What generation comes after the Millennials, the massive generation that is now swamping the U.S. workplace with people born between 1980 to 2000? The Homeland Generation. Born after 9/11, the oldest members of this generation are now entering middle school.
I have two Homelanders living under my roof, boys aged 9 and 11. They are unique compared to other generations that have come before them. Here’s how:
Born mobile. Raised with mobile devices since birth, the Homeland generation has never known a screen that wasn’t interactive. Tablets and other screens remain in a constant orbit around Homelanders.
Always on. For Homelanders, there is no such thing as “time spent” with media. It’s just always there, like oxygen. When my sons lost their iPod Touch recently, I wanted to teach them a lesson and not replace it. However, I quickly caved. It just seemed cruel and unusual punishment to cut them off from something they had known since birth.
Building worlds. Creating virtual worlds is a major activity for Homelanders. My younger son is immersed in Minecraft, the Lego-like building game. He puts in probably 20 hours a week in the app across multiple devices. As adults, this generation will be very comfortable inside immersive, virtual environments for both work and pleasure.
Under surveillance. Homelanders have been monitored since birth, thanks to crib cams and other devices. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have helped make this generation the most documented in history. As they grow up, Homelanders will not chafe against surveillance because it’s all they’ve ever known.
Enterprise-ready. Even as a seventh grader, my son uses Dropbox to manage his school documents. These employees of tomorrow will be well-prepared for a completely cloud-based business world.
Homebodies. Recession, technology and the threat of terrorism have kept this generation close to home. Driving will continue to decline as parents keep their Homelanders off the road — even when they are old enough to drive.
Loyal soldiers. Like the Silent Generation that followed the heroic GI Generation, Homelanders will operate in the shadow of the massive Millennial generation. As a result, the Homeland generation will lack leadership opportunities and may not produce any U.S. presidents. But they will play an important role in history. Like the Apollo astronauts, Homelanders will execute the grand plans of their Millennial leaders.
The Homeland Generation will be distinct and different from the Millennials. For brands, this will require a shift in marketing and messaging as Homelanders begin to participate in the economy.