Rumspringa is the time when Amish teenagers can let loose and run wild in the world. But first up on the Rumspringa bucket list is to open a social media account and get connected.
Technology is key for Rumspringa, mainly cellphones as they are easier to charge with solar and battery operated generators or car batteries at home. Amish children live at home during Ramspringa. Their cellphones keep them connected during the weekend when they are allowed to go out and see the world.
Noah Hershberger who has recently left the Amish said that according to him, Facebook is used more by the Amish than by non Amish users. Hershberger said this about Facebook.
[It is] a perverted site with lots of girls looking for sex.
Apart from being wild and free, Rumspringa is all about finding a spouse. So Amish teenagers use of Facebook and other social networking sites is a fast track to that.
Chris Weber is an Amish teen counselor working with drug and alcohol abuse. He expressed the insatiable need for the Amish to party and party hard which is made simpler with texting.
They network like only Amish people can.
We used to have parties, but it was not this easy to find them. Now it doesn’t take long to set it up and 700 kids show up. Everyone is connected, everyone is texting everyone.
Photos, messages about the party, and when the next one will be are all posted on Facebook, a memory book of sorts.
Rumspringa’s unofficial motto being “what happens in Rumpsringa stays in Rumspringa.” But the Amish teenagers do know not to post anything that can tip off the police. Hershberger said:
There are a lot of underagers, so they will forward a text message around with the address, time, and whatever of the party. Parents know about [the drinking], but there are cops around.
It probably is a good thing that their parents have no idea of technology or social media.
[Source: Mission To Amish People, Amish]
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