By Kevin Williams
Part of me laughed at this article (the fun part of me), while the scholarly Amish researcher part of me rolled my eyes.
The Amish are a growing presence in Maine, as we have discussed. So Mainers are growing accustomed to sharing the roads with buggies and encountering them at area markets.
The article is written by a writer and teacher who unexpectedly encounters some Amish at the local office supply store. She is a funny writer, I loved her description of her reaction when her Iphone started ringing. Anyway, the Amish (and to the writer's credit, she took the time to research the Amish after the encounter, maybe she even landed on Amsih365!) are not techno-phobes as I hope many of you have learned here. There are, indeed, varying levels of comfort with technology and how the Amish integrate it into their lives. I'd be willing to bet that the majority of Amish adults would be able to figure out how to use a copy machine. There are some ultra-conservative ones who might be flummoxed by it, but most Amish are not so hermetically sealed off from the world that they don't know these things. That's the part of the article that had me rolling my eyes.
I remember visiting a McDonald's in Sturgis, Michigan once and seeing a young Amish woman staffing the drive-thru and running a front register. Those McDonald's registers aren't simple little devices, they are complex computers that have a gazillion buttons. But this Amish young lady used it with the ease that she probably milks a cow. So not only are the Amish quite capable of figuring out and using technology, they also possess a broad range of skills that probably most of us don't.
Now one thing that did strike me about this Maine writer's article is seeing the Amish women using credit cards at the machine (I doubt they were credit cards, they were probably Visa/Mastercard logoed "check cards"). Plastic as payment is still a relative rarity among the Amish, t that is changing rapidly. So that was interesting. Most Amish in Maine are pretty progressive so that would make sense. Click here to read this fun piece.