Aziz Ansari Says He Stopped Using Email to Help with His 'Mental Diet'

·3 min read

Aziz Ansari hasn't used email in four years.

The comedian, 38, detailed his decision to step away from using email as a form of communication and explained that it came after he removed social media from his life. In a conversation with Kevin Hart on Sirius XM's Comedy Gold Minds with Kevin Hart, Ansari revealed how he went from deleting Instagram to forgoing emails altogether.

"However many years ago, I kind of started turning off the internet and, you know, I deleted all social media and all this stuff, and I've slowly just kept going further and further. I stopped using email maybe like four years ago," Ansari said.

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As for his reasoning, Ansari said he equates the lack of digital connection to a self-care ritual. He called it a "mental diet" which he said was similar to thinking about what you're putting in your brain and what benefits the things you consume are giving back.

"It all kind of, it's almost like I kind of started thinking about, you know, everyone thinks about their diet and what they eat - at a certain point, it's also about thinking about your mental diet and what you're putting in your head," he continued. "Whether it's like, oh, looking at the same four websites, constantly checking The New York Times 50 times a day. At a certain point, yeah, that's not really helping."

The Master of None star said he knows that not everyone can afford to stop using email. He credited his celebrity life, and the help of an assistant, as a reason he's able to stay off the web entirely.

"And I mean, look, I know all this stuff is like, oh yeah, I'm in a position where I can do that and have, you know, whatever certain privileges to be able to pull it off," Ansari added. "An assistant or whatever — but all that stuff I do I think helps me get more done, kinda taking care of stuff or whatever, whether it's working out or meditating and all that kind of stuff."

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The interview comes after Ansari released a surprise Netflix comedy special titled Nightclub Comedian. He recorded the special in December at New York's Comedy Cellar.

It's his second Netflix special since Ansari took a brief hiatus following controversy. In 2018, a woman accused Ansari of sexual misconduct, claiming he'd been sexually persistent with her even though she asked him to slow down.

Ansari's 2019 Netflix special, Aziz Ansari: Right Now, briefly spoke about the controversy directly.

"There were times I felt really upset and humiliated and embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way," he said. "But you know, after a year, how I feel about it is, I hope it was a step forward. It made me think about a lot, and I hope I've become a better person."

In a previous statement about the accusation, Ansari said in part, "I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said. I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue."

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