How can a middle or high schooler function without a phone socially and academically?

It's a myth that a middle or high schooler has to have a phone to survive socially or academically. Social skills like listening, looking someone in the eye, and asking caring questions aren't aided by a phone—they’re hindered!  Posting photos and commenting on them on the phone doesn't help your child develop meaningful relationships. 

My (Arlene) daughter, a freshman in high school, uses my phone to text her friends and meets most weekends with her friends to hang out in the park. My son, a high school junior, uses a free Google voice number to text his friends and keep up on his extracurricular activities.

Academically speaking, phones are more of a distraction in the classroom than a help.