In the Amish community, the decision on whether and to what extent to take up some form of technology is determined by whether the group feels it will bolster or tear down their way of living.
Given that there are nearly 40 different Amish types of groups around the country, the conclusions to these questions and the application of each technology may differ from one group to the next. Do Amish people use cell phones with the Amish increasingly shifting from farming to entrepreneurship?
Yes, some Amish people use cell phones. Cell phones are now ordinary in some Amish communities, carried by youth and adults. While many still do not own them, the proportion of those who do is said to be high and growing.
Read on to find out how Amish people use cell phones, if any Amish have smartphones, what the Amish people use cell phones for, and if the Amish community is embracing technology.
How do Amish people use cell phones?
Over the past several years, Amish usage of mobile devices has grown significantly. A good proportion of Amish teenagers and adults in some villages now own cell phones, and their use is widespread, with the youth and adults in some villages now owning cell phones, and their use is widespread. How, though, do the Amish use them?
Even when cell phones are used, it is reported that the Amish consider it impolite for anyone from their community to use technology in a showy manner. They believe that people should utilize digital technology least visibly to honor shared Amish values, legacy, and customs.
In a study of how Amish individuals use cell phones, it was reported that several do so. Still, they do so “out of sight,” “simply don’t talk about it,” or they “know who they can talk to concerning it and who they can’t” out of respect for society and its traditions. Users had developed a workaround to achieve the intended ends of effective communication via a mobile phone while demonstrating respect for Amish community leaders. It is said that even the most knowledgeable early adopters of communication and information technologies firmly believed that they should use technology in ways that were consistent with Amish beliefs and ways of life.
Critically, though, some have argued that even though that might be the case, it’s similar to being told that your child respects your morals since he only breaks them when you are not watching.
Whether community sanctioned or not, those for cell phones are said to favor them over fixed lines, highlighting that the owner can manage who uses them and when. However, some Amish are reported to hold that cell phones are harmful because they are constantly with you and may be readily hidden, so they choose not to own them.
Can any Amish have a smartphone?
The smartphone has been said to frequently enter several Amish communities “under the radar” due to its small size and portability. To put it into perspective, let’s say an Amish person wants to get a car. Although the Ordnung forbids it, that does not mean there is no desire for one. But since automobiles are difficult to conceal, anyone breaking the car restriction will be caught in no time. Even though the urge to own an automobile may never go away, the societal cost of doing so restrains it. Naturally, smartphones are more concealable than automobiles, which has made them particularly difficult to regulate.
As a result, widespread usage has reportedly resulted in acceptance by default in several communities. Similar to the adoption of other technologies, it gets harder for church leadership to condemn something once the majority of its members start using it. Because of this, some young and old Amish people can and do own smartphones. However, just like in the general population, many Amish parents are said to express concern about what internet-equipped mobile devices are used for by their children.
Regardless of how a particular Amish church district decides to treat smartphones through its Ordnung, many Amish seem to concur that they are a vital tool for everyone.
In some Amish communities, mobile phones and increasingly internet-enabled smartphones remain divisive but widely used forms of communication.
What do the Amish people use cell phones for?
Amish business owners are said to be among those who frequently own smartphones. Amish businesses frequently view cell phones as helpful and, in some circumstances, even vital, like in the case of a builder who might need to remain in contact with clients and workers while moving between job sites.
Amish require phones to conduct business, stay in touch with family and other Amish living in neighboring communities, and book rides with Amish taxi services.
Not all Amish, though, would concur that they are so important.
In emergencies, Amish in some towns is reported to rely on their non-Amish neighbors’ phones. Still, many Amish are said to have found ways to utilize cell phones while also keeping the potentially dangerous technology at a distance.
Is the Amish community embracing technology?
Contrary to popular belief, it has been observed that the Amish are not entirely hostile to modern technologies. While the rules for utilizing technology differ amongst their villages, you can find Amish people using telephones, electricity, and even a type of computer in many of them.
However, they have undoubtedly made precise adjustments to how they employ this technology.
It has been noted that, for example, despite not installing telephones in their private homes, the Amish do have access to phones in “phone shanties,” communal shacks that resemble outhouses. This allows them to benefit from phone service (such as the ability to contact a doctor in an emergency or conduct business with outsiders) without having to deal with the undesirable effects of personal phones and possible distractions.
Most Amish communities are said to prohibit utilizing energy from public utility lines. Batteries, electric fences, and home appliances can all be powered by solar energy. Battery-powered electricity is more dependable, manageable, and isolated from the outside environment.
Most Amish people don’t use laptops, and those who do are said to utilize elementary word processors that don’t have gaming, video, or internet capabilities. They stay away from modern computers, radios, and televisions for the same reason; they are said to believe that these gadgets’ ability to provide personal amusement will break up families and the larger community.
The Amish value time spent with family, relationships with neighbors, simplicity, and independence. Thus, technology that upholds these ideals is welcomed; technology that weakens them is avoided.
Therefore, it would be more accurate to describe the Amish as extremely deliberate in how they employ technology rather than thinking of them as anti-technology. An Amish community will carefully consider any innovations, assessing their advantages and disadvantages and the potential impact on their beliefs and way of life. It is reported that community members gather twice a year to review the Ordnung, the laws that guide their way of life, to validate their current technology usage habits, and to decide whether any changes should be made.
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They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.