, if it's cool. There [are] eight-year-olds dressing like people my age and it's absolutely wild."


    4. "My cousin is Gen Alpha (nine) and I see her slowly giving into the beauty standards that hold me and some many other teens in their grasp."

    "It makes me sad for her and her generation, that at such a young age she wears makeup every day and worries about her weight. It is like those 10-year-old Sephora kids. Why are they using $100 skincare? I started with litterally only a cleansing wipe at age 11. I just feel so sad that this is happening."


    5. "My brother got a doctor's recommendation to go outside more often. They are so invested in electronics, that they are being told to touch grass by medical professionals."


    6. "My brother (who is eight right now, obviously Gen Alpha) came home and told me that ONE OF HIS CLASSMATES BROUGHT A VAPE TO SCHOOL."

    "The teacher confiscated it, of course. Keep in mind, this classmate comes from an upper-class family; his dad is a doctor, and his mom is a chemist. I couldn't believe it! How is an 8-year-old, A THRID GRADER, bringing a nicotine device to school?? I pray he gets better or something cause that's wild."


    7. "My brother is an asshole. He thinks he’s that guy because my parents think he needs to be protected from hearing things that aren't glowingly positive."


    8. "Gen Alpha just needs a reality check."

    "You’re not going to go anywhere if you don't graduate high school. You can't get a job or an internship if you don't at least have a high school diploma. Or maybe these kids really want to do nothing in life. I don't know."


    9. "I don't know about everyone, but in my experience, Gen Z loves seeing someone when they are talking, whether it is Facetime, sending photos through text, or face-to-face."

    "I prefer to talk to someone in person any day. Gen Alpha relies on their phones for any interaction, even in person."


    10. "My two younger siblings (both Gen Alpha) are constantly focused on ‘finding themselves’, as they call it."

    "They’re constantly looking for ways to give themselves a sense of purpose."


    11. "I'm on the younger end of Gen Z and I've noticed that my sister, who is on the older end of Gen Alpha, is much more into following trends and doing what her friends are doing than I was at her age."

    "For example, my sister asked my parents to buy her a Stanley Cup when they became popular. She uses a ton of skincare products almost every day. She also recently asked to go to Taylor Swift’s last Eras Tour concert. She was very disappointed when my parents said no (too expensive and far away). She hadn't said anything about wanting to go before. She has a friend who is going, and I think my sister might've just wanted to go with her. My sister is a great person and I really hope that she follows the trends that SHE actually wants to follow. I would hate to see her get forced into liking something and having to pretend to be someone she's not."


    12. "My brother is a textbook iPad kid. He is on a device almost always."

    "He also has an iPad, computer, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. He is so addicted to his devices that it's scary. My parents have completely given up and I have to deal with his literal device addiction. His life is so sad."


    13. "I know that as an older Gen Z born in '99, there was still not a lot of internet exposure and social media as a very young kid. We didn't really have phones until we were in high school, usually, and I feel like a majority of the people at school had somewhat of an attention span."

    "I've seen some of the younger Gen Alpha, and they have no social skills and no attention span to pay attention to what people are saying because they are so glued to the tablet. And I feel like we actually touched grass because we knew how to entertain ourselves outside."


    14. "Back in my day, the cool girls wore sparkly sequined shirts. Now, everyone in that age group wants to wear the same things as teenagers and young adults, which is fine, but it is definitely very different."

    "Also, the vocabulary they use is crazy! What does skibidi even mean?"


    15. "We were in a parking lot in Costco when I remembered the old McDonald's mascot, Ronald McDonald, and wondered why McDonald's discontinued him. I mentioned this to my mom and my siblings looked at each other with confusion and asked who Ronald was. My. Heart. Dropped."



    16. "She's nine-years-old and a Sephora kid!! She's obsessed with skincare and buys it with her birthday money."

    "One time we went to the mall and were in Sephora because my mom had to get something, and my sister pitched a fit because my mom wouldn't buy her Drunk Elephant bronzing drops or the $40 Sol de Janeiro!"


    17. "My sister is always on her iPad. Always. Constantly. She doesn’t do anything educational, just watches YouTube every minute she's not at school. She’s parented by the internet."

    "She whines when told to get off for a few minutes. I can't say I have the healthiest relationship with technology, but I have my hobbies and a lot of the time, I'm playing a game or at least something to keep my brain working. Whenever she is told to do something, she whines that she “doesn't know how to do it.” She'll do that as many times as she's asked to do it and whenever she's corrected, she just starts sobbing. There is no emotional regulation whatsoever. My family defends her to no end. She's devolved completely from before she had unlimited access to a tablet. I feel sorry for her when she hits the real world."


    18. "One thing I’ve noticed is how out of touch they are, just in general."

    "I spend my free time reading outside or listening to music, but I have a Gen Alpha cousin who wheeled his gaming chair out to the table for Christmas dinner. I have friends who all played cooking shows outside with sticks and leaves, but Gen Alpha can only relate through technology. I have also seen so many Gen Alpha kids hit their parents in public (which shocks me) and I would have never even dared!"


    19. "I'm Gen Z. My sister is a Gen Alpha, and me and her don't act very similarly. My Gen Alpha sibling thinks the expensive stuff is best, but I will take whatever works."


    20. "I have a Gen Alpha sister. She has grown up with so much more pressure on how she looks and how she must act that she has begun reshaping her entire self to fit into these ever-tightening standards."

    "When I was younger I had none of these pressures and it’s sad to see her this way."


    21. "I’m Gen Z. For me, it's been how much they use technology."

    "Back in middle school, no one complained when they had to put their phones in their pockets to pay attention; now, third graders will throw a fit and start a fight if you even ask them to put their phones down in school!"


    22. And finally, "My sister is Gen Alpha and she'll watch TV with an iPad and game on a console at the same time."


    Now I want to hear from you. Whatever differences you've noticed between you, a Gen Z'er, and Gen Alpha, I want to hear all about it in the comments. Or, if you'd rather remain anonymous, use this Google Form. Your response may be included in an upcoming BuzzFeed post.