The technology shift from childhood to adulthood

The technology shift from childhood to adulthood

by Jennifer Brown
Stripes Japan

Editor’s note: At Stripes Japan, we love to share your stories and share this space with our community members. Here is an article written by Jennifer Brown, a hospital corpsman at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa. If you have a story or photos to share, let us know at


I can remember how as I child I was mesmerized with the new technology that was beginning to develop. Thinking back on it, I probably spent a good chunk of time as a child growing up glued to the television set or computer screen when I was not playing outside. I even remember losing interest in things that used to excite me like playing board games and doing puzzles. How is it that I shifted my childlike freedom and creativity towards trending technology?

I have noticed this upward trend towards technology within both my childhood and young adult life. I can specifically remember TV commercials literally reminding kids to take a break and go play outside. Do we even have that reminder anymore? Even if we did, I have to wonder, would we actually follow it?

As adults, we no longer have parental limitations on TV time or reminders to go outside and exercise; we have the freedom to make our own choices. Adults are attached to their cell phones and screens of their devices and computers. Spending our free time playing video games, watching television or streaming movies was not something I would’ve suspected the future to be like. Many of us have developed the habit of using electronics for entertainment on a regular basis; and sadly, I am no exception.

I have noticed our habits are being reinforced by the advancing technology as it evolves to meet our needs. I can specifically recall when Kindles were the next hype product back when I was in middle school and reading paper books were no longer “in style.”

Soon, the trends shifted again to iphones, ipads, and tablets. The transition was quick and soon all my peers were swept away staring down at their new devices. Unlike my peers, however, I stuck to a flip phone for a while and I began to realize just how large of an impact technology was starting to have on us all.

It’s no surprise, then, that as a result, that reinforcing cycle my peers and I were taken into by new technology continues in our adult years. Based on my personal usage and that of those around me, I doubt I would not be far off to estimate that most of my coworkers or peers (age 18-25) use a computer or smartphone screen for at least a few hours during a 24-hour period. Do we consider this an unhealthy amount of screen time? If we had the opportunity, would we do anything about it?

I know I have found myself making excuses to why I should stay on the computer or how I need to be on my phone past my bedtime. Interestingly, despite the fact I have allowed this behavior to continue, I have recently discovered that my phone has a setting for digital wellbeing. What a fantastic tool – that is, if we use it! The hard truth is, while we implement boundaries and controls for our children, such as following healthy screentime suggestions, we fail to impose such controls on ourselves.

Consider what a break from technology could potentially provide. Would it be difficult? Could you take a break for a few hours or even a whole weekend? A break might just be enough to lessen the grip technology has on our lives or lessen the impact of that cycle we’ve grown up with.

Jennifer Brown is a hospital corpsman at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa. Originally from Florida, she joined the Navy in 2018 and has been on island for over a year. During her free time, Brown enjoys spending time with animals, running, rock climbing, and hiking. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Her professional interests include social work, animal welfare, and children.

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Recommended Content

Around the Web