If you’re just now hearing that Lorde doesn’t use the internet much, you might think, “Oh yes, she’s an old soul with wisdom beyond her years and no use for any sort of tweet.” In actuality, Lorde is a very mortal member of Gen Z who severely curbed her internet usage for painfully relatable reasons: she was spending up to 11 hours a day on her phone, a good portion of it reading gossip on the Daily Mail’s website and its notorious sidebar of shame. To cure her addiction, Lorde took drastic measures, even calling in the help of a computer programmer.
The revelation comes in a new profile for The New York Times ahead of the release of her album, Solar Power.
“I would see my screen time go to, like, 11 hours and I knew it was just looking at the Daily Mail,” the 24-year-old singer told the paper. “I remember sitting up in bed and realizing I could get to the end of my life and have done this every day. And it’s up to me to choose, right now. So I just sort of chose.”
Of course, choosing was the first step in a long journey. We’re not going to say there were 12 exactly, but addressing any sort of addiction usually involves multiple shifts. The profile notes that Lorde was inspired by the books How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. The first is a self-help-book-slash-manifesto about the modern attention economy while the second is a non-fiction book about a woman spending time in nature.
According to the profile, Lorde took a few drastic steps to help cure her screen time woes.
- She set her phone display to grayscale (on an iPhone, this can be done through your settings, and is recommended to curb screen time).
- She removed the internet browser from her phone (on iPhones you can’t delete the native Safari browser, but you can hide it from your home screen).
- She locked herself out of all of her social media apps, and gave her passwords to others. (We assume this also includes the password to her onion ring reviews Instagram account.)
- She called in a friend with computer programming skills to make YouTube inaccessible on her laptop.
So what did Lorde do instead of reading the latest news about, say, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom on ye olde Daily Mail? Well, she “cooked, baked, walked the dog, swam, gardened,” and then, of course, made her album, Solar Power.
Interestingly, while the Mail is famed for turning any celebrity minutiae into sensational stories, as of press time the website has not run a story about Lorde’s internet addiction under the headlined, “WASTED YOUTH: Lorde Admits to Crippling Internet Addiction She Worried Would Continue Until the Grave” on its website. We wonder why.