The Amish tour I went on explained a good deal of information about the Amish, their lifestyles and why they abstain from using most technologies. We toured around an Amish house and given insight into the regular daily lives of Amish people.
The Amish in Frankfurt are just a subsection of the larger Amish community in Central Illinois, one of the larger Amish regions in the world. They were pretty clear that they were not against technology but rather chose to not use it because it interfered with their relationship with God. I also noticed right away that they had a strong sense of community with all the other Amish people that lived in the town, which related directly to our class lecture when Christian told us that they valued the community a lot more than the individual. They work together in many of the same furniture workshops, shop at the same family owned grocery stores and even gather in groups of more than 150 people at families home each Sunday to have church services (the picture of the white wagon is actually the transportable pews that they use). Many of the families are related to each other by marriage and have cousins living in the town, it makes the community seem very small and friendly.
I also noticed right away that the Amish weren't as strict on banning technology as I thought they would be. When we were driving I saw cars parked in some driveways and big furniture factories that must have run on some sort of modern technology. When I asked about these things I learned that the Bishop of their section of the church determined which technologies were okay and which ones were not. These communication technologies were most pronounced in their commerce and like many other Americans they made many exceptions in order to ensure that they could run a business to make profit to ensure their well being and survival. Although the lady that we visited had few modern amenities other Amish, especially those that worked at cabinet factories, even had access to the internet and computer in order to do business. I also saw a phone booth that our tour guide shared with three other neighbors. Like Christian said, it was only used a certain periods in the day and they tried to avoid its use as much as possible. In general, most of their communication seemed to happen in face to face encounters. A lot of information passed by gossip and at community gatherings, especially the dinners after their church services.
In chapter six Slack examines Luddism and spoke of them in two different ways: the way the are commonly perceived by popular opinion which is commonly characterized as anti technology and anti progress and then in closer analytical sense which shows that they were critical of more than just technology, they were afraid of technologies overall affects on society. It is best defined by neo-luddism or groups that "engage in analyzing and/or resisting technology in some form or another." The Amish certainly not Luddites under the first definition listed above, they are simply wary of technologies effects on an individual which brings them closer to the second definition and is that even that bad of philosophy to be associated with? After all they are just questioning the idea of "techonological process" or the idea that "equates the development of new technology with progress" (Slack 23). I think the Amish have shown that they can live comfortably without being dependent on new technology, they are happy and complacent in their communities. They may depend on technology every once in a while to take part in commerce but avoid becoming dependent on it and all the negative effects that come with technology.