Our Amish Neighbors Are Growing Into Technology


Growth in the Amish population has pushed them outside the borders of Lancaster County, as well as outside some traditions — for business, at least. Image via the New York Times.

The Amish community is growing — into Chester County and into modern business technology.

Having grown 150 percent over the past 25 years, the Amish population is pushing outside of Lancaster County, as well as outside its traditional prohibition against computers and modern technology — at work, but not at home, according to a report in The New York Times by Kevin Granville and Ashley Gilbertson.

Amish entrepreneurs are increasingly utilizing computers in machinery, accounting, and credit card processing, as well as smartphones to communicate. But they still leave them at the office.

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“My concern for our future, for our own children, is that they lose their work ethic,” said woodworker Levi.

And while many young adults respect the Amish way of life, “We can’t live like we did 50 years ago because so much has changed. You can’t expect us to stay the same way,” said 18-year-old Marylin. “We love our way of life, but a bit of change is good.”

As long as the purpose remains front and center.

“Amish life is about recognizing the value of agreed-upon limits, and the spirit of the Internet cuts against the idea of limits,” said author Erik Wesner.

Read more about the technological changes in Amish life in The New York Times here.

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