Billie Eilish’s phone is now internet-free: ‘I’m like: Ew! Stinky! I don’t like that’

A woman with black hair poses in an old-fashioned corset dress at a formal event
Billie Eilish, seen at the 2022 Met Gala in New York, says she has “deleted” the internet from her phone.
(Evan Agostini / Invision/Associated Press)
Share via

Billie Eilish has nuked “the internet” from her phone, she said Thursday, in part because she was tired of believing the things she read about herself online.

The “Bad Guy” singer told Conan O’Brien that one thing she hates the internet for is “how gullible it makes you.”

“Anything I read on the internet I believe. Me! And I know for a fact that’s stupid and I shouldn’t do that because I have proof that it’s not all true. Almost none of it’s true,” said the 21-year-old, who appeared with brother Finneas O’Connell on the comic’s “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” podcast. “It’s, like, little things, small white lies, that go over everybody’s head, but everyone believes.”


She won’t name names, but Billie Eilish says she suffered real trauma on her way to stardom. ‘It’s embarrassing,’ she says. ‘I don’t want to tell anyone.’

July 23, 2021

“Little things” would be, for example, a paparazzi picture of her going to the gym that gets described as “Billie Eilish in Hollywood going to a studio to work on her new album.”

She also doesn’t love that after growing up with the internet as a preteen and teenager, the internet now includes a little too much of her.

“I’m doing what I’ve always done and looking at the internet, because I am an internet person ... and slowly the videos I’m watching and the things I see on the internet are, like, about me,” she said. “I’m like: Ew! Stinky! I don’t like that.”

The 21-year-old pop star filed a request for a restraining order against the man accused of breaking into her parents’ Los Angeles home this month, court documents show.

Jan. 17, 2023

Which brings us back to the gullibility thing. Eilish used as an example a video she said came up the other day when she was hanging out with her boyfriend, the Neighbourhood frontman Jesse Rutherford.

“It was like, ‘Billie Eilish is a horrible person.’ And then it was a very serious video of why. The person seemed, like, very in the right head space and they were saying all of these things. I was like, ‘Jeez, wow,’” Eilish said. “It’s just such a crazy reality that I live in. I’m like, ‘That’s my face. That’s my name. That’s me. Oh, interesting. OK. All right.’”

And people are online saying things definitively, as if hearing it from God that “this is the truth about Billie and you know it for a fact. You don’t know her, but you know that this is the truth and you have to tell everybody about it and everyone’s going to believe it.”

TikTok’s design encourages manic performance and a false sense of intimacy — all of it obscuring the power of its invisible algorithms.

Jan. 4, 2023

And she knows people will believe it because she used to believe it all, even after she had proof that it wasn’t all true, because she was there.


“We don’t know what it does yet,” O’Brien said about the internet earlier in the conversation, “but I can tell you this: Checking it out does not help the creative process.”

Eilish discussed her relationship with the internet with The Times back in July 2021 — two weeks after she decided to stop reading the comments on her Instagram account, where at the time she had almost 88 million followers (now she has 108 million).

Eilish and her brother Finneas performed an acoustic mini-set at Hollywood’s Amoeba Music to celebrate the one-year anniversary of her LP ‘Happier Than Ever.’

July 29, 2022

She decided back then to use the app only to post and run, without looking further to see what others were saying.

“Because otherwise I will spiral out, and s—’s mean as f—,” Eilish said at the time. “There are some people, like my brother, who can get a text from someone he doesn’t like and delete it immediately. He won’t even read it.

“I can’t do that. If Satan himself texted me, I’d be, like, ‘What did he say?’”