Is Gen Alpha growing up too fast?

Washington students and staff weigh in on Generation Alpha as they grow up under the influence of the internet and new technology.

Freshman and Teachers


Generation Alpha seems to be a topic of interest right now on social media, as some say that kids today are growing up too fast. Is it okay that ten year old girls are shopping at Sephora and wearing a lot of makeup? Is it okay that young girls are using anti-aging products?

Mr. Soltau, a teacher here at Washington High School, asks the question, “Who is letting them?” Some people point their fingers at the kids of Gen Alpha but if you look deeper into their behavior, it all comes back to their parents. As Mr. Soltau says, “who is letting them do these things that we are not okay with? It is unfair to blame the generation.” He also says, “Every generation has their thing.” Every generation is judged harshly by the one before it. It is a repeating cycle. So, nothing is new: “It is just more visible now more than ever,” Mr. Soltau says. 

But what makes this new generation more visible? One reason is that technology has never been more advanced than it is now. We also have to take into account that this generation are Covid babies. The crucial time for them to be in a classroom setting learning was on a computer, which results in them growing up dependent on technology. Soltau also points out that, “Being on a zoom call is a very adult thing to do. If you ask them about their classes they will say they were in a zoom meeting, not a class.” This is a very important fact to take into consideration before judging this generation. 

Current freshman Aiyonna Gaines also feels that Gen Alpha is growing up too fast, and  that the parents need to step up. Should they be wearing makeup at such a young age? Gaines says, “Personally I feel like they don’t need to be using makeup or a lot of makeup. I see a lot of stuff on TikTok and I feel like they are growing up too fast.” Many believe that  we still need to try to preserve some of their much needed childhood experiences that every child should get to have. Aiyonna agrees: “They don’t need to be using anti-aging products, they are young. Using that everyday at this young age could damage their skin.” 

Overall this generation needs to not be judged so harshly. There is a reason behind every behavior, even though it may seem strange to us. Comparing our lives to theirs is unfair because we have not experienced what they have, and even though we all fought through Covid-19, it affected everyone differently. As Aiyonna and Mr.Soltau said, Gen Alpha is doing the best they can do with what they were given. If anyone needs to step up and make a change it is their parents.

In a world where screens outnumber playgrounds, Generation Alpha is embarking on a journey through uncharted waters where every challenge is a call to create a new identity and adapt to the future.

Parents, educators, and guardians are responsible for guiding Generation Alpha towards a better lifestyle, encouraging them to participate in outdoor activities and setting limits on their cellular devices. The goal is for kids to see nature and form connections with people from the real world instead of the online world.The content children see on social media from influencers can give them a false reality, leading them to try to copy the influencer’s lifestyle, such as extensive skincare, hair, or makeup routines. Recently, some Sephoras were damaged by 10-year-olds who were reported for wasting the store’s product. Haneul Lach, a sophomore from Washington High School, states, “I think it’s kind of weird that they’re doing that, especially because they are 10 years old. I don’t think they should even be making their parents buy expensive skincare for them, and how they ruin the stores by wasting product is terrible.” Lach’s sentiments give us an overview of the issue of social media upon the next generation as they feel pressured to keep up with the beauty standards online. Lorenzo Tala, another 10th grader, says, “Based on what I have heard about the next generation destroying stores I find it quite shocking that their parents just let it happen because I know that I wasn’t doing that when I was 10.” The idea of young individuals such as 10-year-olds being allowed to go into stores with no one stopping them is ludicrous, emphasizing that even older generations did not behave the same at that young of an age.

With educators being guides for the future the role they play is crucial in shaping the next generation. Haneul Lach says, “teachers are going to have a hard time finding a way to adapt to their students because with social media being around, they are going to see influencers with all this money and fame and are going to want to copy their life, so it kind of leads to teachers just not being able to connect with the younger generations.” Lach shows the gap between the 

traditional way of teaching compared to the online-driven approach of this new generation, which is a difficult challenge to handle.

Lorenzo Tala agrees.Teachers will try their best to adapt to their new students but there are going to be obstacles that come with it like not being able to connect with their students the best,” he says. “Especially social media. I don’t know why parents give kids a phone. It’s kind of weird, they can go outside [instead].In addition, Gen Alpha is more likely to be depressed than previous generations, and how mental health issues are dealt with is also different.

Lach states, “I think the way that we deal with that ourselves is maybe similar to [Gen Alpha]. In a way we are also growing up with technology.” He suggests that Gen Z and Gen Alpha deal with depression and mental problems the same way: through social media.

Tala says something similar. “For the future, I feel like new inventions like the iPhone 22 or something will come out, and that’s how they are going to deal with it, just to escape reality and go into their fantasy place in their heads,” he says. The early exposure of kids as young as 7-9 years old to the latest technology is rewiring their brains, shifting entertainment preferences toward screens, and neglecting outdoor play. This shift prompts concerns about the impact on physical health, social skills, and the overall well-being of Generation Alpha.



Recently there’s been a rise in 10-13 year olds acting much older than their age. When further looked at, there’s a very obvious maturity gap between 10-13 year olds today and 10-13 year olds back when we were growing up. The differences are almost scary. Children today lack parental guidance and are so involved in social media, they forget how to act like kids instead of bratty adults. Looking into the causes and behaviors of these kids can be quite angering, so sit back and stay calm while we dive into interviews from Washington High Juniors Jordyn DuBoce and Stephen Moore, where they help answer this burning question: Are kids these days growing up too fast? 

Jordyn Duboce has a very straight forward answer to this question. She blames the parents: “Most kids aren’t disciplined anymore,” she says. “They are sent to their rooms with their Ipads.” When asked about parent involvement, Jordyn expressed that with three younger siblings she is a first hand witness to these lazy punishments and how ineffective they are. Parents today put off actually being parents, and let the Ipad raise their children. Jordyn blames this generation of lazy parents and their lack of dedication and care for their children. She claims that a weak relationship results in disrespectful behavior from the children. Parents today don’t know how to parent, and whether that’s because of their own childhood issues or not, Jordyn says “the bottom line is, if you don’t know how or aren’t ready to be a parent don’t be one.” 

Stephen Moore has a more broad view of the next generation: he blames technology. When asked whether kids are growing up too fast, Stephen tells us that “The next generation isnt growing up too fast, just differently.” He explains that he doesnt think using technology in itself will have a negative impact on these kids, but the way they use it or abuse it will. Stephen recognizes parents disregarding their kids by shoving an Ipad in their face as a problem, but he blames social media specifically for targeting these children. “On tik tok they see these people doing these crazy pranks and bad behaviors and think it’s okay to act that way,” he says. An example of this can be the rise of children in Sephora, a skincare brand. “White elephant” has gained popularity online for being an “anti aging” brand, and recently many kids ages 10-13 have been seen in makeup stores purchasing these skin products right after they disrespect the workers and leave the stores in disarray. The media targeting children fuels their already bad attitudes and behavior. Without parental guidance kids are instead being raised by social media and screens, which allows them to act out with no repercussions. 

Bad parenting along with the rise of technology and social media is affecting the way the younger generation is growing up. The effects of this are already becoming obvious, but whether this change will end up leaving a good or bad impact on Gen Alpha is still up for debate. Still, one thing is for sure: these kids are growing up in an environment that is completely catered to them and they will be in for a rude awakening when the real world hits them. 

The advent of handheld mobile technologies and the internet has opened a Pandora’s Box of issues regarding internet usage, internet safety, and, most importantly, the risks of giving a phone to a child. Children are shown the worst the World Wide Web has to offer, with content that even many adults would avoid. In addition, the extremely dangerous nature of social media means that children are not only being exposed to extremely high beauty standards that tarnish their body image but are also being exposed to alarming trends on platforms like Instagram, which increasingly push dangerous content that the algorithm perceives to be “engaging.” Given all this, it’s no surprise that Generation Alpha, born between the early-2010s and mid-2020s, is drastically affected by the consequences of unsupervised internet usage. Furthermore, considering that most of their formative years were spent in a pandemic where the only source of entertainment was an iPad and YouTube, it’s ignorant to think that the Internet has not reshaped the future of the entire generation. 

Content moderation on the internet is a hot point of contention–as rules and regulations surrounding internet usage for minors (those under 18) get stricter, children are getting increasingly tech-savvy and can circumvent most, if not all, technological restrictions placed on their devices. However, it is incredibly important for children to exercise safety while surfing the internet; a recent UNICEF report found that “When browsing the internet, children may be exposed to hate speech and violent content – including messages that incite self-harm and even suicide.” This content causes children to grow up too fast, as they are exposed to content that is not suitable for their age, with Aishani Anand, a senior at Washington High School, saying that the internet is causing her sister to “to grow up too fast because her entire personality comes from stuff she sees on social media and the internet.” 

Many children spend less time playing outside with their friends and instead communicate over Instagram or Snapchat in a much more impersonal way. Rahul Rejeev, a senior at Washington High School, noticed that his “sister’s life revolves around her devices, more than when I was her age. I used to play games outside but her generation’s way of making and playing with friends seems to revolve more around their devices.” This only leads to an increased disconnect with the outside world for many of these young children, who would rather spend most of their day behind a computer screen rather than outside with their friends.

All in all, Generation Alpha will be defined by their dependence on the internet, and whether that be good or bad remains to be seen.

Danielle Unsworth is a Junior at Washington High School. She grew up in Fremont, California. This is her first year in journalism and she's very excited to be included. She enjoys writing about her opinions as well as arts and current events. In her free time she likes to garden and take care of her plants as well as read books and listen to music. Danielle plans on attending UC Berkeley and becoming a lawyer in the future.

Jim Mejorada is a junior at Washington High School. He was born and raised in the Philippines for 11 years and moved to Fremont CA in 2018. This is Jim’s first year on the paper. He likes writing about space, games, sports and nature. His favorite hobbies are playing games, skateboarding, going outdoors and exploring random areas. His future plans are to possibly go to college and do his best to be wealthy then live comfortably.

Atharva Sonune, currently in his Junior Year, has had a diverse upbringing that spans India, Ohio, and California. Embarking on his inaugural year at the paper, Atharva brings a fervent curiosity for journalism. His passions encompass a wide array of topics, including emerging technology, economics, and politics. Beyond the world of writing, Atharva actively engages as a dedicated DECA member, is interested in guitar, and loves to edit videos. He wishes to hone his photography skills and is currently focusing on getting ready for college applications next year.

Sonya Garcia is a current senior at Washington High School. She was born in Walnut Creek and raised in Fremont. This is Sonya’s first year on the paper. She is interested in writing about sports and events that take place at Washington High School or our Community. Her hobbies include waitressing at her job, doing make-up and shopping. She hopes to go out for Track and Field Throwing again this year. After high school, Sonya wants to continue waitressing while she studies business in community college. She hopes to one day open a small business of her own.

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