Don’t. Look. Down. – Friday Read By Alice Harrison

We are happy to publish the first article of a weekly series by our inter writer Alice Harrison


Don’t. Look. Down

I would have sold my left kidney. In fact, I would have sold both of my kidneys to get those 5000 words of absolute gobbledygook back. I. Just. Need. A. Degree.

I traipsed around multiple ‘Apple Certified’ stores, being told that it would take 5 days to potentially get my data back, cost me £90 just for data retrieval, and goodness knows what other costs would magically appear on my sticker-covered beauty’s way to the technicians.

I looked positively bedraggled as I made my way into the umpteenth store to be met with a similar answer. Yet this guy looked kindly on me, slipped me a number for a “guy in South London that might be able to retrieve everything that day”. Sketchy… I was elated and, practically asking him to marry me I skipped out of the shop throwing all caution to the wind.

Fast forward two hours, two train journeys, and a packet of nuts later, I arrived in Norbury. Leaving the shop owner looking slightly startled by my frantic stare and my offer of two kidneys, I left my MacBook in a rogue store approximately 8miles from the center of London in the care of a friendly looking ‘Computer Guy’.

Despite my anxious wait, constantly checking my phone to see if he had had any luck, the experience of being laptop-less was an enlightening one. Who’d have thought that there were so many activities that you could do when not fixated by a screen!? I read a book, chatted to my housemate, did a load of washing. Ok, I wasn’t productive in the academic sense; my 5000 words of dissertation remained stuck in my coffee-soaked hard drive, but I could still get something done. Things could be so much worse.

There is something magical about being separated from being able to access everything that you could ever need. Something sobering about not being able to ‘keep up with the Kardashians’ or binge-watch Friends on Netflix.

Mine was a happy story, the ‘Computer Guy’ pulled through! I had another two-hour journey to South London but came back victorious with my back-up drive containing every single document that was on my laptop, in tow. I have lost my laptop, bought a new one, cried a little about capitalism, but have learnt that I, like many others I am sure, have too much of a dependency on technology.

So, I advise you to try it. To try switching off your devices (not spilling coffee and breaking your laptop) and take an evening to be present. Not to be present in the ‘hippy’ way, but to take a moment to realise that it is ok to remove yourself from the fast-paced city life, to detach yourself from the torrent of emails that you receive every day. Take some time to loop up and just be You.

April 22nd is Earth Day, a time to be aware of your impact on the environment, but also the impact that all of your devices might have on you. Be mindful and make a pact to yourself to try something new and (metaphorically) throw that technology out of the window. Maybe you could pick up a copy of Lewis Magazine and read that by candlelight!?

Words by Alice Harrison





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