Slow Geeks

[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Laurie Hansen of the CTL.]

A recent trip to Lancaster, PA left our family amazed at how the Amish live without the conveniences of technology.   Well, almost.

On a panel of experts of Amish life and culture, Donald Kraybill, professor at Elizabethtown College, shares that the Amish curriculum focuses on basic skills to function on a farm without high technology. Some may think this is not appropriate for modern society.   On the contrary, Kraybill says that innovation and creativity is cultivated and serves the Amish well without the “baggage” of a traditional higher education. The evidence?: Their successful farms and businesses.

Although not encouraged, it seems technology is seeping in.  “The Amish are steadily adopting technology — at their [own] pace.”  They try out technology later than non-Amish; some may consider them as “slow geeks” so to speak. During a back road tour, our Abe’s Buggy Rides guide mentioned that technology is creeping in to the plain people’s society. He said that some even carry cell phones.

And, in all of my amazement, I discovered that Riehls, one of the authentic Amish farms we visited, has a (plain and simple) website. I guess they’re not so slow after all!

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