Celebrities Who Prefer the Nostalgia of Slow Living (No Smartphones, Internet, & More)

Celebs without smartphones
20th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection/Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for iHeartMedia/Jason Merritt/Getty Images/Adobe Express

While it seems like everyone has a smartphone these days, that isn’t actually true. The “dumbphone” movement has been growing, especially among the Gen Z crowd, who seem to have an affinity for nostalgic items. As many people are feeling burnt out from being online 24/7 and always being accessible, it seems that more and more people are leaving their smartphones behind and adopting flip phones again or setting bigger boundaries on their Internet and phone use.

Interestingly enough, some celebrities have never owned a smartphone or computer, despite having all the funds to purchase the best of the best. Let’s find out who they are and why they choose not to engage in some technology!

Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken attends the "Dune: Part Two" premiere at Lincoln Center on February 25, 2024 in New York City

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

He once said that he has never owned a cell phone or computer and doesn’t mind because if he needs to use one, he can ask basically anyone! He has also said that he has never sent an email in his life. Walken shared, “Sometimes on a movie they’ll give me a cell phone, but it’s more so that they can find me … like a tracking collar. If I want to use it, someone has to dial it for me, that kind of thing.”

Michael Cera

Superbad Michael Cera, 2007

Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection

Cera was one of the beloved cast members of the highly-anticipated Barbie movie but he was a little bit out of the clique with his cast members. Cera has admitted that he has a bit of a fear and aversion to smartphones because when they first came out, he remembers being ignored by friends who would send emails while hanging out with him. For the recent Barbie film, there was a group chat for the cast, but Cera was not included because he only has a flip phone. No hard feelings though, as Cera said that it was actually quite spot-on for his character, Allan.

He explained, “I still think I wouldn’t belong on [the group chat] anyway, because [my character] Allan is sort of in his own little world. Greta [Gerwig]’s gift for me when I arrived was a picture disc of NSYNC‘s No Strings Attached, which felt like somehow a real guiding light in the backstory of this character.”

Dolly Parton

9 to 5 Dolly Parton, 1980

20th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection

Parton’s goddaughter and fellow artist Miley Cyrus once revealed that Parton usually only communicates using a fax machine. Cyrus said, “Every time I coordinate and kind of communicate with Dolly, it’s still through fax. We do use the phone, but she does a fax and then someone scans the fax and then they put it into a text message. And then that gets sent to me, and it’s always signed.” Parton admitted that she just doesn’t want to get involved in the world of newer technology because she’s “surrounded by enough people.” Makes sense, as it seems the amount of texts, calls, emails, and social media messages a celebrity could receive would be very overwhelming!

Elton John

Honoree Elton John attends the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, which was broadcast live on FOX on May 27, 2021

Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

John has never had a cell phone and isn’t interested in one. He has his husband or staff run his social media accounts and only uses Skype on an iPad when he’s away and wants to talk to his kids. He added that he hates cell phones and how everyone has one with a camera now because he feels that he has no privacy when out in public. He said, “I hate mobile phones, camera phones. I don’t go out anymore. There’s no privacy anymore. When I started out there were no mobile phones, no kind of paparazzi, we had it so easy. You can afford to be out of your mind and behave extraordinarily badly in public and no one would be able to take a photograph, which I did many times! Unfortunately that’s all changed with the advent of technology. Going out now is an effort.”

Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale is seen at Los Angeles International Airport on February 23, 2011 in Los Angeles, California

GVK/HM/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Several years ago, Beckinsale was spotted out with a flip phone and admitted that she wasn’t interested in an iPhone. She confirmed, “That’s about the extent of it. I don’t like my iPod. I like a nice record player and a book. I’m very much about that. So all that happens to me – I used this a lot [the phone] so that’s the only reason I’d say I’ve had an influx. I’m not much interested in an iPhone.”

Chris Pine

US actor Chris Pine takes a picture with a mobile phone as he arrives for the international premier of his latest film "Star Trek Into Darkness" in London's Leicester Square on May 2, 2013

ANDREW COWIE/AFP via Getty Images

The actor had a flip phone for many years and switched to an iPhone in 2022. However, the transition was not easy and Pine had a lot of negative things to say about the smartphone. He said in an interview, “I had a flip phone for four years, or three years, and I just got an iPhone because I felt pummeled by how difficult being analog… It was very difficult. But, having just gotten this crack machine, it’s really bad. These machines are really, really, really bad. I may immediately go back to a flip phone. I don’t know if my soul can handle it. I used to read so many books, Josh. I was f—— murdering these books, just 15 books in like three months. And then [the phone] showed up, and it’s… I can tell you everything about Pete Davidson and Kim Kardashian, but I can’t tell you a f—— thing about literature. I just want to vomit. I hate myself, [I have] such self-loathing about it.”

Sarah Jessica Parker

I Don't Know How She Does It Sarah Jessica Parker, 2011

Craig Blankenhorn/The Weinstein Company/Everett Collection

Parker is another celebrity that just doesn’t want to be too accessible. She said that she doesn’t like being behind on phone calls and messages and would just prefer not to engage with having a smartphone. She prefers to use email and responds whenever she wishes to instead.

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., participates in a panel discussion, "Framing the Issues: Markets Perspectives," at Georgetown University March 13, 2007 in Washington, DC. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson hosted the "Treasury Conference on U.S. Capital Markets Competativeness," a day-long program to focus on capital market issues like regulation, competition and other related topics

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Buffett is a billionaire and an investor in Apple but he used a $20 flip phone for many years. He got an iPhone a few years ago but admitted that he doesn’t use most of its technology. Even though he finally switched to a smartphone, he reportedly uses an older version of the iPhone and not the newest model, despite being able to get whatever he wants from Apple for free.

Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan, winner of the Best Directing award and the Best Picture award for 'Oppenheimer,' poses in the press room during the 96th Annual Academy Awards at Ovation Hollywood on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Famous director Nolan doesn’t want any distractions. Last year he said that he doesn’t have a smartphone, or email, and writes scripts on a computer without the Internet. While he believes technology is useful, he shared, “My personal choice is about how involved I get. It’s about the level of distraction. If I’m generating my material and writing my own scripts, being on a smartphone all day wouldn’t be very useful for me.” He added, “I’m easily distractible so I don’t really want to have access to the internet every time when I’m bored. I do a lot of my best thinking in those kind of in-between moments that people now fill with online activity, so it benefits me.”

Some may argue that celebrities have enough money and staff to have the luxury of not being tied to a smartphone, but it is still inspiring if you are looking to lessen your technology use. Did anyone on this list surprise you? Do you have a dumbphone? Let us know in the comments!

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