ABC/Paula Lobo

With the frequency that Ed Sheeran posts stuff on social media, you’d be forgiven for thinking that he’s constantly on his phone. But it turns out he actually hasn’t had one — well, a fully functioning one, anyway — for nine years.

Appearing on the Therapuss with Jake Shane podcast, Ed tells Jake he doesn’t have a phone number, adding, “I haven’t had a phone since 2015 … they gave me a phone to …  have something to, like, video stuff that would then go up on social media, but it’s not like an active, working phone.”

The question is, why? Ed says it’s because he had the same number since he was 15, but after he got famous, people would call or text him constantly and he felt they expected him to reply. And that became problematic: “Suddenly you’re in, like, 40 conversations at once,” Ed says.

“I found myself sometimes, like, having dinner with my dad … then my phone was just going [off] and you’d be thinking, ‘Oh, who’s texting me?’ and you get it out and suddenly you’re in a conversation and I just was losing real-life interaction, so I got rid of it,” he says. “I got an iPad, I moved everything onto email, which I reply to once a week.”

“I think it’s a better way — no one expects a reply to an email instantly,” he contends. “I think the key is just to reply, whereas with a phone, I never replied to anyone, which I think is just rude.”

Elsewhere in the podcast, Ed declares that in his opinion, Britney Spears‘ “…Baby One More Time” is not only the greatest debut single of all time, but is one of the “top two or three best songs ever.”

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