Which technology could you give up today?

A friend of mine does regular “no technology” days with his family. This means one or two scheduled days a week when they turn off all the computers, iPods, and the like, and go with the “old-fashioned”: books, peace and quiet, family time (anyone ever try this?).

I’ve admired the discipline it takes to do that.  He has nothing to do with the Amish, but simulates an “Amish” family environment (though they still leave the lights on).

It made me think about which common technology I’d be able to give up owning.  Of course Amish, to some degree or another, forgo or restrict all of these seemingly essential devices:

  • Television
  • Phone
  • Computer
  • Car

Working backwards…first and foremost, the computer stays: I’ll need it to keep this blog going 🙂 Too much communication, work, etc. flows through this thing, like it or not.

The car is too necessary (at least in North America), and frankly, gives me too much pleasure (country drives) to relinquish.

Old PhoneI’ve never been much of a phone-talker.  It may be that I prefer speaking face-to-face.  Maybe my arm just gets tired holding my dinky cell phone to my ear (though I guess there’s Bluetooth for that).  I’d almost choose the phone…but would probably hang on to it to stay in touch with family.

I actually don’t own a TV, so I guess I’d pick that by default.  I like the TV mainly for watching sporting events.  Soccer games are good excuses to get together with my brother (we both played), football with other friends.  However that hasn’t been enough to motivate me to own one.

I realize that with the melding and blending of technologies, this is not really a clear-cut question. The phone has migrated onto the computer, the computer to the smartphone, TVs have implanted themselves in cars.

But going by technology in its purest form, I’m thinking the car may be least-quittable.  That said, I can think of a couple of living situations where the car may be the easiest to forgo.

Which technology could you most easily give up?  Are there any others you’d consider “essential”, or close to it?

Old phone photo: duchessa/sxc.hu

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    1. Kevin L.

      We used to have a no computer day on Sundays when all the kids were still home. It was much harder on them then it was on us. The point was to honor the day by having real things rather than virtual. We still practice that to a degree, but now its more of an avoidance then a ban. If I had to give up something I think for me personally it would be the television. We dont watch a lot of broadcast tv, although we do like our dvd’s.

      1. “real things rather than virtual”…sounds refreshing Kevin. I know that when I get out from behind the screen it can be very head-clearing, and can be good for taking stock of what’s important. Runs and face to face interaction are good for that, for me personally.

        That said, the virtual has its pluses too.

    2. Alice Aber

      Were it not for using these items for business, especially now that I am trying to get a new store launched, I could easily give them all up.

      I watch almost no television now and have been that way for over 12 years. What little I watch, I could do without.

      The computer and cell phone are used primarily for business. Yes, I post on facebook but if you notice my posts they are primarily about business. Were it not for business, I would have no problems walking away and might do so once the business is established.

      I used my vehicle for pleasure over the summer while traveling but again, it is now primarily used for business. Were I in a situation where I could have the business in my home, I could give up the vehichle too.

      The big question is, will I? I hope to someday give up all these things after the business is well established. I really do not enjoy any of them. They have become a “necessary evil” in the “modern business world”. Everything but the television anyway, and as I said, I hardly ever turn that thing on. No problem giving that up at all.

      Blessings, Alice

    3. I could do without television, although I’d still use the screen to watch movies from Netflix. There are WAY too many commercials and the same commercial can appear 3-4 times in a half hour. When talking heads start talking on top of one another, they drive me crazy and I stop listening.

    4. All of the above, except they make my ministry go right now. I do not have a car, though. I’ve had long stretches of time without any of these, and i didn’t miss them at all.

      1. Magdalena, I can see no car in the larger cities or in many parts of Europe, but I’m impressed you can manage it out in the Midwest (I may be mistaken but I don’t think you live in a huge city?). A friend who moved from Europe to a small town outside Jacksonville in Florida went without a car for awhile, but ended up getting one. The pull to have a car was strong.

    5. SharonR

      Technology give up for today?

      Well, I just did this, with my cell phone, while we did a cruise to Alaska. I turned off my phone, and didn’t use it for 12 days, mainly because of shipboard charges and international charges, while in Vancouver, BC. So no problem there — no withdrawals, either–I didn’t really miss it. I hate phones anyway, and only use them once in awhile. Of course being retired and not working, not a whole lot of phone use, anyway. MOSTLY, emails….those are quick and easy, and doesn’t take too much time, plus you can do it, “conveniently”. I only email at home, on home pc, as I do not have any texting features on phone — it’s only a PHONE—nothing else.

      I think for the most part, people have a need to “keep up with the Jones'” so to speak. If you don’t have it, you won’t miss it. I’ve heard the question, many times, what did we do, years ago, when there were no cell phones, ipads, laptops, smartphones?? Well, most everyone knew where you were, you used a “pay phone”, or you chatted on the phone, when you were at home. This of course, was in the 1950’s – 1980’s for me. I got my first cell phone in 1985, and have had one ever since. Yes, that’s progress, I guess. Plus we can also “choose” how much or how little that we want for communications, and that is a good thing!

      1. Sharon about knowing where people are, I feel like everyone knows where you are now (text messaging, Facebook location updates, etc), and back then, you could go long stretches of time, and if you didn’t check in with family via say pay phone, you were really off the radar. It seems strange to think about making a call from a pay phone now to “check in” with someone. The way we made plans was different then–if someone was late or had a change of schedule we didn’t have the instantaneous notification we do now. Maybe that wasn’t so bad, though.

    6. Diane

      What to give up?

      Hands down, it would be television and the phone for me. I don’t watch very much TV, and I rarely talk on the phone, in fact, I don’t like talking on the phone. I would find it a little harder to give up the computer, since I use that so much for my research and genealogy, but I would do it if called upon to. The car? Probably not be able to give it up, although there would not be the expense anymore. Now, ask my husband this question, and you would probably get different answers from him!

    7. Dede

      Even though it’s not listed, the only thing I would have a hard time giving up would be air conditioning. I love horses and ride them, so I would trade my car for a buggy. All the rest, I’d have no trouble giving up.

      1. Air Conditioning

        A/C–I probably should have added that to the main list, Dede. A/C was one of the most consequential inventions in terms of how this country has been settled. Without it the population of the South would be much lower today. But hey, on the other hand at least there wouldn’t be so many Yankees moving into my home state of North Carolina (sorry, couldn’t resist that one…I jest of course, there are a lot of good Yankees out there 🙂 )

    8. We don’t have a TV, however I’d have no problem giving up the cell phone.I love to write, so the computer would be a lot harder, but maybe it should be hard. (-:

    9. OldKat

      Pretty much all of it

      As I sit here at work with 1 (one) 40” computer monitor, 6 (six) 18” monitors, soon going to 24” monitors, and 1(one) 20” PC sitting on my desk it sounds a little preposterous to say that I would give up computers first, but that is exactly what I would forgo. When I am not working I seldom ever do anything on my laptop at home other than check Amish America and one other blog, read my email (MAYBE twice per week) and once a year do my income taxes for the Infernal Revenuers. The rest of the time I want to be OUTSIDE doing SOMETHING. I tell people that the technology that I like best is anything that my two Percheron cross mares can drag around. I am happiest when I am staring at the rump end of two big fat black mares as we do our chores. Just wish I had more chores for the team to do, more time to do the chores and more tools to do them with.

      Next I would forgo TV; seldom watch it anyway. I am convinced that your IQ goes up directly proportionally to the amount of time your TV is turned OFF. The telephone would be next; I use it all day long at work so darned if I want to use it when I am on my own time. If I were already retired, the autos would go next. Since I have to get to work they are a necessary evil … for the time being. I really want to buy a Model T truck and convert it to run on ethanol. (This was an original option on T Models anyway.) Then I would like to grow a crop of sugar cane / corn and make my own ethanol. This is strictly NOT legal, but I think I’d still like to give it a shot anyway. Since I live in a hot, humid climate the last thing that would go would be electricity since that runs the air conditioner. However, I grew up without AC and could do it again if push came to shove.

      Bottom line; I was born EXACTLY 100 years too late. My fondest wish is that I could have participated in the massive cattle drives pushing longhorn steers up to the railheads in Kansas. That is kind of telling as to what kind of technology I am most comfy with.

      1. Oldkat I love the picture you painted, surrounded by monitors but wanting nothing to do with them. I hope it’s not as painful as it sounds.

        Frequency of checking email is another good question. I vary–often multiple times a day, sometimes once or twice. I still manage to “get behind” though.

    10. Margaret

      We hardly watch TV at all anymore, and rarely do we use the phone. If we had a horse and buggy, we could do without the car. We usually don’t travel more than about 5 miles from home. Since we live in the mountains, we are near nature and beautiful scenery, so we really don’t need to travel for ‘fun.’

      The computer would be the hardest to do without, because that is what we use to keep in touch with family and friends, as well as for work purposes. However, we do go for periods of time (2-5 days) when we aren’t at work and stay away from the computer totally. We don’t miss it that much, either!

    11. Mary


      If I was physically able to get out and about independently I’d never watch TV. Mostly I enjoy the old shows when I do watch it or a favorite movie on a DVD. When my children were little we’d sit and listen to a Christian children’s radio show. After that I’d read to them from Laura Ingalls Wilder series and George MacDonald’s children series. One year we went camping together and my son had brought the books along so we read in front of the campfire each night.
      I enjoy the computer but can live without one. Same with a phone. Sometimes it bothers me to see people using a cell phone while checking out from grocery shopping, completely ignoring the cashier.
      Car I’d go without since we have some public transportation except for weekends.
      I do live in the deep south and although I have done without air conditioning it is not a good idea. The heat and humidity ruin everything. Clothes, furniture, dry goods everything! If I could I’d go back up North I rarely used it up there.

    12. LeeAnn

      Our church has tried and challenges us to go without technology for a week at a time. Its very hard on the kids if they are in school. I don’t have any kids at home, so its not a bother.
      I don’t watch alot of t.v. and have only had a cellphone for a year. Computer would be the hardest for me to give up and my car.

      We found that when our whole church went a week without technology there was more harmony in the home, we talked more to each other and learned to visit with neighbors and family face to face again. It was a wonderful week and look forward to doing this again. We can go without this stuff, but many of us have become dependant on technology and even addicted to it to some degree.

      I hate that people are on their cellphones all the time. Grocery store, restaurants, and yelling in their phones in public where everyone can hear their conversations. Would love to see cellphones shut down in public places so we can eat and enjoy the meal and enjoy being outdoors without this racket! Myself I only text, so not alot of noise and the sound from the keyboard is on mute, so it doesn’t bother others

      1. Lee Ann that is a nice idea by your church. I bet we’ll be seeing more of that. Doing it together with a church body is what the Amish do, after all. More meaningful, and probably easier as a church body. Nice to hear it bore some fruit.

    13. Carolyn K

      Would love it

      I really think I would enjoy not having all of those things, after I got used to it. Don’t see that in my future, though, as I am not the decision maker in my home.

    14. Carolyn B

      I’d give up radios in the home, the electric stove/oven, & the CELL phone. I only use the radio for an alarm clock, & a wind-up one would be cheaper to use. I use my microwave to warm frozen foods, so why keep a stove? I rarely use my cell phone and have it for emergencies to call out on if I’m stuck in the car. In the summer only, I’d give up the TV. I’m thinking I’d also relinquish the luxury of overhead lights (not electricity altogether) because lamps would be easier to replace bulbs since they’d be within my reach.

      The car would be a kept item (because of the wheelchair) unless I ever moved to a house where the bus stop was on the same block or within the next one.

    15. Britt

      We already don’t have TVs.. My husband was brought up in a home that TVs were not allowed.. I was brought up in a home where each of the 6 kids had a tv in their room… When we got married we agreed we didn’t want TVs.. So much trash to have to worry about!! I haven’t missed my TV.. We laugh because we both talk about “little house on the prairie” He says I don’t remember that happening!? Then he says ohhh you watched the show! I read the books!! Haha. I have to say if I didn’t have my business I could do with out the computer and phone.. But that wont happen 🙂 2 years ago I actually stopped using out dryer and use only our clothes line.. Our old dryer really rung up the power bill..

    16. Eli S

      And technology to cling to.

      Why not look at it from the other side and wonder what technology is most likely to be accepted as necessary by the Amish? I visit my Amish relatives occasionally and some will speak more freely. One said that they are seeing the use of computers as becoming almost necessary for business as farming declines.
      Phones are widely accepted, even if not officially. Refrigeration is still not considered as necessary by many. Some run a line from the neighbors and plug several freezers into them. Some use battery powered tools such as drills and saws. Solar panels are seen in some places where 12 volt power is needed to charge batteries. I suggest meeting somewhere in the middle.

      1. Good question Eli, and one with 100s of answers 🙂

    17. Marilyn in New York

      I could live without the cell phone as I hardly every use it. The only reason I have it is I got it free through a Seniors program. On the other hand, I would need the telephone in the house because my computer is hooked up to that. Even then, I don’t make a lot of calls on it. I could get along without the TV. About the only thing I really watch on it is the evening news. Sometimes I play just to give me some background noise as I live alone. I don’t really pay attention to what is on it. If I didn’t have the TV, I could turn the radio on. As I am handicapped, I really need the car to get around. I use my computer to s.sell items on ebay with. I say I could get along with the TV as some evening I just watch the news. The rest of the evening I sit and read books. I could also get rid of the phone if the computer didn’t hook up to it.

    18. Joan Sheldon


      I don’t have a cell phone, but have been known to use a friend’s on very rare occasions. I mostly only watch the news on TV, but also occasionally the Gaither Gospel show, so could do without the tv. I need the car as I live 20 miles from a city, and since I am a driver for our Amish community, I need it for that, too. Also need the phone so they can call me, and also so my 2 sons can call. I am very fond of my computer for emails and facebook, and my electric lights and refrigerator.

    19. ELLIOTT


    20. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      My name is “SHOM” and I have an internet problem

      I know that I have a problem with the internet. No joke. I feel that my best solution for it is better time management while on the internet, while I am at home. For me, restriction is a solution, in the form of a schedule.

      I also would not object to turning off my computer for an entire weekend. I think that is a great idea actually, turn off all problematic or distracting technologies and focus on your family.

      By the way, if I do reschedule my internet time, I am not scrapping my visits to Amish America, because I enjoy reading it, because it is nicely different and thoughtful

      1. Shom, at least you can admit the problem 🙂 Scheduling is probably key…multiple tab browsers is part of the problem for me…click on this article, click on that, read it later or simultaneously while doing something else. Very distracting, and easy to get into.

        Glad you won’t scrap visits here, though.

    21. Ann Whitaker


      Hello Erik,
      Just started reading “Better Off” by Eric Brende! Not sure that I can live without a lot of technology due to my job (full time Episcopal priest); however, there are 2 things I’d love to do without. My cell phone and TV!

      As always, I thank you for your great blog. Hope your are well.


      1. Ann I enjoyed “Better Off”. Brende is a good writer. He was motivated enough by these issues to take consequential steps (some would say drastic) to try to figure out a better way to relate to technology. It’s an interesting experiment and glad he recorded his time with the “Minimites” for others to glean from.

        I am doing quite well and great to hear from you, as always.

    22. Lance

      It has been interesting to read the comments here. I would like to comment from a different angle. I see this question more from the side of what does one gain by giving up this technology.

      Last Christmas, I was invited to be with my brother’s in-laws, since I could not visit my parents out in AZ. We sat around trying to figure out what we could all agree to watch in the TV and many people were busy receiving and sending text messages on their smart phones. I watched this interaction with dismay because I could see us all being in the presence of each other, but we were not fellowshipping as a group, we could not put our individual pursuits away for the good of the gathering.

      On the contrary, last Sunday evening was spent at my Amish host’s home, since I have now returned to Amish church going. There were visitors from out of state, so most of the relations gathered to visit. We had 16 adults and at least that many more children in the house. We visited for several hours. They all spoke Deitsch the whole time and there were just too many speakers for me to follow along so I was just thinking how we had no alcohol, no electronic entertainment devices, and no one’s phone with a special ringer song interrupted our time together. We had a great time together, it was physically, emotionally, and spiritual safe fun. That beats anything technology can provide, in my book. When I told my friend this, he just smiled, I did too.

      Why do I worry about giving up technology when I have God, community, fellowship, friendship, and love to gain?

      1. Don Curtis

        I'll have to ask Mark

        I’ll have to ask Mark what he has had trouble giving up. I know it’s not a cell phone because he never had one even when he was English. Lance, you ought to get in contact with Mark now that you’re returning to the Amish. I’m sure he’d like to meet you and talk to you. You can write or call him. His address is:
        Mark Curtis
        9417 County Road 101
        Belle Center, OH 43310
        Hope you two can get in touch.

      2. Don Curtis

        I'll have to ask Mark

        I’ll have to ask Mark what he has had trouble giving up. I know it’s not a cell phone because he never had one even when he was English. Lance, you ought to get in contact with Mark now that you’re returning to the Amish. I’m sure he’d like to meet you and talk to you. You can write or call him. His address is:
        Mark Curtis
        9417 County Road 101
        Belle Center, OH 43310
        Hope you two can get in touch.

      3. Valerie

        What a contrast-

        I see this often too Lance, when people are together and cannot seem to tear their eyes away from their phones-

        Thanks for the candid observation of what life used to be like, and the quality it could be again IF…..

    23. Greg

      No doubt about this

      The technology I can certainly live without is cell phone. Especially Verizon (who I just had an online chat with about an account). Trying to contact them and speak to a live person is harder than I would imagine calling the Vatican to speak with the Pope.
      All the technology dealing with wireless communications has become a bane on our society as far as I’m concerned. People today live in a distracted world. I observe people walking through stores together each talking on the phone. Some people I’m with spend more time texting about useless stuff than engaging in converstion with the person they are with. And the users (isn’t that the same term used when speaking of addicts?)are getting younger and younger.
      Twitter is as bad if not worse. People now can instantaneously send out messages off the top of their heads without thinking through what they are “saying” many times proving their ignorance to their “followers”.
      Sorry for the rant.

      1. Valerie

        I loathe the t.v. anymore, if I had my wishes we wouldn’t own one.
        When my husband was almost totally blind for awhile, we spent more quality time, I read to him, we spent time in the Word together & more prayerful together. Once his vision was helped some, it was business as usual which saddened me.
        So I’d say I could easily live without t.v.
        I WANT to be free of cell phone but am addicted.
        I love the idea that church had of the whole congregation going a week without all the techie fluff.
        But, giving up computer, that would be tough.
        But as Lance said, people really ENJOYED their time together. When you don’t have those thoughts (I wonder, what’s on t.v, or who called or texted, or “wish I could check emails” and on and on, when all distractions aren’t an option quality of time together goes way up

    24. Katrina

      Electrical Devices

      I would be perfectly happy living without electrical devices of any type. My teenager would throw a fit, though. His Ipod would have to be surgically removed from his hand/pockets, since it is permanently attached to him at this point.

    25. Ed

      Car – Most of my life I’ve lived in big cities (like New York, Washington, Beijing) thus until recently I had no car. I sometimes wonder why the Amish haven’t colonized one of the depressed areas of a big city, where real estate is inexpensive.

      Internet – No way would I want to be without this, it would be cutting myself off from essential information or to make a pre-internet comparison, imagine living pre-1995 with no post office, no mail delivery, no library, and no newspapers ever.

      Cell Phone – the quality of cell phone service is actually much lower than landline phones from long ago. However, it is so convenient to have a smart phone with email (can be checked while riding public transportation), a camera, and for me, an instant translator of Chinese characters to English. I still prefer a landline for speaking, but smart phones are just so convenient.

      Electricity — actually, I think it would be not too difficult to get by without it, but it would require a lot of preparation and some up-front expenses. For example, install a gas powered refrigerator, setting up solar or wind powered charger, etc.

      Water – do the Amish even live without running water? Would be very difficult.

      TV – sure I’d get rid of it, hardly ever watch the one I have. However, a computer screen today essentially is a TV screen, so it’s almost a moot point to get rid of the TV.

    26. Francesca

      I can give up everything except the computer!!!

      TV – Gone – I havent watched TV for many years
      Cellphone – Gone – I have never owned a cell phone
      Computer – This will be the hard one to give up.
      Car – Gone – I dont own a car – I use public transport or walk.

    27. Julie Turner

      What i can live without

      Hi there,
      Well I think I can live without all the latest technology.
      I hate cell phones, MP3 players and all that stuff that separates people from the human race.
      But I wouldn’t want to live without hot water and my fridgerator.
      Julie down under

    28. Don Curtis

      Mark's technology

      Well, I asked Mark what he had trouble giving up. Well, I knew that Mark was never one to be on the cutting edge of technology even when he was English. He said that the convenience of the car is nice but he does not mind. He has his horse and buggy and can meet all of his needs just about with that or mail order. He said that he is glad he is with a community that has indoor plumbing. But that just about all of the Amish do except the most very conservative. Mark said he did miss air-conditioning this summer when it got to be so hot. He has a small battery fan that sits on his nightstand and blows on his face but he said that even that was no relief. He said that several nights he just got up and went out and sat on his screened in porch, in the dark. Mark uses his porch a lot on summer evenings. If you drive by he has battery led floor lamps that he uses out there to read, etc. He says that way he stays cool and the house stays cooler without lighting up the propane lamps which really put out a lot of heat. Mark says he doesn’t miss the computer. He called it “a bottomless pit for time wasting.” He never had a cell phone and says he never will. He does use solar panels to charge his batteries for his C-pap machine and for his buggies’ lights. Anyway, those are Mark’s views.

      1. Carolyn B

        Mark's technology

        Really liked hearing how Mark sat out on the porch at night to read to save the propane lights from warming up the house. Smart man–plus it gives one access to nature and friends as they drive by.

        1. Jim P

          Reading outside

          Reading on the porch also gives mosquitoes access to you unless it’s screened in – I can almost never read outside.

          Screens are one technology I wouldn’t give up!

          1. Don Curtis

            Mark's porch

            Mark has a nice little porch. It is screened in. He has a hickory and oak rocker on it; hickory and oak swing suspended from the ceiling; and a hickory and oak rocking loveseat. Next to his rocker is a little hickory and oak table. He has these LED battery floor lammps with gooseneck tops. He can sit and the light bends over the back of the chair. It’s really nice. I can always tell if he’s out on his porch if I drive by his place in the evenings. There is this glow out on the porch and the rest of the house is dark. Eric, where did you and your friend sit when you visited Mark? You mentioned that you were out on the porch. Did you ever get into the house? Surely Mark didn’t keep you out on the porch the whole time. If he did I’ll have to have a word with him. Ha.

      2. Amish use of LED lamps

        I think LED lights must be a blessing to have, for just the reason you mention Don, keeping cool. They are quite common, accepted and popular in some Amish groups.

        I got a couple of my own recently (well just the hand-held variety for now). Good for Kindle reading at night when insomnia strikes! 🙂

    29. Don Curtis

      Mark's technology

      Oh, I forgot to mention, Mark uses propane gas for heating. He also has a propane refrigerator; propane deep freeze; propane lighting; propane hot water tank.

    30. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      My net-limited weekend

      Okay, so, here is what I did.
      I spent all of twenty minutes on the internet, this past weekend. The biggest thing I did online was decide how I wanted to do with a vegetable I had bought for dinner. I’m not a vegetarian but I did enjoy a nice Portobello mushroom replacing a hamburger, I could have cooked it longer I think, but one lives and learns, right?

      On Monday I allowed for “serious” internet time at home [in the morning], and a little leisure time (right now as I write this). I don’t know if that will evolve into a schedule, but I want to keep it to a minimum.

      1. Well-done Shom, that is a virtual internet drought 🙂 Glad to hear you survived it. My Achilles heel is getting online for “just a minute” to solve a problem at hand, and then getting sidetracked.

    31. Debra McCullar

      I have no car and in fact have never had a drivers license. I walk or ride my bicycle to work, church, and where I need to go although at times I have paid a taxi for a ride home with a couple of weeks groceries. I would love to give up electricity and even internet but my husband and kids would not be happy with that choice. Still we strive to live simply and be as self sufficient as we can.

    32. Don Curtis

      Mark's porch

      I almost forgot. There is also a nice thick pad on the floor for Reba, Mark’s dog. She wouldn’t let him be out on the porch by himself without her presence. She loves to jump up on his lap. One of these times he’s going to go over backwards in his rocker when she does that.

      1. I enjoyed “meeting” Reba Don, seems like a good friend to have around, like your Fritzi must be. I’ve never had a dog as a pet, not even growing up. Cats and rabbits, mostly.

    33. Dessa

      Giving up

      I would give all the above up in a heartbeat. A friend and I went to an Old Order Mennonite quilt store, I needed fabric. I was telling her the things I knew about the Amish and Mennonites in the our area. She asked me if I would like to be Mennonite or Amish. I told her in a heartbeat if I could master the PA Dutch language. Maybe not the Old Order but the Progressive Amish/Mennonites would be ok with me. We attend a Mennonite church twice a month and they don’t speak the PA Dutch like most of the families around us do.

    34. stephanie

      When we became Mennonite we gave up tv. We still have computer as of now. Our Beachy church just voted out internet grrr. Lol! We have 6an months to give it up. We will live.

      1. Dessa

        Stephanie, Wouldn’t the Internet and a computer be two things. You can have a computer without the Internet.

    35. Everett

      My family and I gave up the t.v. in Jan. and have not regretted so far. It’s been great to spend time with each other doing other things. I like the idea of taking days to forgo technology. I will be doing this for sure. I think it will teach my wife, kids, and myself a great deal. It sounds like a great thing to try this summer for awhile.

    36. Amy

      What a great thread. I realize I’m two years late, but with a few years to let it stew, it’d be great to see this revived for any newbies. What could I give up?

      Television: We already have. After we were married, my husband and I said no TV for at least a year. Then we got it so he could watch sports, and I did not like that change. Then, we started noticing that we were watching the Big Bang Theory, and while some of it was really offensive, I’m a nerd like them (so is my hubby) and we found much of it funny. Then we started getting really upset by the Victoria Secret commercials on PRIME TIME television. When did that become normal during times that families watch television together? So, knowing that our infant daughter would soon begin absorbing what she was seeing (and she already was distracted by the television), we traded our flatscreen for a laptop for my husband’s job.

      Cell Phone: I notice a common pattern on this thread. Person after person after person said they’d give up the cell phone. I think we all realize how much it is affecting our personal relations and we feel instinctively how harmful it is. I’d love to give up the phone, but my mother wants me to have it for “emergency purposes” and it makes no sense to pay for the cell and a landline, so I will be keeping it, but I asked my husband to drop me down to a cheaper plan with less data. We don’t have internet at home, so I use my phone if I have to look something up.

      Internet: We don’t have it at home. I became so distracted that I wasn’t paying attention to my husband, and I’d become annoyed when my baby needed something. When that happened, I knew it was a problem. It had to go. I have it at work, but I’ll be a SAHM come July 6th, so that’ll be gone, too.

      Car: I hate driving. I hate highways. I get anxiety driving and am always fearful of car accidents. Oh how I wish we were an entire horse and buggy generation. I use it for work right now, but it’s needed for trips to the store and across town to grandma and grandpa’s.

      Electricity: I try to keep the lights to a minimum once the sun goes down and let my body run on its natural clock, but my husband will probably never join me in this endeavor. He is open to using solar lights or candle lanterns, however, so we’re looking into that. We can’t really give it up because it runs all of our household appliances, but I think it’s actually harmful to the body, so I’d like to.

      Air Conditioning: I’d give it up in a heartbeat. It hurts my bones. But my husband cooks in the heat, so it won’t be going away anytime soon. Interestingly enough, the ancient Romans had air conditioning. They’d run water from the aqueducts through the walls of their homes, which would cool the rooms. Also, they wore linen, which helps regulate the body temperature much better than even organic cotton.

      People that build straw bale, Earth-sheltered and cob homes do so in such a way that the indoor temperature manages to stay relatively comfortable, so I’d probably want to do something like that in order to do away with both A/C and heat. I work at a railroad. The guys that work outside all day with no air conditioning do just fine, and I live in the desert of Colorado, where it gets extremely hot, though granted, we don’t have the extreme humidity. They dress head to toe in safety clothes and hardhats and seem to do just fine once they are “weathered”. Of course they drink plenty of water and soak handkerchiefs in cold water and drape them from the back of their hardhats to hang over their necks.

      1. And a very interesting response Amy! Glad that you found this thread and maybe others will comment again too, now. In fact I’m going to get it out there again and re-share this article on our Facebook page.

    37. Amy

      Thanks, Erik. I’d love to see more comments and see if any changes have taken place since people originally commented.