Amish is the new counter-culture

Ross Douthat, a columnist for the New York Times, published a short article pushing a “technology-driven hypothesis” for the apparent decline in youth of various immoral behaviors over the past few decades. The basic idea is extremely simple. Instead of studying how digital media “affect” our values and rituals, we should pay attention to how they replace them.

Porn and sexting and Snapchat replace hooking up.

Violent video games replace aggression in the material world.

“Getting on(line)” replaces “going out.”

And the question quickly suggests itself: To whom do we look to for the next resistance movement? The underprivileged are historically the substance that forms into rebellion. But some counter-intuitive statistics are presented. The working class folk of the world are uniting… online. Supposedly, the poor are happier with the internet and more likely to remain on it more. The rich seem to be the ones concerned with screen time and real time.

And, as Dr. Read Schuchardt pointed out in an email, here’s the sign that times are a-changin’. The article concludes by suggesting that the Old Order Amish are the new resistance fighters.

What do you think about that?


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About the Contributor

James Ogden Sharpe

James Ogden Sharpe is a black belt from Texas pursuing a Bachelor's in interdisciplinary studies combining anthropology, psychology, and media studies. Were the world's economic, social, and political edifices not crumbling, he would study literature or photography or spend more time at the movies. His work has appeared before many professors and has been generally well-received--in the B+ to A- range. 

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