I like the Amish. Most people from Ohio, such as myself do as well. So I like to think I have more than a passing familiarity with them. You would see them around being driven in their white, chauffeured vans, or you go to Amish country for a day trip (as if a different country which it sort of is) or they do some work on your house, like they did for my parents. The thing I like about them is their attitude towards society and the effects that the world has on them through technology. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t Luddites necessarily. They just sat down, deliberated and decided in some collective manner, to be in charge of technology and not the other way around. They decided to put themselves in charge by saying that whichever technology, be it electricity or anything else, would put them on the national and/or state grids and make them dependent on the outside world. This they didn’t want so they decided that they wouldn’t use it. They did the exact opposite of what we do, which is charge headfirst and bleary eyed into the dream of more better stuff without ever thinking through the implications.
When our first kid was born my wife and I made a decision. We would not put her on the internet. We would not post photos of her and we wouldn’t allow other people to either. I even went so far as to have my sister take down a photo she had posted on Facebook so other people could see her. We decided for once in our slightly sad, technologically addled lives, to attempt to take control of how we were living inside of other people’s machines and networks. So should you.