Exactly. I didn't want to sound political, but it's just more nanny-state type stuff, except this time it's a private company doing it (pushed by lawyers to do it and using it as an opportunity to make money.)
It's just so demeaning, embarrassing, and idiotic to be patting people down. Seriously. There should be big red signs everywhere in the queue announcing that if you are caught with a phone on a ride outside of a secured pocket, you will be banned from all Six Flags property, either for several years or life. Put them in English and Spanish (and any other languages that are common in the area, I know that SFGAdv attracts a very diverse crowd from NYC, Philly, and the like, so English-only is a bit unwise for such a critical safety sign.) Make sure people know that there are security cameras and you WILL get caught doing such idiotic things.
In addition, I know that in my home state of Ohio, you can be fined (and perhaps jailed for a bit) and convicted of a misdemeanor for breaking ride safety regulations. I hope that New Jersey has a similar law. NJ has regulated the amusement industry before (KK/Zumanjaro), so it seems like they would have such a law. If such a law exists, that, too, should be put up on big signs along with the aforementioned warning.
Another interesting idea is at Diamondback at Kings Island, where mangled phones that fall from the ride are put on display in a large Plexiglass box before you enter the station as a warning. Nobody wants to lose their phone, which probably cost them $200-$900 if it's a smartphone.
Let me finish with a closing remark. Imagine if somebody's Flash Pass - which, while smaller than a phone, is also an electronic device that the rider is trusted to secure properly - comes loose on El Toro and knocks my teeth out. Maybe the user didn't clip it to their belt loop. What will Six Flags do about that? They'd definitely be more hesitant to ban something that makes them money. But banning phones, keys, and wallets? That makes locker money. Hence the current ban.