31 responses to Do the Amish use computers and the internet?
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    StefanC.
    Good Documentation (July 12th, 2011 at 16:18)

    Good Documentation

    I am From Austria, I saw the Docu about Jesse and Ephraim, horrible how Amish Think,. I am Seventh Day Adventist and Christ. Nowehere in Bible stands theese Things what Amish say. Ephraim Stoltzfuss should be a missonary, that is the best Job in world. not easy to find Amish People to discus about God and Jesus. and the Bibel. Its not right what the Bishops are doing. Brainwashing is the most. Well I hope somebody answer.

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      Adam Hovey
      Do the Amish use computers and the internet? (July 28th, 2014 at 19:34)

      I actually have some issues with the SDA comment. I am Catholic, someway or another, people consistently say what we do is not in the Bible, of course you could make that argument for or against almost any Christian, and I would be quick to point out our most important dogma (real presence) IS supported by the Bible. Although I am a vegetarian, I could (and do) make the argument that SDA vegetarianism and dietary laws are unbiblical for Christians. Though I disagree with the Amish on many things (I not being an Anabaptist) I have the utmost respect for them wanting to remain separate from the world. Christians should however, be “in the world, not of it”. I really think your rant was uncalled for.

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      Mark – Holmes Co.
      Do the Amish use computers and the internet? (July 29th, 2014 at 07:19)

      I’d disagree with the SDA comments also. I am Old Order Amish and not only do we have a daily Bible devotional and discussion as a family, we read it in German, PA Dutch, & English depending on what we are studying/ discussing. I work in a public tourism based industry where I can & do share my faith with others. I have a great deal of respect for our bishop and have never been told to not study or share, but encouraged to do so. I’d be cautious about taking everything I see on TV as fact.

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    Amish Websites (September 28th, 2011 at 22:12)

    Amish Websites

    I design and publish websites for Amish businesses in Central Pennsylvania. All email responses come to me and I print and send them to my Amish clients via snail mail. My business is growing because I keep my prices down and “word of mouth” in the Amish community moves fast.

    • Interesting Jim. There are one or two services that help with email that I know have become popular with plain people, sounds like you are in the same field. The bridge/border between Amish and certain technologies is fascinating. Different Amish find different solutions, and the long-term implications aren’t always known.

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        Do the Amish use computers and the internet? (September 29th, 2011 at 10:40)

        Correct Erik. The Amish in my area may not have even had the elders consider website technology in their ordnung – yet. I’m sure it will be considered in the future. My clients do not discuss this, even among themselves. If word gets out, then a decision will have to be made, but until then I’m in business. I also “haul Amish” (taxi) but Pennsyvania law really impacts this in an adverse way for these people. Those licensed to do this charge rediculous rates and there are no specific safety checks for drivers or vehicles. PA just wants the get the $300 annual license fee and couldn’t care about anything else. Meanwhile, the Amish try to find drivers that are safe and reasonable on their own. I’m careful, and my vehicles are safe. Again, “word of mouth” travels fast, so I’m also busy.

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          DSK
          Amish "taxi" (February 22nd, 2012 at 14:42)

          Amish "taxi"

          We are taxi drivers too in central PA. This past Saturday there was a “sting” set up along 340 near Intercourse, along Ronks Rd and 30. They were checking both PUC registered vans and non-registered ones. My husband did not get pulled over, thankfully. All PA cares about is money in their pocket. Some vans that were stopped were not allowed to move there vans if some thing wasn’t in order with there papers. Ok, so they do this, and what the accomplish is putting someone out of work that was more than willing to work rather than live off the system. Ok, enough said I will get off my soap box now.

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      Jim McBride
      Amish Internet (December 5th, 2011 at 11:06)

      Amish Internet

      Jim,

      I am researching starting a Web service for some Amish friends here in central Ohio. Several have expressed a very high interest. Not interested in always reinventing the wheel if someone has already invented it, would you be acceptable to giving me a few pointers on how to get started and recommend products that you have found to be good quality?

      Thanks

      Jim

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        Jim Leaman
        Amish Website Tips (December 5th, 2011 at 14:54)

        Amish Website Tips

        Jim,

        The best way to approach this is to keep it simple. I use basic WYSIWYG development software (WebEasy). Stay away from bells & whistles like flash, fireworks, and whatnot. Just a plain background and format. Here is one of my sites: http://shadylanecabinets.com
        They are looking to the internet to advertise their business, plain & simple. They are not much into online ordering or handling online business transactions. If your clients want that, you will need to handle it all and bill them accordingly. I charge by the hour for development. You will need to handle the domain name registration, and hosting fees. Just itemized all those charges and put it on the bill. I have an email address for the Amish client, but all the email comes directly to me and then I will contact them via phonecall (to their shed/answering machine). I will also print out a copy of the e-mail and send it to them via U.S. Postal.
        It is important not to discuss any clients with other Amish in an effort to build your business. They will get the word out themselves to those they can trust. At this time, the local ordnung looks the other way. Like in my previous post, it is better not to make this an issue for an ordnung ruling. The secret to get more business is to keep your rates way down. If you are fair with your hourly rates and use an inexpensive host carrier, you will get more business. I use MyDomain. Much cheaper then GoDaddy as you don’t need all those frills. Simply showcase their work, keep the site simple, be timely with your email turnaround, and show them you are interested in enhancing their business. Optimize your site as best you can so it can be found by search engines easily. Word will get out to the Amish community and they will contact you. Good luck. – – – – Jim

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          Jim McBride
          Thanks (December 5th, 2011 at 16:16)

          Thanks

          Thanks Jim, I really appreciate your help. I have just retired from aviation and some of my Amish friends are asking me to seriously consider doing this. This is a pretty good group and I don’t anticipate any problems.

          Jim

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    Do the Amish use computers and the internet? (January 24th, 2012 at 15:04)

    @Jim McBride
    Computer technology aimed at the Internet can be a pretty divisive issue in an Amish community.
    If you end up providing services do not inform any of the Amish that you are available or are doing it.
    Let your good friends spread the word to like minded members of the community.

    It becomes a problem if the members who do not agree agitate.
    The result will be that the “Diener” will show up on the doorstep of the member who is using your service.
    “Unenigkeit” (discord) must be avoided at all cost.
    Discord about the “Ordnung” is the root cause of schisms among the Amish.
    “Discord” is not an entirely accurate translation but it is close.

    George V

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      Jim Lehmann
      I agree (January 24th, 2012 at 17:11)

      I agree

      I agree George V. I fully expect that the issue will eventually be addressed and probably negated to avoid discord. Until then, I’ll continue to try and help Amish businesses using the Internet for advertising and name recognition. The “Diener” will not come as a surprise as the offender usually has ample warning, so my clients will then have to make the decision to continue or discontinue my service. I know I am being very fair with my rates and service so if they choose not to continue, it’s okay. I understand and accept the eventuality. Your point is well taken.

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      Good thoughts (January 27th, 2012 at 10:34)

      Good thoughts

      George and Jim, thanks for sharing this. I think these are good points to keep in mind for anyone acting as a middle person or consultant for Amish on computer/net issues.

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    Barb
    Do the Amish use computers and the internet? (January 26th, 2012 at 15:11)

    When I visit the library in Intercourse, PA, I quite often see Amish men sitting using the computers. I haven’t seen any women using them yet. These are married men with beards, not teenagers.

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    Sharyn Ecker
    Do the Amish use computers and the internet? (January 26th, 2012 at 15:37)

    I am one of those few people who have Amish friends on my Facebook friends list . I love the idea of Amish internet advertising !!!

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    Carolyn B
    Do the Amish use computers and the internet? (January 26th, 2012 at 16:23)

    I am one guilty of over-romanticizing the Amish so seeing cell phones or computers outside a business setting disappoints me. I think those who hold with less technology in personal lives may be doing a good service for their communities as brought out in the article re: protecting from porn and scams, etc.
    ***Erik, one question for Amish America. There is a rumor going thru Facebook of all being forced to use timeline profile soon. I may not choose to stay with Facebook after that, but it is currently how I’m seeing Amish America daily. What other ways are there to see Amish America without Facebook?
    Thank you.

    • How to stay in touch with Amish America

      Hi Carolyn, I don’t know much about the FB timeline, but if you’d like another way to keep up with new posts, a lot of people have subscribed to get Amish America email updates.

      All you need to do is click one of the orange “Subscribe” buttons (found in the upper left corner of blog, or at the end of each post) and fill in the form. It will deliver you an email notification every time a new post goes up. No spam or anything, just a notice in your email inbox about new posts here. And thanks for asking.

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      Facebook timeline (January 27th, 2012 at 10:32)

      Facebook timeline

      A little off-topic, but I am curious about the FB timeline thing if anyone knows–what are the minuses–is it less convenient? I have not tried it yet.

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      DSK
      Amish/Facebook (February 22nd, 2012 at 14:47)

      Amish/Facebook

      Thought maybe you would find this interesting. I know numerous Amish youth and some young married that have Facebook. :-)

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    Sharyn Ecker
    Do the Amish use computers and the internet? (January 26th, 2012 at 16:42)

    Carolyn yes the time line on Facebook is a permanent thing , sorry you don’t like it :( !!

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    Victor
    Surprised (February 11th, 2012 at 23:43)

    Surprised

    I am surprised to find that Amish people use computers. This basically blows my mind.

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    Jim Lehmann
    Don't be too surprised... (February 12th, 2012 at 20:37)

    Don't be too surprised...

    Victor and Carolyn B… You mention your surprise or even dissapointment that the Amish have at least considered such technology. You are over-romanticizing. First, although they lead a simplistic lifestyle, they are not simple people. They are shrewd in business dealings and will calculate a construction project down to the penny. Most Amish living near me are of the Old Order. Most have cell phones and Amish teens can text as fast (or faster) than English teens. I don’t think the local ordnung likes it, but so far no hard and fast ruling. The Amish people expect you to underestimate them. Don’t underestimate them. They limit their education to the eigth grade, but each are knowledgeable in ther trade as if they have a doctorate degree. They are curious about technology and will use it if it will benefit them without causing discord. The minute that happens, they will back off. It is common to see Amish using library computers for such things as email. You won’t see a computer in their homes. They do venture into understanding more about technology, but they won’t depend on it. These people are more like you than you realize… on the inside. Outwardly, it is a different story as “being plain” is as important to them as “being slim” is important to a supermodel. The perspective is different but inward feelings are quite similar to your own.

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      DSK
      Just Like Us (February 22nd, 2012 at 14:44)

      Just Like Us

      Well, said!!

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    Nelson
    Do the Amish use computers and the internet? (February 22nd, 2012 at 18:22)

    Amish ,not only go to libraries to go on internet,,but have it on their cell phone…
    I know of Amish in most catagories,,who have and use internet on their cell phones,,,all the way from Dan Church people to the New,New Orders….

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    Iain
    Amish Request (June 15th, 2012 at 22:49)

    Amish Request

    Dear Amish religion, I see you are using technology such as computers and e-mailing systems. If I recall correctly, your religion states that technology is abolished. I can see you are destroying your own rules therefore I say use a physical means for a medium rather than internet. Technology, according to Amish religion, technology weakens the family structure. You are weakening your religion by having websites like these. How do you deal with being hypocritic?

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      Amish technology choices (June 17th, 2012 at 07:40)

      Amish technology choices

      Lain (Iain?) this is not an Amish-operated website (see “About” link above). You are mistaken that Amish have “abolished” technology. It’s rather a fascinating response to technology which has resulted in many different ways of using it and Amish creating their own church-and family-friendly innovations as well.

      Taken as a whole Amish are pretty rarely on computers and the net, but with fewer Amish working on the farm and more and more in outside jobs, this has happened. Not all Amish think this is a good thing, others feel it can be managed as long as certain rules are observed.

      You are right that Amish are concerned that some technology will weaken families. Across the many Amish churches, Amish don’t totally agree which technologies and in what form, however.

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        Jim Lehman
        Response/Clarification (June 17th, 2012 at 11:41)

        Response/Clarification

        Lain, I’m glad Erik responded as he did. This thread is a fascinating account of folks who have seen technology in use by Amish, or have helped Amish understand some benefits technology can play in the Amish society. I am certin no Amish have contributed (so far) to the text within this thread, however, I would not be surprised if we would someday see a post from one or two.

        Amish are very mixed in their views concerning technology and those who may benefit in business from it may carefully exploit how they can use it. They will be careful in doing this as not to cause concern or discord in the Amish society.

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    free energy (January 14th, 2013 at 08:28)

    free energy

    Dear Amish Community Members,
    I think you are the people that very near to the God. I have some invention on sustainable energy designs. I you want to use some of them, I will give you to use in every day life for free or without demanding any things.

    Please visit my website and contact with me.

    Sincerely,
    Kemal Duruhan MALATYA/TURKEY

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    Mark – Holmes Co.
    Do the Amish use computers and the internet? (July 8th, 2014 at 07:11)

    I don’t understand the last comment at all… But Amish & computers? J&M Computer Repair in Winesburg employs a few Amish men. I use a computer all day at work but it has a monitoring system that reports all the sites I visit, etc. While I don’t have a computer at home, I have used a computer at the library to shop online, check work emails on my day off, etc.
    I do use an Amish made word-processor at home that runs with Windows. Using a flash drive, I can work at home. A few days a month I work at home like that. That WP can’t go online, but I don’t really want to or need to at home.
    Does that make sense?

    • I prefer spam from the can

      Mark, you’re right, that last comment did not make sense, it was spam that snuck through the filter, deleted it.

      That happens on rare occasion, funny enough the one spam comment that made it through through happened to be on a post about computers.

      On a side note it’s amazing how much spam is constantly trying to get through on this site (and of course other sites)–just checked the spam folder, it says there are currently 1,956 spam comments in there, for only about the past 2.5 weeks. And the articles I’m seeing online suggest over 100 billion spam emails are sent each day. I think I believe that number.

      Luckily I rarely have to see any of that since I’m running two spam programs, which do the job pretty well. The only drawback is that occasionally a “real” comment does get misidentified as spam and I have to wander into that folder and fish it out :)

      Your way of approaching it does make sense, it seems similar to ways Amish use other technologies–using tech in a limited fashion and even a stripped down version to get the core functions you need. Do you use the Pleasant word processor?

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        Mark – Holmes Co.
        Do the Amish use computers and the internet? (July 8th, 2014 at 10:49)

        I looked at several Amish made WP’s, The Classic, Desk-Mate, Pleasant, and also “out of date” models no longer used by English people and laptops “customized” for Amish owners. Our church later agreed not to go with customized laptops and just use Amish made WP’s for now.
        I bought the Desk-Mate because of price & the programs it runs. It runs off an inverter which runs off 12 volt batteries which are charged by solar panels.

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