Conan O’Brien Has a Cure for Tech Addiction

The "iPhone Basic" would have no screen or buttons.
The “iPhone Basic” would have no screen or buttons. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Turner

During its annual Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday, Apple unveiled a new iOS tool for iPhones and iPads called Screen Time, which is designed to combat technology addiction. The feature allows users to monitor and limit the amount of time they spend on each app and also keeps track of the number of notifications they have and the frequency at which they pick up their devices.

“I’ve been using [Screen Time] and I have to tell you: I thought I was fairly disciplined about this. And I was wrong,” CEO Tim Cook told CNN. “When I began to get the data, I found I was spending a lot more time than I should … and the number of times I picked up the phone were too many.”

Conan O’Brien decided to help Apple out with its battle against tech addiction. On Wednesday night’s episode of Conan, he unveiled a fake ad for a product he is proposing to call the “iPhone Basic,” which comes with the dystopian slogan “We release you.” The short, which has the same millennial-focused, retro-filtered visuals as some of Apple’s actual ads, features an iPhone with “no buttons, no screen.” It’s a radical solution, but perhaps the one we need to truly stymie the scourge of tech addition.

You can watch the sketch here: