Ed Sheeran is proof it’s possible to forgo a phone in the digital age. Not only has the singer managed to get by without one, but he also continues to be an international star and best-selling artist while at least partially off-the-grid. Apparently, the singer has managed to live with email as his only form of online contact for the last four years.
Back in 2015, Sheeran announced his digital detox on social media, opting to “travel the world and see everything [he] missed” after spending five years staring at a screen. The singer took a break from his music as well, returning to the stage a year later. While Sheeran picked up communication via email, it seems he still operates without a cell phone. Sheeran’s friend Roman Kemp confirmed the singer’s communication preferences during Friday’s episode of the British game show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!. Kemp said, “Ed doesn’t have a phone, you email him.”
While Sheeran doesn’t have a phone, he still uses technology. In 2017, Sheeran explained his phone-free life on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I bought an iPad, and then I just work off of email, and it’s so much less stress,” he said. “I don’t wake up in the morning and have to answer 50 messages of people asking for stuff. It’s just like, I wake up and have a cup of tea.”
Sheeran said his social anxiety is a big reason why he cut a phone out of his life and maintains a small group of close friends. According to The Reporter, the singer said his anxiety caused him to become “closed off from reality.” He said in a video on his YouTube page, “Whether it’s getting rid of your phone or only looking at emails twice a day. Or cutting down my friendship group to the bare minimum just so I can trust everyone. I let people in from a, ‘Let’s hang out’ place. There is letting in and then there is letting in.”
Ed Sheeran is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music.