In Amish Country, the Future is Calling. / by Ashley Gilbertson

For a week, I worked around Lancaster County, Pa., on a story about the Amish adopting technology into their everyday work lives. Our perceptions and their realities are quite different it turns out: smartphone use is permissible, so is working on highly sophisticated computers to cut and shape metal and wood, cars can be okay if the driver doesn't own them, and most homes have solar power - it's most important to be off the grid it turns out. 

The most interesting aspect of it all was at their homes though. There, far away from the fax machines and CNC routers, the family units remain intact and largely non-reliant on modern technology. There's a closeness, an intimacy that I rarely see among the English (us). Silence is uncomplicated, comfortable even.

Family comes first and smart phones and all the rest of it, are second. For now, at least.