I constantly read articles with stats telling that every day more people use some form of social media. The stats show it goes across all age groups, geographic locations and education.
Even I was surprised to read that one group that is popping up on Facebook is Amish youth. If you are not from Pennsylvania and familiar with the Amish, they are a group that lives in Lancaster PA. Traditionally they are a farm based society and for religious reasons shun electricity, cars and other modern amenities. They work to live a simpler life free of technology.
This is one group that tends to keep to them and is not the demographic you would expect to find on a social network such as Facebook. Many in the Amish communities have had to make concessions on their goals to keep technology at bay. They might not have phones in their home but will allow cell phones for emergency use.
The smart phones are how many of these kids are checking out the online world. Many of these kids use it strictly to connect to other Amish youth but the fact they are venturing into cyberspace is concerning to some elders.
The adults are either unaware or chalk it up to rumspringa age. This is the time when the Amish youth are encouraged to try other things so that when the commit and official join the church they do it fully aware of what they are giving up.
Either way it is amazing that the lure of Facebook or the marketing or whatever you want to call it is so powerful it can penetrate such a closed society.
- Amish teenagers log into Facebook via cellphones (textually.org)
- Amish kids using mobile phones to get their Facebook fix, the elders are not amused (intomobile.com)
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Sandy Miller has been helping clients with marketing and advertising projects for over 15 years. In that time I have seen lots of changes but nothing as exciting as the introduction of social media.