We acknowledge as a society that addiction is not a good thing, however, our ability to collectively identify an addiction is sometimes lacking. We have affirmed that it is possible to become addicted to substances we ingest, such as alcohol and drugs, and we have affirmed that an addiction to sex, food or gambling is plausible, but despite the obvious over-saturation of cell phone usage in North America, we refuse to acknowledge the reality of cell phone addiction that is literally right under our noses.
It would seem that we have this problem whenever something comes along that we really enjoy as a society. Several other things that have gained this addiction-exempt status are consumerism, television, sports, movies and video games. What we perceive as addiction has a lot to do with our culture. For example, North American society is more sensitive to excessive alcohol consumption than the United Kingdom, so we are faster to identify alcoholism. Yet in the Netherlands (the country recently named the healthiest country in the world), residents would consider many North Americans to have a food addiction as we have an overwhelming obesity problem.
Similarly, countries that highly value in person interactions and living in a natural way would certainly consider our cell phone usage to be at the level of addiction. Unfortunately, that mindset has not become popular in North America. Social scientists predict that cell phone addiction will come to be identified and looked down on in North America over time, particularly if heavy cell phone usage proves damaging to our health. Some medical professionals already predict that the radio waves and satellite signals of communication devices such as cell phones will cause us eventual health problems, as will the posture we hold our bodies in to look at our cell phones. But as of right now, select groups of people squabble over whether or not cell phone addiction is real, all the while people continue to die on roads, kindergarten students are distracted through class and in person communication suffers greatly due to cell phones.