CYBER TALK: Brad Huddleston and Sergeant Nigel Dalton.
CYBER TALK: Brad Huddleston and Sergeant Nigel Dalton. Contributed

Addressing reality of technology addiction

IT'S become a prominent part of our daily lives and many of us don't realise the obsession some of us have with it.

We are, of course, talking about technology.

That's where Brad Huddleston comes in, author of 'The Dark Side of Technology' and 'Digital Cocaine', to address the problems and issues we are faced with in the digital age today and to identify ways to deal with this.

"(The book) talks about digital addiction and how to be safe while using technology," Mr Huddleston explained.

Last Thursday, Mr Huddleston held an adults-only presentation at Proserpine State High School highlighting three topics - video gaming, social media and pornography.

Within the three topics were sub topics - bullying, cyber-bullying and drug addiction.

"They're all related because as it turns out, we now know from neuroscience, you can be addicted to anything," Mr Huddleston said.

"If you look at brain scans of people who are addicted to hard drugs like cocaine and then to people who have crossed over to digital addiction, their brain scans are identical."

Mackay Crime Prevention Coordinator Sergeant Nigel Dalton co-hosted the event.

With more parents using 'digital babysitters', Mr Huddleston said a huge concern was the effect on children.

"More recent science clearly shows us that damage is being done in underdeveloped adolescents' brains," he said.

"Most parents are totally unaware that there is a link between shortened attention spans, anger and the overuse of devices.

"No one is condemning parents because they're using digital items to help with parenting but the reality is that we need to do a much better job of balancing out the usage."

Mr Huddleston said he received a great response from his presentation and was invited back by the school's principal.

"I had a few students waiting to speak to me," he said. "They recognised the symptoms we talked about and we gave them solutions.

"We tell them the scary stuff but we don't want to leave them hanging."

More information at http://www.bradhuddleston.com.


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