Chrissy Teigen on Staying Connected: “It’s Absolutely Crucial”

By Melanie Gardiner, T-Mobile StoriesJuly 01, 2024

When it comes to her phone, Chrissy Teigen is a professional.

From sharing unfiltered family moments with her husband, musician John Legend, to showcasing her latest culinary creations, Teigen’s phone is her portal to connecting with millions of fans — and with her Royal Match team. She does it all with humor and authenticity in a world where phones are our lifelines.

In this exclusive Q&A, Teigen dishes on her favorite apps, digital habits and how she manages to keep it real while balancing life in the spotlight.

You recently partnered with Metro by T-Mobile to celebrate its new Flex plans, inviting people to share their “flex” stories on eliminating yada for a chance to win a tropical getaway to Nada Yada Island. What is one major yada out there that you’ve kicked to the curb in the past that others can too?

One major yada out there that I now avoid is reading comments on posts that aren’t mine. If I see a news story about me and there’s 700 comments on it, I’m like “Oh, heIl no.” I won’t touch that. I won’t go too deep into comments on my own posts either. Maybe I’ll look at the top 100, but there’s no need to dig deeper because it never ends well.

You’re a busy mom of four who has to manage your kiddos’ schedules and your own. How do you use your phone to stay organized?

My calendar is my entire lifeline. I have the kind of brain capacity that can only keep track of my kids’ activities and John’s schedule. I need to be as streamlined as possible, so I only want to know what I have for the next two days. When someone’s like, “Can you have dinner on the 16th?” and it’s the fifth, that’s basically a year away for me. There are some days where I don’t look at it until the morning, and then I’m like, “That’s what I have to do today?”

You have more than 42 million followers on Instagram. With such a huge audience, how do you balance being real and vulnerable while still keeping parts of your life private?

I think a big part of it is sometimes forgetting the size of my audience. There are moments when I don’t feel like I have that many people listening or watching, similar to when I’m on Watch What Happens Live — it feels like just chatting with Andy Cohen and a friend beside me in a small room. Growing up on the internet, I’ve always treated it like my personal diary or a place where I can share photos of my family, so I can have an archive for myself.

I think forgetting about your reach can be obviously a good and a bad thing, but I think that’s why I’m able to share the things I do. I really feel really connected to everybody, and I feel like every single person on (Instagram) is my friend. It helps make me feel human.

As a best-selling cookbook author, a food TV host and owner of a cookware line, cooking is clearly central to your life. What’s your go-to cooking app?

I love New York Times Cooking. It has recipes that are so iconic and tried and true, and sometimes you can even find things from your favorite restaurants and chefs. I love this pizza place in New York called Lucali — the chef does this incredible salad that I found on there which made me feel so lucky. I also love America’s Test Kitchen. They have an app that’s really wonderful and you can create a grocery list and search by things like weeknight recipes, kids or vegan guests. Oh, and I love Tasty. Tasty does really fun recipes that I can make with my daughter Luna. She loves cooking so much.

When I’m searching for a recipe or something I’m in the mood for with any of these apps, this is the one place where I like comments. There are all these people who are rating and reviewing the recipe, and I love reading those. I appreciate when people add little changes they made, like how to make it in a Crock Pot versus a Dutch oven. Comments on recipes are major not-yada.

Besides obviously Instagram and your cooking faves, what other apps do you use the most?

Since we travel so much with the kids, we have the Hot Potato app we use a lot. We’ll pass it around the car and it’s just really fun. We use the Heads Up app a ton as well. If I’m alone in bed, I play Royal Match like crazy. I actually have a Discord (server) where I’m chatting with 50 other people about Royal Match, and we talk about how we can strategize to be the best team. I love being a part of a group with them — it feels very normal and cool.

You recently traveled to France for the 2024 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. How important is having a reliable wireless connection to stay in touch with your family while so far from home?

It’s absolutely crucial. As soon as I board a plane, I make sure to connect to the airline’s Wi-Fi because staying connected is so important to me. And I mean, some of the funniest moments happen while I’m in the air, so I like to post those experiences. I use iCloud extensively for sharing moments with my family and glam team. Whenever we travel together, we create new iCloud groups, and John sets up folders for us to share photos instantly. It’s incredibly fun when you’re with a group and all the photos are seamlessly shared in real time.

Being connected is especially important when I’m working and away from my kids. Knowing that photos are going to be directly uploaded so I get to see what they’re doing is really beautiful and really special. And honestly, my girlfriends feel the same way. When a photo of my kids has been uploaded, they get so excited. They’re like, “Oh my God, did you see Esti is on the slide right now? Did you see Miles is at his baseball game?” And it makes me feel like I’m never without them.

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