Do the Amish Use Cell Phones?
Due to their aversion to technology, they are often cut off from the modern world. Many people assume things about the Amish due to a lack of information regarding their lifestyle and religion.
Traditionally all technology was avoided by many Amish communities, and much of it still is today however, as times change, many Amish communities are slowly incorporating technology where it becomes necessary.
Many Amish businesses and individuals use certain forms of technology where necessary to keep their businesses running.
With this, there’s usually a strong separation between work and home life in Amish communities which keeps technology out of their homes.
Do the Amish use cell phones? Read on to find out!
What this article covers:
Is There a Ban on Cell Phones?
Phones and computers are prohibited in nearly all Amish homes. The Amish often view many forms of technology as something that can separate families or weaken the community structure by distancing individuals.
Many outsiders misunderstand the Amish aversion to technology and believe it is seen as sinful to use in Amish communities.
This is, however, not the case, technology isn’t a sin, but many beliefs the Amish have, have illustrated that technology and modern conveniences are against their way of life.
Ownership of things such as cars, telephones, and computers separates an Amish individual from his fellow neighbor.
So much technology is prohibited and looked down upon for this very reason, with cell phones and computers at the top of that list.
The ownership of these items contrasts the strong Amish belief in humility and, according to them, only brings greed, jealousy, and separation.
Many modern conveniences are also not seen as necessities, and in many cases, the use of technology in communities is only allowed where it is deemed necessary.
Are the Amish Starting to Use Technology?
As time goes on and technology advances faster and faster forward, some Amish communities have begun to allow certain forms of technology, mainly phones, and computers, in their workplaces.
To maintain their businesses and provide for their families, Amish business owners will often have computers of their own or have outsiders they work with do their business online for them.
Amish business owners and those who use technology for work will never brag or talk about the things they have or speak of how amazing their new computer is.
The reasoning is that they don’t want it to influence their lives or separate them from those who don’t use it in their community, they simply use it for what’s necessary.
Many communities or families often share telephones, which are placed in a central location, such as a shack, for families to use.
The “phone shack” is used by multiple families to contact distant relatives and not much else, and in many stricter communities, even this won’t be allowed.
How Do Cell Phones Impact Amish Living
The main concern of phones in Amish lifestyles is that they take people away from face-to-face interaction, which is incredibly important to the Amish.
It’s also important to note that the ownership of cell phones is more prohibited while their use is more acceptable.
In some communities, Amish individuals and families have developed their own “Amish technology” which uses small engines or windmills to generate electricity to thrive.
There are many ways in which cell phones impact the Amish way of life. As technology advances, there are many cases where the Amish, sometimes reluctantly, have to advance with it.
Regarding technology in Amish communities, like many traditions and values, it often varies on how much is acceptable and what is used in certain communities.
Often community elders or leaders will determine what is acceptable in forms of technology and just how much people can use.
Some communities don’t, under any circumstances, allow for phone usage, while other communities allow them to be used in homes.
Impact on Business/Livelihood
Cell phones have had the biggest impact on Amish communities through their businesses and how they earn a living.
In most communities, Amish individuals have become more lenient with the use of cell phones and computers in businesses.
To sell products such as easter baskets, bread boxes, and wicker dog beds online, Amish business owners have begun using technology to work with online stores or outsiders who help manage their online stores.
While more and more Amish communities are seeing it as a useful tool or necessary evil, many communities are worried about its effects on the community structure and the traditional nature of the Amish lifestyle.
Over the years, technology has slowly been making its way into the lives of the Amish in many ways. Amish farmers using tractors and small engined machines to fill their harvest baskets in their barns is now a common sight in communities.
Amish craftsmen use power tools or electricity to earn a living and keep up with demand. In many cases where technology is deemed acceptable, it’s used, with the logic of it being necessary.
Many Amish communities still avoid technology for pleasure and convenience, which is why Amish people don’t watch tv or use wifi to browse the internet.
They use technology where necessary and try their best to maintain tradition and the old Amish way of life.
Impact on Family
The impact of technology on family is one of the biggest reasons for the Amish not incorporating it into their homes.
The Amish believe that technology, especially cell phones, separates people and takes away important face-to-face communication and social interaction.
In more lenient communities, cell phones may be used by families in a central location, with no particular owner, to keep in touch with family.
This is one of the few cases in which the Amish use the internet or technology to communicate with people.
Most Amish communities communicate through written letters as their main form of conveying messages between distant relatives.
In many communities, families are so tight-knit that there is hardly a need for communication over long distances. Social gatherings are plentiful, and kids play together with their vintage Amish dolls rather than scroll through each other's Instagram.
According to community elders, the sight of technology and cell phones in many communities is often kept to a minimum to respect Amish values.
The use of technology is acceptable but not celebrated in Amish communities. Amish individuals who use technology will never try to show their cellphones or computers and will always keep that separate from their Amish way of life.
The Amish’s approach to the use of cell phones has far less to do with denying themselves what many consider an essential tool and more to do with affirming what they believe to be truly important.
They’re always reluctant when accepting new forms of technology and go through a meticulous evaluation of whether or not it suits their lives.
Technology and the use of many forms of it are very restricted in many Amish communities. They only truly accept it where they need it, but the fact that they’ve adopted cell phones at all shows that they’re not nearly as rigid in their thinking as you might think.
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