Off the grid! While it’s not uncommon for regular folk and celebrities alike to refrain from using social media, there are several stars who have shared their preference for not owning a cell phone.
Justin Bieber revealed in March 2021 that he had opted to use an iPad for communicating in lieu of a mobile device. The Canadian artist, in turn, explained how choosing to disconnect in this way has helped him in the long run.
“I definitely learned how to have boundaries, and I just don’t feel like I owe anybody anything,” the “Hold On” singer told Billboard. “That has helped me to be able to just say no and just be firm in it and know that my heart [wants] to help people, but I can’t do everything. I want to sometimes, but it’s just not sustainable.”
Bieber noted that he’s “in a really good place” now and explained how his outlook on life has changed following his troubled past. “At this point, I’ve reached a level of success so many times that I know success isn’t a be-all, end-all to my happiness,” he said.
Simon Cowell, for his part, shared in May 2020 that he hadn’t used a cell phone in the last three years.
“It’s very simple. It means you don’t wake up to, like, 50 text messages you can’t reply to,” he told Entertainment Tonight at the time. “And that’s what happened one morning — I woke up and I’ve got 52 unread messages. And I thought, even if I reply to every one of those, I’m going to get another replying back, and then I’m going to get more that day. And I realized it was actually stopping me from working or living properly, so I just turned it off and I went a month, three months, then a year, then two years, then three years. And I love it.”
Shailene Woodley is no stranger to embracing a unique approach. She previously shared with Into the Gloss that she liked giving her downstairs region “a little vitamin D” via natural sunlight and her Spectacular Now costar Miles Teller claimed that she would consume “Chinese dirt supplements” before their kissing scenes. Back in 2014, however, she opened up to The Daily Beast about why she didn’t have a cell phone.
“I’m not a big technology person. I don’t even have a smartphone. I don’t even have a cellphone! And if I were to have one, it would be a flip phone,” she shared at the time. “There’s a bigger lack of privacy than there’s ever been, but there’s also a bigger lack of camaraderie and community than there’s ever been. I mean … just asking people for directions.”
The Big Little Lies alum added, “Since I got rid of my phone, having to pull over and be like, ‘Hey, buddy — do you know how to get here?’ I’m talking to people more than I’ve ever talked to in my life because I no longer have that crutch. The more you get away from all the technological buzz, the more freedom you have.”
That same year, Woodley revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that she was given a “temporary phone” because her team was having issues getting ahold of her. When 2019 rolled around, she said that she primarily used a flip phone to communicate but had an iPhone to text on when she had WiFi access.
Scroll down to see what stars have said over the years about not having a cell phone.