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Hutterites Ambivalent About Cell Phones

Texting in the vegetable garden.

The front page of The Wall Street Journal yesterday explored an interesting facet of Hutterite life. Like the Amish, they're anabaptist, live communally, separate from the rest of society, and often reject modern conveniences. Unlike the typical Amish, Hutterites allow technological advances when it benefits their agricultural work or otherwise helps their communities, though they reject technology when it's deemed harmful.

Cellphones offer an interesting glimpse into deciding whether a technology is beneficial or harmful. They're indespensible to business. But some find the temptations of a cell phone too compelling.

In Martinsdale, [Montana] cellphones are dividing families. Ms. [Elsie] Wipf says that she sent more than 150 text messages in the first two days after she got her phone – much to the consternation of her father. His opinion matters greatly: He is the head preacher of the colony. "It's against our rules," Ms. Wipf explains. ...The array of available devices with different accessories ...
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