Generation Next: Here Come The Homelanders

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 cave. 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.

2 comments about "Generation Next: Here Come The Homelanders".
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  1. Christopher Sanders from The Ingredients Group, October 21, 2013 at 4:32 p.m.

    Clint, Paula - We live in a modest rural community in Northern California, Sonoma, where many schools in our large county, both public and private, are implementing 1:1 programs for iPads and touch devices. Matt's kids are not spoiled. They are becoming typical.

    I do agree that screen time is too common among the post-9/11ers . . . I prefer to call them the Generation S, for "Screens", "Swiping", "Services", "Sensory" as to how they experience media and the world in general. I could add "solitude", "sexting", "Surveillance", and any other number of S-words describing how the constant use of screens and devices is programming their young, forming brains in very different ways than someone from Gen X or Y.

    There are downsides to this always-on, sensory input of constant exchanges with virtual screens that may not out-weigh the upsides to access to information, media and data. Information and data without interpretation and analytical skills are just Exabytes of worthless 1's and 0's.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, November 1, 2013 at 11:09 a.m.

    Just got back from a trip and I saved this one to respond. At breakfast, I saw 2 families you would think they are spending time together in a European country in a higher end hotel. In one, a little boy about 7 or 8 who decided he could get his own breakfast when his father offered including his own bowl of cereal and milk carrying it back to the table by himself. They were also having conversations. The other family had 2 kids, a little girl about 2 and the other a boy about the same age as the independent one in the other family. Both of these kids had tablets in front of them and couldn't take their eyes off of them. The parents were literally putting food in the mouth of the 2 year old and fork fulls of food into the mouth of the 7-8 year old. Because of the easy screen availability, you could see the parents gave up engaging their children in public (an extension of home habits?) and feeding them like they were still in highchairs. Habits and falling prey to what people think is the best route via the dependent electronic usage for their children is has creeped into routine. Those loyal soldiers may not know who they are following just so they can keep on marching and that is extremely dangerous and scary.

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