Do Amish People Use Cell Phones?


The Amish and cell phones, like other technology, don’t go well together, at least traditionally. However, as times change, there are also changes to the traditional Amish way of life, and some more progressive Amish communities are opening to technology. Sometimes, this means opening up to cell phones and the Internet. 

Owning phones, including cell phones, is generally prohibited in Amish communities. However, some Amish have recently started using cell phones and computers for work. Despite that, there is usually a separation between work and home, so few Amish use cell phones at home. 

Do Amish teenagers use smartphones like other teenagers? Are Amish people active on the internet and social media? Why is the Amish community resistant to technology? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.

Amish phone
Are Amish people on social media? See below

Do Amish Teenagers Use Smartphones Like Other Teenagers?

Amish teenagers don’t use smartphones like other teenagers. This does not mean they never use them, but the Amish typically use cell phones for business and sometimes for staying in touch with relatives. Using social media is almost non-existent among them.

Other teenagers typically use smartphones to get lost in the virtual world while browsing social media and chatting with friends. With Amish teenagers, this is typically not the case. Most Amish teenagers have no access to smartphones, and in case they do, they don’t use smartphones for social media and casual chatting. At least not in most cases. 

Some young Amish people have become quite popular on TikTok recently. However, these are usually people from the most liberal Amish communities or people who haven’t yet fully committed to the lifestyle. [1]

Despite the limitations, smartphones have managed to find their way into Amish communities and even into Amish homes. Many Amish people now use smartphones for business, as they recognize that they are indispensable for work. Therefore, it is not unusual nowadays to see a young Amish person talking on the phone, and some have even started using their phones at home. [2]

Furthermore, in the Amish culture, there is a period of Rumspringa, which is a period between the ages 16 and 20, where a young person’s life is not controlled by their parents or their church.

During Rumspringa, they’re allowed to do many things they’re usually not allowed to, so there may soon be a proliferation of Amish stars on TikTok and other social media.

Amish farmer
How do the Amish view technology? See below

Are Amish People Active on the Internet and Social Media?

Some Amish people are active on the internet and social media, using the Internet to conduct business and keep in touch with their customers. Social media is still extremely rare, but in some very liberal communities, there are Amish people who use them. 

The Amish population has grown significantly in the last two and half decades. This growth has meant that there is no longer enough space for everyone to live the traditional life on farms. In order to survive and provide for their families, some Amish people resorted to opening regular businesses. 

These businesses are often in the outside world or rely on communication with it since most of their customers are non-Amish. This need to keep in touch with the outside world has prompted some Amish business owners to start using the Internet and set up email addresses to receive orders from their customers. 

On the other hand, some Amish resort to help from their non-Amish friends. These friends handle online communication, which allows the Amish to respect the rules of their religion and community while still running functioning businesses. [3]

Even among those Amish people who use the Internet and cell phones for work, technology is reserved only for business and is not used at home. Some practically lead double lives; one in the modern world, at work, and another, traditional life at home. 

Not everyone has this habit, though. In very rare cases, some Amish people (and not exclusively the young) have Facebook profiles that are not business-related. This is still extremely rare, but will probably become more common as time goes on. 

Amish buggy

How Does the Amish Community View Technology?

The Amish community views technology negatively as a general rule, but this view is changing. Some see it as a necessary evil, some embrace it as a useful tool, and some are worried about the effects this might have on the community. 

It is relatively hard to speak about Amish views on anything as they are not a centralized and completely homogenous group. There is no central authority that gives rules everyone must follow, and every Amish subgroup has its views and rules. Some are very conservative toward technology, and some are open to it. 

Mostly, the Amish still stick to the traditional way of life and shun the use of technology. This has traditionally included modern means of communication, such as phones. However, rules typically ban owning phones in the home, while most Amish communities have communal phone shanties, where people come if they need to make a phone call.

Some Amish have phones in their barns or somewhere else outside their houses, and some use their non-Amish friends’ phones for emergencies. And, as we’ve already mentioned, some have embraced smartphones for work, and in rare cases, private life. 

The influx of technology is not only limited to phones. Some Amish, particularly those who do business with the outside world, have adopted modern tools, such as computer-operated saws, tractors, and other agricultural machinery. This (along with other technology) is often seen as a necessary evil. 

There are many concerns over the use of modern technology in Amish communities. Many Amish are worried that Internet access will also give access to pornography and that the Internet and cell phones will pull people away from the community and have a negative effect on the sense of unity.

It is mostly older Amish who raise this concern, and many younger people think that their way of life should change.

Conclusion

While the Amish shun cell phones, they are becoming more common. This is because some Amish understand their value in business. 

References:
[1] Source
[2] Source
[3] Source

Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see the About page for details.

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