All My Life

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"whenever you see an Amish woman sitting in the field like that, she's probably talking on the phone"

pg. 380 WM Rheingold

Where I used to live in Lancaster, there was a little amish grocery store about a mile and a half away. I remember the following moment vividly, for some reason:

My mother, the globe-trotting flight attendant (and sort of a Paris Hilton in her late 40's-except for the slutting part)
was at the counter talking to the young Amish woman and her infant. The young woman sighed, looked at my mother and said "sometimes I wish I could have your life."

The Amish use of cellphones is a major upset. I do agree that everyone, regardless of religious beliefs, should have access to a phone for medical reasons.

but "Amos" does make a valid point: "it's not just how you use the technology that concerns us. We're also concerned about what kind of person you become when you use it."

Amos doesn't want his daughters jumping up from a family dinner to answer calls from their suitors. He doesn't want his sons calling their friends. I can understanf why the Amish are so against technology now: they feel it will interrupt and drive a wedge in family life. I guess that's why our parents hate AIM and facebook: as young adults, we devote a lot of time to them. It is quick to get addicted to technology. The Amish don't want to stop cutting wood because Fred or Sarah sent them a text.

Certain modern technologies, like some sort of refridgeration system and hot water are needed, but we can live without facebook. We did before.

disclaimer: I am not knocking facebook: I am on it right now.


oh, and in case anyone else was wondering, Lancaster also has some more "memorably-named" towns: Blue-Ball, Fertility, and Virginville. Climax is up near Clarion.

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4 Comments

*We quickly get addicted to technology

Wow... those are some great place names. In "Intro to Literary Study" we're about to discuss a chapter about how geography affects our interpretation of literature, and we've also discussed the significance of character names. I'll try to work in those wonderful details if I can.

My wife often complains because when I get a spare moment I often open up my laptop and do what I'm doing now -- checking my e-mail or leaving a quick comment on a blog.

Last month, when I was teaching an online-only course for about three weeks, I set virtual office hours for myself, so that I can tell myself it's OK for me to be offline until my afternoon office hour, or the next morning.

The Amish will even let their kids play with GameBoys, but they have to stay in the barn -- they're not to be brought into the house because they disrupt family life.

My wife is not a gamer, but a few years ago, she said she wouldn't mind if we got GameBoys for our kids because that way they wouldn't be downstairs in the basement (where the desktop computer is) when they play games, but I knew that if the games were upstairs they might think of gaming all the time, rather than thinking of it as something they can do for a while.

we had time limits for when we were allowed to be on the computer when I was growing up.

I have to say that I also wrote about the examination of they type of person you become when you use technology and specifically cell phones in this case. I admit that the use of these devices does make us more detached from human interaction.

There have been times that I have txt friends from school for an entire summer, but never picked up the phone to actually call them. It doesn’t make me a bad person, but it makes me more likely to txt them from now on or send them facebook messages. I suppose it takes the personal touch out of communicating.

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