Many in the media are quite willing to discuss the terrifying ramifications of phone addiction. They talk about kids using Twitter and TikTok as though it were a biblical plague. Yet, it seems that nobody is willing to speak about an epidemic that may fare to be even more terrifying than phone addiction: that is, the addiction that adults have to tell kids to put their phones away.
This is anti-phone addiction.
I had the pleasure of interviewing a recovering anti-phone addict, Mr. Haigious Plagious, a now-retired English teacher who once worked at Saint Paul’s.
Question: Mr. Plagious, when did you first know you had a problem?
Answer: Look, every teacher has the same experience: they’re about to start a class, and they see some kid texting their girlfriend or boyfriend or whatever, then we say, “put your phones away!” We think it’s normal. Then came the summer of ’18. I had to tell my wife to put her phone away while she was checking Facebook. It started to become a habit, and then I realized that I needed to ask her to put her phone away every breakfast to get my fix in.
Question: Why do you think we, as a society, have such an issue with addressing anti-phone addiction?
Answer: Simply because it’s easy to use phones as a scapegoat. We love to blame Twitter and TikTok for our youth’s depression without addressing the economic and climate crises. We say, “put the phones away,” and it seems natural. Smoking cigarettes also used to seem natural.
Question: Do you have any advice you’d like to give to any teacher struggling with this addiction of telling students to put their phones away?
Answer: Many of you will say you have it under control. But the truth is, nobody has it under control. You need to realize what’s happening to your brain when you keep telling these kids to put their phones away: you’re addicted.
Question: Lastly, what tips do you recommend to help people quit their anti-phone addiction?
Answer: Well, the best thing you can have is someone willing to call you out. After that, well, quitting bad habits is never easy. Since I left teaching, I have made myself a Twitter account. It was hard at first, but now I have 1,000 followers, and I have learned so much. Do you know what a “black-pilled zoomer” is? I do now! The screen time report says I use it 12 hours a day. My wife likes to joke that we’re in a poly relationship with the app. But, on a more serious note, I think it’s just important to know that it’s never too late to quit. There’s no healthy way to tell kids to put their phones away.
Question: Thank you very much for your time, Mr. Plagious.
Answer: No problem; this interview was an excellent opportunity to finish up my Twitter thread about how Vecna from Stranger Things is problematic.
Thankfully, countless disgruntled older people have finally woken up to the dangers of anti-phone addiction.
It is an uphill battle, however, as career speakers make a convincing living people that phone addiction is the problem and making people put their phones away is the cure. This empire of lies crafted by so-called “phone addicts” must stop.
The soul of the nation is at stake.