News Blackout

Something that is very clear to me and to Deresiewicz, the author of “The End of Solitude”, is that the electronic age is killing people’s appreciation for solitude. We are now too focused on what is going on around us and around the world that we have to be constantly looking through news, media feed, social networks and every type of communication media not only to be informed but to “fit” somewhere and don’t feel isolated.

But what is really “solitude”? Many people, including myself, have had an erroneous meaning of the word “solitude”. To me, it used to mean: no friends, isolation, depression and things along those lines that nowadays don’t make sense to me anymore because, by experience, I have learned how to live in solitude. As Deresiewicz mentions in his essay, the property that grounds self in postmodernism is visibility. We all want to become known or seen in some sort of way to the world or to those who matter to you. We want to be noticed. When I was younger, this happened to me because I became too consumed by technology and social media. I was not alone, I was surrounded by the whole world, indeed, I had it in my hands but I was still feeling alone. I learned from this experience that solitude comes from within, and it isn’t always a bad thing. You can learn how to live fully without the need of being with someone. Solitude is a good thing. GOOD ANALYSIS AND REFERENCES TO READINGS.

To be honest, it was very hard for me to disconnect from the world as the assignment instructions indicated. I am one of those persons that constantly look through news feed and social media and not doing it for 48 hours was hard. In fact, I didn’t even make it through 24 hours. HONEST. It is an indescribable feeling and an insatiable need and desire to go through your timeline and take a glance to what is going on. Even though sometimes you know you are not going to find something, you still want to look. GOOD REFLECTION.

Disconnecting from the world didn’t make me feel lonely, it made me do something else than usual. If for example, I wasn’t on my phone, I was talking to my mom about anything or just simply playing with my dog. I now have a complete understanding of solitude. I see it with different and positive eyes. I see it as “me” time.

Mariana Murillo.



When I was in High School my friends and I would go to each other’s houses just about every week. One weekend my friend and I went to our friend’s house, and since this was something that went on often there were not any red flags when we asked our parents to go. When I look back to that night, I realize that secrecy and lies lie in the same place as loyalty.

When we got to our friend’s house it was a regular night, we talked and played games. Then my friend said that she was going to leave for a while to go over a boys house from school. Since her parents knew she was at our friend’s house it was a good cover for her to go to the guy’s house without them knowing.

While we are all watching the movie I get a call from an unknown number. I answer the phone and heard my friend’s dad on the other line. He tells me that he has been trying to call my friend, his daughter, for a while and she was not answering so he wanted to talk with her. My mind immediately started racing about what I should tell him since she was not actually with me. So in order to keep her out of trouble, I ended up telling him that she was in the bathroom. Since I am very good friends with his daughter my loyalty lied with her so I felt sort of obligated to do so. Plus I had known that they had been getting into more fights recently so I lied to him so their relationship could still have some level of trust in it.

Since her father was the outsider in this situation after I told him she was in the bathroom, he kept insisting on speaking with her because at this point he probably knew something was up. I ended up telling him that we were in the middle of a movie and that I would have her call him as soon as she gets out of the bathroom. Now the power had shifted from me and my friend having equal power to me now having the most, since I was the one controlling the flow of information that her dad received. GOOD

After he hung up I began frantically calling my friend, and when she was not answering me, I resorted to contacting other people who might have had the number of the guy she was with so I could tell her what the situation was. Doing all that I could to get into contact with her to warn her was also my way of trying to protect not only her reputation but my own as well so her dad would not think I was a liar.

Even though it would have been easier to tell her dad the truth, I made the decision not to and had to take on the burden of coming up with a lie on the spot. Since my loyalty lies mainly with my friends it was only natural for me to keep her secret and lie for her.


During the two-day news blackout, I found it difficult to not to go on the internet or any social media sites. At times I found myself unconsciously checking my phone or going on Tumblr because I am so used to constantly checking it whenever I am by myself.

Even when I am around other people I use what I see on my phone as a way to start a conversation with someone else. Without having access to it I noticed it was more difficult to either start a conversation or keep one going. Hearing other people talk about things that were either going on around the world, with our government, or even what the weather was going to be like later that day made me anxious just because I like knowing what’s going to happen before it happens or at least shortly after they happen just so I could be prepared and informed. I can now understand more of what Deresiewicz was saying when he mentioned that  “ the contemporary self wants to be recognized, wants to be connected: It wants to be visible”.  Wanting to be connected with what was going on around me, whether it was checking my friend’s social media to see what going on in their lives, or what was happening in the world.

Deresiewicz states that the main goal of people now is “to turn oneself into a sort of miniature celebrity”. I disagree with this because personally, I am not the type to make posts for everyone to see so this statement could go either way depending on the type of person. I realized I do not use social media as a way for people to be updated with my life, but as a way for me to know about their lives.

As time went on the blackout became easier. I had to accept the fact that whatever going to happen that day would be a surprise. Without having any outside information to think about I  became less stressed and calmer since I was focusing mainly on myself. This was a way for me to just sit with myself and trying to resolve the problems that bother me most. So by the end of this experiment, I was more at peace with myself because I had become aware of the things that cause me the most worry or stress and could now work towards fixing it.

Deresiewicz claims that knowing one of you 532 Facebook friends  “is making coffee and staring off into space” is not going to enhance a sense of closeness. I agree with this, if  I were to hang out with one of the people I follow on social media, it would be the same thing as hanging out with a stranger.

With the amount of technology that is available, it has desensitized us. People do not see the need interact because they already know everything about that person’s life. Things that they report on the news does not come as a complete shock because we have seen it happen so many times. By the end of the blackout when I went online and saw what I had missed, I had more emotions towards it and a little more sensitized.YOU FORGOT TO TAG GROUP SO I COULD NOT FIND THIS ASSIGNMENT. YOU DID A WONDERFUL JOB REFLECTING ON YOUR EXPERIENCE AND THE READING.

Secrecy by Josber Lopez

Thesis Statement: Lying and secrecy is dangerous due to legal, moral and mental repercussions. Even if a lie or secret is never exposed, there is a chance that the lie or secret might haunt one forever.

The quote from the film “Goodfellas” that has always fascinated me goes like this: “…the two greatest things life; never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut.” Even as a young child that quote was very unsettling and raised some moral questions: “OK. I won’t rat on my friends for something dumb. But, what if they do something terrible? How would I live with myself?” Very normal thoughts that go through every nine year old’s head. HA. GOOD OPENING.

I used to dread walking to school. I always met up with my friend Guillermo, who I had watched “Goodfellas” with, every morning and walked together.

One day about two weeks after Christmas, Guillermo and I were playing video games for several hours at his apartment. After we were dead-tired of a day full of school and video games Guillermo told me he wanted to show me something in his closet. We walked over and he materialized a brand-new orange Mongoose BMX bicycle from under his belt. Guillermo immediately pleaded guilty to the crime and admitted he had stolen it. After being in awe of the beautiful bike and admiring Guillermo his gutsy move, he quickly turned the subject to where should he hide it. I immediately told him no way was I hiding that thing in my shed.

Offended with Guillermo’s incriminating suggestion I left home and quickly began to think where have I seen that bike before. It quickly dawned on me that the bicycle belonged to a neighbor of mine that lived three houses down, Jorge. Jorge had been gifted the bicycle for Christmas and he was devastated. Jorge’s family was from the same city my parents were from in Nicaragua so I felt added guilt for even thinking about siding with Guillermo. I just attempted to freeze out this whole ordeal from my head and find a way to distance myself from Guillermo.

That night during dinner my mother broke the news that Jorge was missing his brand new bike and I froze, I quickly replied: “that sucks.” My mother has a tendency for always catching me in a lie or rightly being suspicious. She immediately knew something was off and made me tell her everything. In order to protect Guillermo I told her that I had found the bike parked by a tree near our house and had taken it for a ride. Afraid of any repercussions of what looked like a robbery I decided to leave it in an alleyway. The whole ordeal unraveled on me when Guillermo’s mother phoned my mother telling me she had found the stolen bike.

I got in more trouble for fabricating a story instead of being honest. Guillermo and I did not speak for a year, we didn’t even say goodbye to one another when moved up to Orlando. Years later we had a class together at FIU and we recognized one another immediately. Over a beer we reminisced over the outright idiotic ordeal that had strained our relationship. Guillermo referenced back to “Goodfellas:” “Hey, man, you didn’t rat, but you didn’t keep your mouth shut.”  THIS IS A FANTASTICALLY COMPOSED SHORT TRUE STORY. VERY GOOD JOB ON THE EXECUTION. YOU COULD HAVE ANALYZED THE SECRET AND LIE A BIT MORE, BUT THIS IS IMPRESSIVE WORK.


Thesis statement: Secrecy, confidentiality and lies are correlated. Lies exist to conceal secrets which by silent promises or not, must be kept confidential but it is in one’s hands to nurture or stop lies that grow secrecy.

When you first agree to keep a promise you know what you are getting yourself into. One must know that if they can’t keep secrets, then they should not commit to doing so. If one commits to doing so, then that secret must be protected as if it were yours even if it means that you have to lie. There is an interrelation between all of these terms; they all stand together.

When you promise confidentiality to someone, especially to your best friend, you have the obligation to secrecy. This year, my best friend whose name I’ll change to Vanessa to protect her identity, and I, started working at the same restaurant. This new restaurant had good vibes and many people our age worked there too. Vanessa had been in a relationship for two years with this guy that from my point of view, treated her in a bad way. She started to realize that herself and became a little distant from him. Sometime later, she started to go out more with her friends and have time for her. During that time, she met this guy from work called Sebastian whom she began to like. She felt confused because that had never happened to her before.

One night, my coworkers and I went to a party. In short, Vanessa ended up kissing Sebastian. From that moment on, without her telling me or anyone else, we all knew that this occurrence had to be kept as a secret.

Time passed by and rumors started to rise until they reached Vanessa’s boyfriend’s ears. He, who knew I am her best friend, asked me if the rumor was true. I had to put my best face and deny it to protect my friend’s secret with lies. I felt I was between the sword and the wall since I’m not used to lying, but I had one job and it was to make him think something totally opposite. I felt compelled to lie and told him, in a very serious way, that those were just rumors and that I was the one who kissed Sebastian. This is how I started to nurture the lie, but I knew I had to guard the information that my friend didn’t want him to know. The more one tries to guard secrets, the more the lie grows. GOOD RETELLING. OUCH HOPE SHE AND HER BOYFRIEND HAVE BOTH MOVED ON.

Mariana Murillo.


Thesis: Secrecy, lying and confidentiality interconnect. Lies protect secrecy and secrecy protects lies. Confidentiality supports the need to lie to save someone’s reputation and/or from being ridiculed. We are put into situations where it comes down to choosing between self-morals or protection of others.

I recently worked for a Communications and Marketing firm that dealt with clients in the entertainment industry. Our clients were singers and actresses in the Latin American market. There were multiple times where I was put in a situation where I was bound to lie to keep a secret from someone I promised confidentiality. My boss and I were both required to lie about a situation that could become top news in the Latin entertainment industry. Our biggest client was married with children and had an affair with another woman and who became pregnant. He came to us and told us the situation he was in. Somehow, rumors started going around and as publicist being the direct connection between the artist and the media, media outlets started reaching out. My boss and I received hundreds of calls a day from outsiders trying to get the inside scoop. We felt the responsibly not to only protect our client’s personal relationship but to also protect his image. It was our duty to keep the confidentiality we promised our client even though it required lying and doing something not morally correct. INTERESTING EXAMPLE

The importance of privacy in this situation is to keep control of a reputation and from being ridiculed. Known artists always have a spotlight on where ever they go, whatever they do, they are being watched. Everyone around them is waiting for them to mess up in order to have a reason to judge. Looking at privacy like protection, made everyone around him responsible for keeping this secret. When considering that “newsworthiness” is loosely interpreted, some people might say “who cares” but it is big news to others. As insiders, my boss and I had the power to control the secret. The outsiders were dying to get a hold of the precious information to gain power and feel advantage against other sources. In order to keep the secret my boss and I needed to maintain the lies alive. The secrecy made our lies grow and multiply. INSIGHTFUL We were willing to do all of this in order to maintain the intimacy and confidentiality we had with our client. The connection we had with the client was deep. We displayed loyalty to the client and treachery to the outsider. The moment we were asked about the rumor and decided to protect the secrecy with lies, we protected the lies with the secret. At times, we are put in situations where you need to choose between self morals or protection of others, it is up to us to decide what’s best. When you give someone your confidentiality, you are promising to protect their secret no matter if it requires lying. WHO IS THIS PERSON? HEH.

End of Solitude / Blackout – Josber Lopez

“The last thing to say about solitude is that it isn’t very polite.” Truer words have never been said. Solitude doesn’t discriminate. You can be a billionaire or so poor you don’t have 2 nickels to rub together and make a third, solitude can and most likely will find its way into your mind and heart at some point in your life.

William Deresiwicz points out that the concepts of loneliness and boredom are pretty modern. Technological, medicinal and logistical advancements have made the world smaller but have swayed humanity further apart. Us humans no longer have to depend on our neighbors and fellow community members as much as we used to. We rarely stray out of our small circles and the people we come across on a daily basis are merely scenery.

My experience was fairly difficult due to the circumstances of my job. I’m talking to people all day, and even though I do not have to talk about the news to function, it’s always a great ice-breaker and filler in any conversation. I work in the Doral area and I come across people from all over the world, particularly Venezuelans. The situation in Venezuela is pretty bleak and some of the people I deal with have been heavily affected, so they sometimes feel inclined to share their experiences with me. In order to avoid this I went straight to the point with all my conversations, being as brief and concise in all interactions. This did not really affect my performance on the short term but I do feel that if I did have those meaningful conversations about life and current events I would’ve brought my workplace more business in the future.

The dollars and cents did not affect me emotionally, though. I did feel like a robot after those 48 hours because I could not share those meaningful conversations with my fellow Hispanics who are going through hardships similar to what my parents went through decades ago.

“Loneliness is not the absence of company, it is grief over that absence.” I did miss those interactions at the end of both days. My day went by slower, the repetition and inauthenticity of my responses in order to avoid any talking about the news had me tired and empty inside. I was so tired I decided to skip the gym, which is were I usually black out the news for about an hour or two five times a week without any problems, deepening my empty state. INTERESTING.

The lack of news updates and checking up on social media wasn’t that bad because I have limited my use of both due to the bombardment of news stories on TV and the internet. Everything from every political and social perspective feels so overwhelming and at the same time disappointingly repetitive. I did miss Thursday Night Football, which was not a bummer because I heavily dislike the Patriots, akin to my dislike towards today’s current news cycle. HA.