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In December 2019—or as we now refer to it, the Before Time — the online magazine Man Repeller predicted that 2020 would be “the year of being not extremely online, not extremely offline, but rather medium online.”

An oversaturated 2019 left many of us reflecting on how we could have a more wholesome, balanced relationship with social media and our rate of online consumption in the upcoming year. “Medium online” offered a moderated approach to technology, using it for only practical and purposeful tasks and rejecting the rest. …


A better way to engage online.

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If you’ve ever gazed into a screen, opened social media, and started scrolling — aka all of us — you would have been confronted with a hellscape of news and opinion.

We’re all angry. We should be. The news cycle is never-ending, and the internet democratised information so our eyes are open to more atrocity than we can bare to handle.

Our newsfeeds alternate between beauty guru drama and sex crimes. Protests, elections, explosions. The Kardashians. It’s emotional whiplash. And we never switch it off.

How do we engage with an opinion that matters?

It’s easy to feel that throwing…


Lockdowns in 2021 are a whole new beast.

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Remember ‘two weeks to flatten the curve’?

It’s been eighteen months. I’m in lockdown, again, and dare I say it — I miss March 2020.

Terry Nguyen is one of my favourite writers, and her newsletter GEN YEET is a delicious insight into cultural trends relevant to young people. Her issue ‘No jobs, head empty on how Covid-19 has affected young adults job prospects, complete with personal testimonies, was a gut punch on how the younger generation has been uniquely affected by the pandemic and rolling lockdowns.

However, Terry’s articles for Vox about the early days of quarantine are peak…


Sometimes it is better to heal in silence.

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I’ve forgiven plenty of people, but not everyone deserves that energy.

My baseline is that respect must be earned. Much like forgiveness. I’ve forgiven those close to me for genuine wrongdoings, but only because they apologised and changed their behaviour. These are people I love, who changed, who either made a mistake or hurt my feelings without realising. For the people who have repeatedly belittled, abused, and berated me (on purpose), or even those who made a mistake but have no remorse — why do they deserve my forgiveness? …


The need to prove someone wrong can be productive.

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In the past year I’ve had several interactions that evoked in me the type of spite that makes you think: “ha, I’ll prove you wrong.”

As I felt this emotion arise, I clutched at it with a matched sense of excitement. For spite is rare and often requires someone else to have doubted, criticised, or simply irked you to create such a reaction.

Spite, is that you? Welcome!

The kind of spite I’m talking about is not hateful, nor vengeful. It is motivational. …


Distance can be the great divider, or a personal victory.

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“Does your mother know where you are?” my aunt queried.

I was barely awake, settling into jet lag and a mandatory two-week isolation in my home country of New Zealand in March 2020, after a frantic 24-hour dash back from London where I lived for the previous year. The pandemic was accelerating, and home beckoned.

“I could tell her,” she probed. “Surely she will be thinking about you.”

“Doubtful,” I replied. “I haven’t heard from her in years.”

I withheld any further reply, and the pause in conversation left my aunt mulling over her choices.

“No I won’t tell her,”…


During a past therapy session, my therapist surprisingly noted a breakthrough. I had no clue what she was referring to as I felt a swirling mix of complicated emotions. Yet one of those emotions was anger.

As my therapist explained to me, my progression from sadness to anger was quite a positive progression indeed.

In a book I admittedly haven’t read, Dr. David R. Hawkins created a spectrum of consciousness, starting from the lowest level: Shame, through to Guilt, Apathy, Fear, Anger, and then on to Pride, Courage, Acceptance, and Reason. The highest levels are: Love, Ecstasy, Peace, and Enlightenment.


The hard truth is that even in a post-pandemic future, we will need to grieve what we’ve experienced in order to move forward.

Grief over lost plans, lost friendships, lost…


A preview of what you can expect to feel in a normal-ish world.

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We are about to round the corner on the one year anniversary of when lockdowns started worldwide, aka the week our old lives ended.

Fittingly for many, the day shit-finally-hit-the-fan and the pandemic became real was Friday the 13th, in March 2020. It was for me. My Timehop is almost embarrassing to look at this week as I galavant around without a care in the world. This time last year I was out partying in London, hugging friends, and getting a tattoo.

On that Friday 13th March 2020, as borders cascaded shut and cases exploded, I had to choose between…


Why Airbnb is losing in more ways than one during the pandemic.

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I’ve been missing hotels. For so long Airbnb maintained their allure as a cheap way to travel, especially for longer periods of time, a month here, a month there. The digital nomad’s wet dream.

But now those prices are barely cheaper, if not more expensive, than many hotels. And what are you gaining?

I used Airbnbs for years for both personal and work travel until I had some interesting experiences travelling solo. Nothing ‘bad’. Just a level of discomfort that made me realise a hotel would be a similar price, and that my peace of mind was priceless.

In Airbnbs…

Jess Thoms

building brands & writing along the way. jessthoms.com/newsletter

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