Digital Cocaine – Part 1

people using their smartphones

By: Brad Huddleston

One comment I often receive regarding the cover of my book, Digital Cocaine, is, “That’s confronting.” What I think they really mean is something akin to, “That’s harsh, and in your face, please try to communicate your message positively.”

I’m all for being positive, but then there’s this pesky little thing called “the truth.” We love it and feel positive when we’re already in alignment with the truth. When we’re out of alignment with the truth and then are confronted with it, it tends to offend and make us angry. The irony is that the very thing that makes us furious is the only thing that will free us. 

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:21

We should think twice when tempted to become an enemy of truth. The truth is that brain scans of digital addicts are the same as a cocaine or heroin addict, as illustrated on the cover of Digital Cocaine by a thirteen-year-old boy snorting zeros and ones from his smartphone. Of course, no parent wants to consider their child a drug addict—I get that. But then, there’s the truth. Sadly, I suspect most parents who hear me speak and see the brain scans I show think to themselves, “Thank God my child is not that bad,” when they probably are.

As a minister of the gospel, I am commissioned by God to tell the truth in love. I care deeply about those who come to hear me speak. However, I’ve had to ask God to help me love those who push back against the message He has given me, and He has. Even though I go to great lengths to express my sincere love and care, a few people still become angry with me. So, why do I press on? Well, because God loves those addicted to digital drugs. We must reach digital addicts with the good news just like those we reach out to who are addicted to traditional drugs such as alcohol, meth, marijuana, and heroin.

After my sermons and seminars, it is common for people to say, “I had no idea it was that bad.” That is how satan (I refuse to honor him by capitalizing his rotten name.) operates; he blinds us to our folly. We compare ourselves to other people and think, “Well, thank God I’m not like those drug addicts on the street.”

If you’re seasoned in the Word of God, two passages have probably crossed your mind:

“The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people.’” Luke 18:11 

“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12

Lying to ourselves by saying we’re not like others only perpetuates our problems. Comparing ourselves to others can give us the false impression that we’re better off than them—when we’re not. Only when we humble ourselves and admit we’re all in the same boat of sinful humanity can we receive God’s help. For example, although you might resist what you’re reading, deep inside, you might wonder if you and your children have an issue with digital addiction. If that’s you, don’t ignore that inner voice; it might just be the Holy Spirit. God is not angry when we’re honest. Never. He only gets testy with us when we ignore Him and lie to ourselves about our condition.

You might be thinking (and I hope you are), “How can I tell if my child is addicted to their technology? I can’t afford a brain scan.” Now we’re getting somewhere with God.

We’ll have part 2 next month. For more information, visit While there, check out my book Digital Cocaine, A Journey Toward iBalance and my new book, Digital Rehab: Learning to Live Again in the Real World.

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