Amish Embracing Use of Technology at Work, But Vow to Keep It Out of Their Homes

Ad Meskens [Attribution, CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
Ad Meskens [Attribution, CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
The community is savvier than assumed when it comes to harnessing the many technological benefits

It is common for outsiders to assume that the Amish do not welcome new technology.[/tweetit] This assumption is not the truth. The difference between the Amish and other 'mainstream' Americans is that every new technology is adopted only after due deliberation. Unlike standard American thinking, which makes the assumption that technology developments are always for the better, the Amish are cautious and suspicious of new developments, weighing their benefits against what may go bad if such a thing is to be adopted.

Amish Embracing Use of Technology at Work, But Vow to Keep It Out of Their Homes[/tweetthis]

What compounds matters is that there are about 40 different kinds of Amish affiliations across the United States, and they frequently reach different conclusions when it comes to answering such questions. Whatever the affiliation, adoption of technology comes from the ground up. People try out technologies they have never seen before, and then leaders take the decision on these inventions on whether it could be incorporated into the Amish way of life or not.

The adoption of technology, however, is not uniform. To give an example, Amish homes in Lancaster County use electricity in their daily lives. This electricity is generated by their own efforts, and not drawn from the national power grid. Diesel power and solar cells supply electricity. The recent years, however, saw the Amish incorporating modern technology at a much faster rate. One primary reason for this shift is that a large of them work as entrepreneurs and not on a farm.

Many Amish are also afraid of what horrors technology can bring. Many families use limit use of technology to outside the home, they are loath to bring it inside. A number of families are terrified of pornography entering their child's social circle. The internet is all set to break another bonding agent of the Amish community: learning a trade. This is important as formal education within the Amish community stops after the eighth grade. One elder Amish put it succinctly that it is impossible to construct a house when one can all do is to sit at a desk.

The standard Amish life inside their homes has more or less remained unchanged over the years. Meals usually consist of steak, corn, and potatoes. Watermelon grown in the garden makes up for dessert. Younger Amish on their part know fully well how technology can supplant old values. They are found to be much more better at adapting technology than what was previously thought. 


Follow the Conversation on Twitter