The epidemic of 10 year olds in Sephora

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You may have heard about the recent epidemic of 10 year olds storming Sephoras, ruining products and being rude to employees. Or maybe you have seen little kids addicted to their ipads, with their eyes glued to the screen. Regardless, Generation Alpha has drawn a lot of attention for displaying outrageous behavior. While many are quick to bash the children, it’s also imperative to understand what made Gen Alpha the way they are. 

As Gen Alpha was born between 2010-2024, their childhood revolved around technology and social media. Being exposed to technology at such a young age can lead to kids lacking internet safety awareness, raise behavioral issues, and instill consumerism at a young age. It is also important to note that our generation, Gen Z, also grew up with technology and Youtube; however, that was when internet culture was still developing. For instance, Gen Z may relate to watching DIY or gaming videos, while kids now watch TikToks or Youtube Shorts of influencers using lavish skincare products. 

When seeing kids out of control, many turn to parents for the blame. More specifically, the new technique of “Gentle Parenting” is a method that avoids old-school, authoritarian techniques, but rather focuses on a child’s feelings. While this does sound great, recently gentle parenting has shifted towards “giving in to my kids.” While there is some credit to be given here for breaking generational trauma, gentle parenting simply does not work. Kids need some sort of guidelines, especially in today’s age where they have free access to the internet. This can lead to kids being entitled or annoying, but it can also lead to much more dangerous things. 

Another thing to note is that a lot of Gen Alpha are also COVID babies. When we were toddlers, we were able to socialize with others at school or at family gatherings. However, Gen Alpha spent those years inside their homes, with nothing more than an Ipad and their immediate family. Before COVID, when parents went to work and came back they were able to play with their kids, as they didn’t have to deal with them all day. However, during COVID years when parents were trapped with their kids’ tantrums, sometimes they had to throw them an Ipad just to have some time to themselves. The change in work culture has also impacted Gen Alpha. In the past, after 5pm parents would come home and be done with their work. However, especially after COVID, coming home from work just to continue working has become extremely normalized. Many relate to hearing their parents in endless meetings at 10pm. With parents so caught up with work, they may not have time to discipline their kids, which can also result in throwing an Ipad to them. 

 A big contributor to Gen Alpha’s mindset is the change of social media.  With the rise of short form content and algorithms, kids are losing their attention spans. The main problem within Gen Alpha seems to be Youtube shorts. Many parents would never let their kids have Instagram or TikTok, but they do allow them to have Youtube. However, many parents are unaware of Youtube shorts, which are essentially just TikToks re-uploaded onto Youtube. While we were also on Youtube as kids, we had a choice of what content we wanted to consume, and were able to explore interests that way. With the rise of Shorts, kids are being fed content rather than choosing what they want to watch. We also watched longer videos, typically spanning from 10-15 minutes, while Gen Alpha watches shorts spanning from 10-15 seconds. Youtube Shorts can also get really weird really fast. Algorithms can sometimes introduce inappropriate or destructive content to kids, which can be difficult for parents to monitor since Youtube Shorts does not show its history. 

In today’s age it may seem impossible to get kids off technology, but there are a few solutions. For one, it’s important to monitor kids’ screen time and constantly warn them about  the dangers of the internet. They should also focus more on not catering everything to teenagers. As mentioned before, places such as Justice or Claires should be more popularized, so kids have somewhere else to go to other than Sephora or high end stores. It’s virtually impossible to keep children off devices, especially as schools start to require laptops or Ipads earlier on, so rather than restricting devices as a whole, restrictions on what they watch and how much they watch can be helpful. For instance, sometimes when you just need a kid to be quiet, maybe have them watch a nature documentary rather than Cocomelon. 

Maybe we are becoming the next millennials, as everyday we get closer and closer to becoming a “back in my day” person. Past generations judged Gen Z for being too grown up and tech savvy, yet we were fine for the most part. Or, maybe the world is just doomed, and each generation is just going to get worse and worse. 

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