Amish communities are perhaps most famous for the customs and traditions that avoid using modern tools and technology. This includes many modern devices ranging from smartphones to televisions to game consoles.
With that in mind, the idea of an Amish computer would seem impossible, right? Well, that isn’t necessarily the case in all Amish communities.
In special cases, Amish communities make exceptions for certain devices deemed acceptable or essential for a specific task.
Some of these special cases are interesting. We’ve prepared some reasons why Amish people wanted to use more modern devices, and why they were approved.
What this article covers:
Do the Amish Use Computers?
While most assume that modern devices are prohibited in Amish communities, there’s more to it. In reality, Amish communities want to avoid connecting with the outside world by avoiding the use of ‘worldly’ things.
Worldly things include anything that detracts from a dutiful, faithful life. This inevitably filters into Amish communication. It also explains the many Amish electricity rules, since electricity literally connects settlements to the outside world through cables.
In a world where even our refrigerators can access the internet, it’s not surprising that a lot of technology is considered ‘worldly’. With that in mind, what technology can the Amish use?
Spreadsheets And Word Processors
For businesses today, spreadsheet software is essential to organizing finances and resources. Many Amish businesses benefit from this technology too, which is why they adopted a device that avoids being too worldly: the word processor.
The word processor is essentially a computer that doesn’t run games or other similar programs and can’t connect to the internet. These features aren’t included to make the device appear less worldly. In many Amish communities, this was acceptable since it massively benefited Amish business owners without introducing too many worldly concepts.
Competing In The Modern Marketplace
With the many restrictions on modern technology, it can prove hard for Amish business owners to stay profitable. Modern entrepreneurs and companies can reach anyone instantly through the internet and smartphones. They can even run their businesses online without even needing a physical location to operate from.
But there was no way that widespread adoption of the internet was going to be accepted. Many people both young and old have tried with Amish cell phones and had little success. So, Amish business owners had to come up with another approach if they wanted to run a website.
How Does an Amish Website Work?
So, if Amish Wi-Fi is out of the question, how does a website like Amish Baskets sell handmade vintage picnic baskets and custom-size wicker baskets? We use a clever loophole to avoid breaking any rules. Many Amish businesses hire a third party to build and run their websites.
Middlemen buy products from Amish businesses, which adheres to all the rules. From there, the third party sells the product on its website to reach a wider audience than the in-person business ever could.
While it might seem like using loopholes goes against the rules, they actually strengthen Amish culture.
By using a third party, business owners merely shed more light on Amish craftsmanship and mastery. The Amish have these rules in place to avoid tainting their way of life, not to prevent basket makers from expanding their profits.
In the age of the internet, entrepreneurs have to come up with smart ways to get ahead and stay competitive. In their own way, the Amish are adapting with the times.
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