The Relationship Between Secrecy, Lying and Confidentiality

[Introduction not needed. Relate points to the story.] Secrecy is a part of every human being. At a personal level, people keep secrets known only to them and not recognized to others. Interpersonally, sometimes, we are compelled to keep other peoples’ secrets to preserve relationships. We are forced to lie about real issues to uphold confidentiality. It is important to know that every relationship has some level of confidentiality for it to be maintained. People share problems and secrets with individuals who are close to them.

I had a friend who was very close to me. She had come to me seeking help after committing an abortion. Since she did it secretly, she was suffering from post-abortion psychological stress. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] I was sympathetic of [word choice: to] the situation [comma] and I tried my best to help my friend to cope with the problem. I advised her to visit a therapist, after which she was put through counseling for few months and later recovered. We promised to keep everything a secret to protect her from being subjected to stigmatization.  [Relate to class: People keep a secret to protect personal space or a name.] Since then, I’ve been forced to lie in three occasions to cover up the story to maintain our relationship. [Did you feel a sense of loyalty, guilt or anxiety? Were you angry at having to lie or otherwise act contrary to your morals to protect the secret?] 

I cherish our friendship because we have been friends over a long period of time. I was remorseful about the situation because it sounded more unethical and might have led to stigma if many people knew. I felt that it was my responsibility to maintain the highest level of confidentiality since my friend trusted me with her secrets to the extent of seeking advice from me. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] What made me feel bad at some point is [tense agreement: was] when one of my friend’s relatives wanted to know more about her. She kept asking whether my friend had ever been pregnant before, which I objected [You objected to the pregnancy or to the questions? How did you respond — ignorance, denial?]. [Do you think the person trying to penetrate the secret had a desire to know, gain control, feel superior, or be intimate?] In as much as I always lied about my friend’s confidential information, I never told her about what other people wanted to know about her. The relationship between us has always been excellent. [How did the experience empower you, the other person, or both of you?] 

The concepts of ethos, pathos, logos, rhetorical triangle, and critical perspective were all relevant. As much as I knew that I was lying to conceal my friend’s actions, I tried my best to appear credible while in the middle of the conversation. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] Some people can easily identify a lie. I was careful to prevent this by creating emotional influence [How did you use emotions?] to accompany the lies. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] The lies had to be logical and the mastery of the art of persuasion was key. One has to be convincing to assure another person that a specific point is not as he/she thinks. For example, one of my friend’s cousins had suspected that she had been pregnant in the past. To persuade her, I faked a story about stomach illness that made her vomit in the past. I told my friend’s cousin how I had accompanied her to the hospital as she went for treatment.

The lies I made to cover up my friend’s situation made me realize the intersection between secrecy, lying, and confidentiality in a relationship. Though secrets can be kept through observance of confidentiality, sometimes it is worth to lie to cover them up. The experience gave me insights on how to discover a lie from someone trying to conceal a secret. [Relate your feelings and insights to the readings. Did you carry a burden the way that Edward Snowden said he did?]

48 in the twilight zone

According to William Deresiewicz, today we are not able to be alone, and we have the necessity to interact with people. With those words in mind I started my assignment.

The first day was easy to deal with not news or social media since it was Friday. I went to work from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, and later I went to the gym for an hour. after that, I decided to spend the day at my friend’s house because it was his birthday. All my friends were aware of my assignment; for that reason, they didn’t talk about news. We decided to talk about our day at school and play board games, which we normally do.

The only think that I change at Friday was not listening the radio in the morning since I like to hear 107.5 and all the funny stories they tell.

The first 24 hours passed without notices; however, the problems started on Saturday. I had a second birthday -now from my sister. I needed to prepare the party for her in my house, so I went Target. when I got there, the assignment started to look complicate [complicated] since my mother was trying to reach all our friends to meet at the house, and I was the only one who knew how to use social media at my house, for those who were at work and couldn´t [apostrophe, not accent mark] pick the phone. [How do these experiences relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

knowing the consecuenques [SP: consequences] , I decided to explain my mother trought [SP: ??] phone how to use Facebook. She got mad at me for not doing it by myself, and she was trying to understand what good came from the assignment. thanks to that I noticed   Deresiewicz was right about people being depended [SP: dependent] to contact with other.

Later on, at the party, I tried to spend the less time possible there because my family and friends might talked [tense: talk about] something that I shouldn´t hear, so I went to my room after singing happy birthday to my sister.

It had passed 30 hours and I don’t know what to do.

Being in my room without anybody was hard. The necessity to do something and not wasting my time, made me to start drawing. It worked for one hour, but at the end I was more anxious that before. I tried to read a book, but it got me bored. I tried to talk to my girlfriend about her day, but she didn’t pick the phone. I analyzed the situation and got to the conclusion that it was the fact of knowing my limitations from the assignment what made me be so anxious.  [good insight]

I also concluded the importance of watching news; most people, especially my age,  like to watch news just to have a topic to talk about but not for the idea that something important is happening in the world. This idea came from Deresiewicz in his paper. [good insight]

Finally, I went to sleep. Next morning, I woke up opening my phone to knew [tense: know] what I missed. I discover that nothing had change, but at least my anxiety went out. I became again a slave of news. [good insight]


News Blackout

The 21st century world is highly connected, and the information is rapidly passed from one point to another. Virtually everyone has an online presence of some sort. A majority of people, more so of the young generation, communicate actively with fellow users almost.

While media does take up most of our time, it passes for a pastime activity for most of us in today’s world. During the initial stages of my solitary 48 hours, I was almost clueless over how to spend all the free time, which seemed unusually long. I stumbled upon a plain paper book while ransacking the house for anything to keep me busy. In it, there were some drawings I had made about five years ago. I decided I would try to make a pencil sketch of the first thing that would strike my mind. It did not last long, especially when I realized I was not as good as I had been five years ago. [How do these experiences relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?]
I lay on the couch for a long while, before I went to the kitchen to find something to eat. I decided to take a walk late in the afternoon. It was refreshing to watch and listen to the birds, something I enjoyed so much that I tried it on the second day as well. However, most of the time, I found myself restless. It was the first time I had spent alone for so long and I understand why. There were some pieces of paper on the floor of my room on which someone had scribbled some illegible content. I made some paper planes and hats out of them. [How do these experiences relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?]

On the second day, I saw a broken hinge in one of my wardrobes that needed fixing. I reckoned this would be the perfect opportunity to do so. It was not the only thing I fixed. It would have been perhaps more beneficial if I invested more time in perfecting my pencil sketches, however, I did not find it as interesting as I did years ago. Traditionally, during the era of Romanticism, solitude was recognized as a crucial aspect of personal growth, according to Deresiewicz. However, the confusion on what to do, in addition to the constant thought that the presence of friends would make the moments better, was an issue of great concern.

It is worth noting that while I engaged myself in these small tasks, I found myself thinking about my life and the decisions I had made so far and whether or not they were taking me in the right direction. A number of my plans are stored in my phone. Although there were not that many plans, I could not exactly recall all of them. There were some short-term plans I had made with friends, such as the visit to California scheduled for summer this year. Deresiewicz is logical in claiming that modernism has indeed devalued solitude. Such an experience is likely coupled with restlessness, and the constant urge to connect with others, which had an adverse effect on human creativity.  [How might you act on these insights? How might your media consumption change?]

I’ve Got a Secret- Daniel

[Organize your writing into paragraphs. No one wants to read a 500-word block.] Secrets can be very difficult in keeping [comma] especially when it has to do with something very personal to someone. I have been in that position of holding a secret from my own family, [no comma] to protect my cousin who came out to me a few years ago. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] Our family is very conservative and religious, they still have a mindset that marriage should only be between a man and women and that being gay is just phase. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] My cousin’s name is Ashely [SP] and were about the same age, and ever since we were little she always told me her secrets and I will always tell her mine. When we were both in high school she will come over my house afterschool [two words], but this time I remember seeing her with a gloomy face like if she was crying and she told me she needed to tell me a secret that I needed to swear not to tell anyone [run-on sentence]. There was so many things going through my head of what she could’ve been hiding. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] After she wiped her tears, she looked straight at me and said “I am Gay [lowercase].” At first I was shocked, but after taking it in I gave her a big hug told her that “I love you and that you being gay will never change how I view you as a person.” [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] This experience of her coming out to me first was probably the most memorable and emotional moment of my life, not only because she came out to me but to put her trust in me was something I will never take for granted. [Relate to class: You kept a confidentiality out of a prima facie duty and to show loyalty to a peer.] [How did the experience empower you, the other person, or both of you?] [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] After a year of coming out to me [comma] Ashley text me one day telling me that her mom might have found out that she was gay, [no comma] because she found text messages on her phone from her than [SP: then] girlfriend. She didn’t know what to do and wasn’t ready to come out to her parents just yet [comma] so she decided to stay at her girlfriend’s house for the night and that she will [tense: would] talk to them the next day.  [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] My aunt called me that night and asked me if I knew where she was, but I lied to her and said I didn’t know. Lying to my aunt was a feeling I didn’t like, but I knew I needed to protect Ashely’s secret until she was ready to them herself. [Relate to class: Keeping a confidentiality puts tremendous burden on the agent.] [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] After doing the readings and sharing my story [comma] I now see the similarity between confidentiality and lying. If I had shared Ashley’s secret with her family [comma] it probably would’ve been worse for her because her family would have taken it harder if she hadn’t told them herself and we probably wouldn’t be as close to each other anymore because I decided to come out for her when it should be the other way [run-on sentence]. I can see how not sharing secrets with people can have its benefits because now Ashely [SP] came out to them on her own and today they accept her fully for who she is.



A couple years ago, a close friend of mine whom I’ve know a long time had an issue with substance abuse. He had been fighting addiction for a couple months, until [comma after “until”] with the help of his close friends and family, he decided to get some help. The very next day, he enrolled in an inpatient rehabilitation center in California. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] With him and I being [slang: Because he and I were] close friends, I had everyone he knew [slang: You told people to contact you?] calling and texting me asking if I had any idea where he was at. Naturally, this wasn’t something he wanted many people finding out about. [Relate to class: People keep a secret to protect personal space or a name.] So [comma] for the next two month or so, I had to continually lie about his whereabouts to some of my closest friends.

I told most of them he had taken a semester off and decided to live in California for a little while. Most believed it with no problem, [semicolon] however [comma] I did have several people who thought it all sounded a bit strange. Some would stay behind [behind what?] after others had left and ask, “Okay [comma] whats [punctuation: what’s] really going on?”.  [Relate to readings and lecture: Do you think the person trying to penetrate the secret had a desire to know, gain control, feel superior, or be intimate?] [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] Yet time and time again, i’d have to respond with persistence, hoping not to get caught in one of my own lies. I have to admit I felt guilty at times, lying to some of my closest friends and family. [Did you feel a sense of loyalty, guilt or anxiety? Were you angry at having to lie or otherwise act contrary to your morals to protect the secret?] [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] After a month or two, I began considering the consequences I could possibly face if any of them where to find out I was lying. I would lose all credibility, as well as the trust of several social circles. However deep down I knew how delicate this matter was for my friend, and even though I was lying, I was doing it for the right reasons. [Relate your feelings and insights to the readings. Did you carry a burden the way that Edward Snowden said he did?] 

I continued to respect his privacy, until he came back from getting the help he needed. He was not in communication with many people while he was up there, so he was surprised to find out how few people truly knew where he was all that time. I would say that this series of events strengthened our friendship in the end. He was aware of the burden I carried for him and I truly do believe he was grateful for it.

In the realm of raw information, secrecy, lies and confidentiality tend to go hand in hand. In order for someone to protect the secrecy of their confidant, they must be untruthful to the majority of their audience. Examples, like the story above, demonstrate how delicate the communication of information can be; especially when the communicator has a motive to spin the truth, or even lie. If a simple lie about the whereabouts of another person could improperly inform people with great efficiency, who know what kind of lies we as the general public are susceptible to. Todays digital age is so saturated with information that it starts to become difficult to discern fact from fiction. It is therefore more important than ever that people question not only the content of the information they consume, but also the source. [good insight] 

48 Hour Media Blackout- Karina Taylee


The current generation of young people can get news easier than any generation before them. Usually considered positive, scholars such as William Deresiewiez claim that people abuse this luxury to avoid being alone and once alone most people today could not handle that. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] Initially, when I was told we were not allowed to access news for forty-eight hours, I thought it would be very easy because I did not consider myself hooked to the media and because news could be easily avoided. I was utterly wrong, challenged, and surprised but what I learned about myself in the end of this experience.

One of the biggest actualization that came out of this experience is how much news I was surrounded by. Probably the biggest form of news I consume is the radio. The first day I started my drive by switching off the news station and I thought that would be the end of trying to find something to listen to, but the next station would be some people talking about an exciting headline and I found myself switching the station again. This happened so often that I spent more time avoiding news and switching back and forth between stations than actually listening to real content every time I wanted to drive somewhere. [How do these experiences relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

Whenever I got home and accessed the internet, I would see so many headlines everywhere I went, even in advertisements, and I love reading so I was disappointed that a lot of my usual reading material was now off limits. I had also realized that I keep my phone near me even when doing homework just to have a potential distraction and to prevent me from having to focus too hard on assignments.  [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] I was constantly creating my own loopholes telling myself that it was not technically news if it was not new to me. I got very close to breaking the challenge several times because of this mentality but never could convince myself enough to read an article. The fact that I could not read it immediately made them exponentially more interesting. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] As soon as I was able to read the subjects of these headlines I realized that most of these articles were not that interesting and I had put them on a pedestal, which was a big actualization since I did not think I would be the type of person to do that. [How do these insights relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

I thought of myself as someone who can be immune to such temptation, but this experience made me understand that I am not as high and mighty as I sometimes told myself and was in fact a very humbling experience. I thought that whoever would let themselves succumb to the “weakness” of becoming anxious or bored during this time were just silly. After all it is just two days, do they not have other things to do? Are they not patient enough to just wait it out, or were they simply too addicted to the consumption of media? Certainly, I was different, or so I thought. [How do these insights relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

That was not the case; whatever pretentious  thoughts I had before this are now gone and it is a little embarrassing that I had to go through this in order to see that I am not above other people my age pertaining the use of media. I also use it a lot, I also avoid being alone. At the beginning of writing this, I made sure to put my cell phone in my bag, and even though that is a very small step, hopefully it is the beginning of a slightly more solitary lifestyle. [good insight]

48-Hour News Blackout Paper


Daniel Rodriguez (2923386)                                                                                                                        Team #3

48-Hour News Blackout Paper

             Distancing myself from the news for 48-hours was somewhat exciting but kind of scary, in a way I felt I needed a break from the news in general especially if it was regarding to President Trump. Before I began my assignment I immediately got my family together in the kitchen and told them how I’m not supposed to listen to any news until Wednesday evening they all complied, but I knew it wasn’t long until I see my mom putting CNN in front of me or my dad telling me a new policy Trump has enforced. The last step to finally start this assignment was to delete all my news apps and social media accounts this was very hard for me, but I needed to do this because that’s where I usually got my news for the day.

            The news blackout began on a Monday which in fact was also Presidents Day so I had no classes or work, so to distract myself from watching the news I made plans with my friends to go to the beach. Not being able to see the weather on my phone was very irritating at first because living in Miami my entire life I know that it won’t be sunny the entire day. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] Luckily it didn’t rain and also none of my friends brought up anything that was news worthy, but I did however almost downloaded Instagram again. I wanted to post a picture, but I knew if I downloaded the app I would have gone through my entire timeline; so I decided to wait until I was done with my assignment to post the picture. The next day I had work which was at a marketing/PR firm and my task for the day was to add events we’re promoting to news stations. This was pretty difficult to do because I didn’t want to see the news that was happening that day, so what I did to avoid it was to search a specific news station that was in my market and at the end add the word “events.” This took me straight to the event page and it allowed me to prevent myself from watching any news on the home page. [How do these experiences relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

            The moment the blackout period ended I remember downloading back all my news and social media accounts and as I scrolled down through them I felt a sense of happiness. Being able to connect to the world again made me realize how I didn’t like not knowing what was happening, it made me feel uncomfortable not knowing anything. [How do these feelings relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] Even when I made plans with my friends to take my mind off of the news it was always in the back of my mind that I couldn’t watch or listen it, and it made me realize that without social media I would be completely detached from everything that’s important to me. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] I came to realize how important the news was, whether it was used to start up a discussion with someone or to stay up to date with what’s going on in the world. In this generation it is nearly impossible to rule out all sources of news, but by simply limiting the amount of news given to us, the importance of news truly becomes apparent. [How do these insights relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?]