My sisters tell me it would just be too hard to see you living this close and you’re not Amish.
I don’t get that feeling from them of, “Yes, move up here, be closer to us.” So I don’t feel like I should force myself to go up there and make them like it.
After I moved to Stephenville, a friend of mine, we started talking about guys, girl-talk stuff, and we both made a Plenty of Fish profile. Because we were talking to so many different guys on there, we just enjoyed it, it was our girl time. That was maybe four years ago, so I would have been 23. Several years later, I had met somebody at work, but we broke up.I was practicing the letters, and I couldn’t figure out why some of them are big and some of them are little and why aren't they all the same size? I thought I had to hit caps lock every time I wanted a big letter. Khazan: You said that there are more people leaving now and coming back. Khazan: How long did it take for you to get better? I felt comfortable right as I was graduating with my associate’s degree. There were a few times I would call a friend, bawling my eyes out, saying I’m going to quit, I can’t get through this any more, because of homework and trying to figure out APA-style formatting. There were a few times where I thought, “Why am I doing this? Khazan: What do people who didn’t grow up Amish not appreciate enough, in your view? Gingerich: When the Internet is not working, I lose it. I went to Nepal last year for a mission trip and over there, at first it felt great to be able to be away from technology.It took me a long time to be able to type efficiently. Are you saying that more people are leaving the Amish, period, or that the people who do leave have more to talk about when they visit their Amish relatives? Recently, there has been a big division in the church and it has caused a huge uproar with different families. Then I moved away to Stephenville (Texas) for my bachelor’s, and I didn't know anybody in Stephenville, so I was alone all over again, making new friends and getting used to a bigger university., just fall asleep. Why not just work and forget about a college degree? Gingerich: They have more freedom, and sometimes I feel like people don't appreciate the choices they can make. Gingerich: Maybe, because I don’t like playing games. But then toward the end, I was thinking, I just can't wait to go back to the U. where I can be connected to technology again and see what all is happening.They can make whatever choice they want, but still they're complaining that they don't have enough, not enough options. For example, the Amish have more than one church, but if you join a different church than the rest of your family, you get shunned. Khazan: Like, maybe reality TV, or i Phone games, or ... Because it feels like I’m naked or something without being constantly updated on what’s going on.And here, you can go to a Baptist church one week and the Methodist church another week and you don't even officially have to be a member of the church. Khazan: And what tech things do typical Americans think are very cool, but aren’t that cool in the grand scheme of things? Khazan: In your book you describe the Amish courtship style in graphic detail.Gingerich: I just dialed a number and figured out what button to push to make it call out. [I thought], “ All kinds of things were going through my head. Khazan: How did that affect you, seeing information about your granddad on the Internet? Some of them do have a phone outside the house in a little shack. The thing is, if people do split off to a more a liberal church, the ones that stay, family members are divided, even. Gingerich: The family that I stayed with in Missouri for a few days, they knew the people in Harlingen, so they got me in touch.