I’ve got a Secret

I know I’ve lied about circumstances and situations more times than I can remember and yet I consider myself to be an honest person. I lied and kept secrets for my sister for the mere fact that she was my sister and we had a spoken and unspoken bond of trust. We knew that after the first night of proven loyalty, no matter what happened between us, we would never reveal the other’s secrets.  This union of trust began on the night I saved my sister from getting in a heap of trouble. [Relate the insights to the readings and lectures.]

My sister snuck out of the house when she was 16 years old to go to a party at one of her friend’s house. She told me what she was going to do and it did not seem like a problem since our parents don’t check on us after they go to sleep. My sister left the house and I stayed up watching television. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] That night, my dad decided to go downstairs to the kitchen, which is right next to my older sister’s room. He noticed that her bathroom light was on and went inside to turn it off. That’s when he noticed that my sister was missing. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] He came into my room demanding to know where she went. I was so alarmed that the first thing that came to my head was to say that I had just gotten my period and we didn’t have any more Kotex pads left, so she went to the store to buy me some. My dad, being the male that he is, just grumbled and went back to his room to sleep without questioning it any further. Afterwards, I texted my sister to let her know what happened and she was able to make it home without being caught.

I never felt a sense of power over my sister for having protected her from getting in trouble that night. I believe that you can’t form a real bond with someone until you trust them to protect you and hold your secrets. Never did I think I could manipulate or use the information against her. My sister and I have been in plenty of fights before but we never used the secrets we have on each other to get our way or to make the other look bad in front of our parents. There was an importance to keeping each other’s secrets. [Relate to class: You kept a confidentiality out of a prima facie duty and to show loyalty to a peer.] 

This secret though did not ensure a sense of privacy since my sister was young and doing something wrong.  She was not privy to privacy at 16.  The lie was wrong on both my sister’s and mine’s part since it did put a burden on me to lie and keep a secret from our parents. [Relate to class: Keeping a confidentiality puts tremendous burden on the agent.] 

Secrecy and lies in this scenario is what formed a bond between two people. The irony is that trust between two sisters was built on a lie. I never threatened my sister with the information I had on her, even though it could have lead to me having power over her since I was the younger sister. I wanted to know that I could prove loyalty and I wanted my sister to trust me.

Secret

My sister and I have always been very close and even though we have a six year [hyphenate] age gap we love each other and consider each other one another’s best friends. When we were young [comma] I would tell her things and expect her to keep my secrets, which she always did. As she began to get older and turned 18 years old, things began to change and I found myself having to cover and lie for her more and more.

My sister turned 18 in September and [comma] it was around that time I started to notice a change in her behavior. She was rebelling, acting out and acting older than her age in some ways. Her Snapchat and her social media sites consisted of mostly her out with her friends staying out past her curfew and sometimes with a beer or other kind of drink in her hand. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] Of course [comma] seeing this troubled me as an older sister. I was afraid something bad would happen to her such as an accident or god forbid something even worse. I was compelled to tell my parents in attempt to try and calm her down because talking to her about it was doing no good. She would tell me whatever I wanted to hear and then do what she wanted, typical teenager.

There were a few nights that my sister had asked to sleep at a friend’s house and I saw on social media she was at a party instead. My mom had her suspicions that my sister was not actually at her friend’s house and came to me and asked me if I could call my sister and find out secretly.  [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] I was caught off guard and did not know if [whether] I should tell my sister or if I should just tell my mom the truth. I did not want to betray her [whose, sister or mother?] trust but at the same time I was upset that she was lying about where she was. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] I told my mom I would call her and find out but I already knew she was not at her friend’s house. I spoke to my sister the next day about this and she was happy I did not tell my mom. These situations continued to occur and I was caught in the middle of a sticky situations. I was unsure if I should be honest with my mom about what my sister had been doing or if I should just continue covering up for her. [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?] 

My sister and my relationship were growing stronger in a sense [How did the experience empower you, the other person, or both of you?] because we knew we had to protect one another but at the same time this burden was weighing heavy on my shoulders. [Relate to class: Keeping a confidentiality puts tremendous burden on the agent.] I wanted to do the right thing but knew I had to have my sisters [punctuation: sister’s] back. I spoke to her about not doing those things so young and she seemed to understand and take into consideration that I should not have to continue to lie to my parents about where she was and what she is doing.

News Blackout

After 48 hours of being disconnected from all forms of news, and social media my experiences put me on both ends of a spectrum. On one hand, my personality is naturally very introverted and  I enjoy being by myself. In a way, forcing myself to put down my phone, and not use any social media I felt more creative and got a lot of more work done. On the other hand, I become very bored and anxious after forcing myself to do something I don’t really want to do. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] The first day was the most difficult because it was a subconscious habit to open Instagram or Twitter every few minutes. Forcing myself not to take part in those activities made me feel like I was missing out on something. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] This made me think about Deresiewicz and how afraid students were of being alone. With social media and news being so instant, and becoming more of a necessity in our lives people who were born into this don’t understand any other way of living. I grew up drawing, playing with siblings, and not knowing what my friends or family were doing unless we talked at school, or got together at a party, not much of my time was spent watching news or going on the computer. [How do these experiences relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

Nowadays, knowing what everyone in my life is doing by something as simple as a text or tweet makes communication more of a necessity. On the second day of my social media and news ban I was still forcing myself to stay away from my phone, but it wasn’t as much as a subconscious need to know what others were doing, it was more out of boredom. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] In the 48 hours I did a lot of writing, and painting because those are things I usually do when I have free time, but I think I was more prone to these hobbies to distract myself from the boredom and solitude. I don’t think news creates more solitude by making us think for ourselves, I think it brings us together more than before because we are forced to see what people around the country are going through, and with that we start considering our place in society and how things may affect us. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] We definitely take news for granted because we don’t realize how much of our lives is actually news. For instance, looking at the weather app on my phone could have made me realize to bring an umbrella to school, but without it, I was stranded on campus without any protection. Little things like google maps also helps us find a faster route and warns us of upcoming traffic due to accidents. Without news like this our lives are much more difficult and we don’t have as much of an advantage on the day than we do with such news. [How do these insights relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?]

Last year, I went on a social media cleanse and deleted all of my apps, this assignment reminded me of that time and how little I depended on connecting with people I didn’t really know like celebrities or trends, and helped me focus on the things in my immediate control, like my close friends, school work and my family. If I can remember the importance of these things instead of focusing on how bored or alone I feel, maybe I can slowly detach from the necessity of instant news and social media. [good insight]

48 Hour Media Blackout

Thinking back at the 48-hour news media blackout which I extended to include social media because of the different articles being shared on the various platforms, I realized a few things. I do see myself in the argument that Deresiewicz makes, not exactly in the sense of celebrity, I do not feel the need to be known, but I do feel a need to be connected to the world. News helps me keep connected to the world much like social media helps me keep connected to my friends and family. [excellent insight]

During the 48 hours I did find myself a bit anxious, trying to find things to fill the gap. Usually in the morning I wake up, make myself breakfast and read the New York Times in peace. The calm only last about an hour or two because soon my roommates are awake and that’s the end of my quiet time. As I am writing this I am realizing my only alone times are in the morning when I read the news, when I do homework, and when I sleep. Interesting to think about, I spend more time with others than I do with myself. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] Instead of reading the news in the morning I slept in, I guess I still needed that hour of solitude in my day even if it was in dream land. At work on my lunch break I am usually on social media, but since I could not open apps to check anything I tried having conversations with my coworkers. They were all engaged in their phones though so I did not get much out of them. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] I went outside and called my mom, because I was alone and bored with nothing to do. The next day I called my mom again because I had nothing to do before class, she was very pleased to get two phone calls in one week. At night I had trouble falling asleep but I could not go on any apps so I went for a walk instead. [How do these experiences relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

When I finished with the 48 hours and I started to skim through news articles, I realized I missed a lot of events, especially since we currently have a president that needs to be on the front page every day. I believe the news is important, but because of the social culture that we have it develops news to be more of a public entertainment forum rather than an information source that it is meant to be. I do think it is a necessary intrusion of our solitude. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] Deresiewicz was right about us not knowing how to be alone and that we are trained to be bored. Humans are naturally curious being, if we were brought up to be bored might as well find educational and informative articles on the news to read about rather than do other unproductive activities. Looking back on the pass 48 hours I comprehend that it is boredom that gets me to read the news, but it is connectivity that makes me keep reading. [Relate to McLuhan’s saying, “The medium is the message.”] 

Secrecy

Last year I was employed at Dunkin Donuts at my old community college [comma] and since it was on a college campus most of my employees were students and got a long really well, and we knew most of our customers personally [run-on sentence]. Working the night shift was always more relaxed than the day shift [comma] and we didn’t have our store manager around most of the time because she left after five o’clock. That being said, a lot of things that wouldn’t be allowed while she was watching were done and we didn’t have to worry about getting in trouble for giving away a coffee or two. One of my closest colleagues, Amanda, was usually getting called out for giving away donuts or sandwiches by our shift manager, but our shift manager was much more lenient so it was never a big deal. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] However, one day our store manager talked to us all and explained that she knew someone was giving away too many drinks and food, [period mark] our profit was lower than it should have been and whoever did it would be fired. We all knew we did it sometimes, but we also knew who did it the most, Ashley. I didn’t like being put in this situation because I didn’t want Ashley getting fired, but I also didn’t want this to jeopardize my position at work. [Relate to class: A secret can hurt people, intended or not.] 

My store manager started pulling people aside one by one asking if we’ve seen anyone on the night shift giving away free things to customers, or eating some of the food when they weren’t on break. The next day, I was called to the office and was asked the questions everyone said they had been asked. I answered them as truthfully as possible, but I knew they weren’t going to let me go unless I named someone, and my manager also knew Ashley and I were close so she was probing me. [Do you think the person trying to penetrate the secret had a desire to know, gain control, feel superior, or be intimate?] I didn’t think it was fair that I was being pushed to give up someones [punctuation: someone’s] name [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?] , and I didn’t want to get my friend fired so I politely said that I hadn’t seen anyone stealing or giving away free food .

My manager finally let me go [comma] and Ashley asked if [whether] I said anything. I reassured her that I didn’t say any names and that was the end of everyone’s questions. However, the next day I got a text from Ashley saying she got fired, and she heard that I was the one who told on her. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] That instantly upset me because I went through a tough situation of lying to my employer, and putting my credibility on the line for her [Relate to class: You kept a confidentiality out of a prima facie duty and to show loyalty to a peer.] , and in the end she still got fired, and she believed that I was the one who told [run-on sentence]. I lied to keep our friendship but in the end our friendship still ended over that, and it wasn’t worth it . I realized that lying for the sake of someone else when it could change how I am seen as a person, [no comma] or ruin my credibility was something I never wanted to do again.

Secret’s Blog

A few years ago back in high school I was told a secret by one of my closes [SP: closest] friends. Outside the classrooms, in a low shy tone, which I could not believe belong to her since she was one of the loudest people I’ve ever known, she confessed to me that she was bisexual. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] She was scared of what I would say – [period mark] in the days before [comma] she had been acting weird [comma] but I just thought it was stress from basketball. She looked at me as if I was [verb mood: were] going to reject her or talk down to her, she was afraid to tell me [already established]. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] When I responded and told her ok I did not care about her preferences she was still someone I would care about no matter what, she broke down. Telling me how she feared I was going to push her away and how she had been acting weird because when she told her father her secret she had been kicked out of the house and now was living with her grandparents [sentence fragment].

At the time [comma] little 14-year-old me did not know that this secret would bond our friendship for a lifetime. She was a year older than me and someone I admired for her beauty, smarts, athletic ability, friendliness, and an overall good heart. It was hard for me to imagine that people would think less of her because of this secret [comma] but when she told me what her own father had done I knew I had to protect the secret. It was my prima facia duty, and my duty as her best friend to not let anyone know [excellent insight]. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] Unfortunately, there were people who had suspicions and knew that we were close and they would question me. My best friend was a very popular girl, there was a good amount of people that questioned me about who she liked, why was she upset at certain things, and why her dad stopped showing up to her games.
[Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] I lied my entire way through all the questions and suspicions, it was very hard for me because I am just an awful lair [SP: liar]. The justifications of my lies was that I had to protect my friend. I was an insider to the secret and my friendship was at stake, the outsides wanted gossip, entertainment, and to have control over her in some way. After she admitted to me her secret it was my choice to guard the secret.
[Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] In terms of power [comma] it gave me power of identity because my loyalty as person was tested, something to this day I still think is one of my strongest traits. I knew who I was well enough to know who my real friend was and her worth to me as a friend. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] I know lies hurt people [comma] but this case I knew that it would hurt her more if others knew. In the end [comma] when we were a little older and she was comfortable telling people herself [comma] it all worked out and our friendship grew stronger.

48 hour blackout

[Keep paragraphs short.] In today’s day in age just about everything we do is somehow linked to social media, telephones, television or a media source of some kind. We have developed such a desperate need to constantly be holding on to our phones or listening to the radio or watching the television that we would not know how not to be bored or lonely without those components in our lives. These technologies and news sources have not always been at our fingertips and is a relatively new thing. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] Like the article mentions, just a few years ago we were discovering email and sending them from bulky desktop computers through dial-up internet where as today we can tap our wrist on an apple watch or send an email from a cell phone in seconds. It is rare that two people sit and have a meaningful conversation and discuss live without pulling out one of their phones and without noticing ending up on Snapchat or texting another friend which ties back to how attached we have become with the idea of constantly being preoccupied through technology. This type of scenario connects to how people have an issue with accepting solitude.
I can see how people today have manifest

into mini celebrities [hyphenate] in a sense. I could possibly land in this category because I do like to have many likes on my pictures and posts. I also have many people from middle school and high school in which I haven’t spoken or kept in contact with that I still see on social media. I have certain friends that document every single thing they do, from the meals they eat, to the places they go, to the things they do. These friends do this for their “followers”. I know some people who have thousands of followers on Instagram and different social media platforms but I do not have that many.
In the blackout experiment we did out of class we disconnected from all types of news for 48 hours. In doing this I was amazed how much news is actually a huge part of the world and everything we do. Just by getting on Facebook there are endless amounts of news that gets distributed on news feeds. Facebook is considered to be a social media outlet but is now a platform for news as well and there is no way of escaping seeing news when on Facebook. [How do these insights relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?]

Whether friends are posting about what is going on or whether it is Facebook telling you on the top right hand corner section called “trending,” I was sure to see something news related. When it came to disconnecting from broadcast news it was not hard for me considering my main news source is online sources. I barely watch news on TV unless I happen to be watching TV and the local news comes on, and even then I usually change the channel unless it is a topic that really grabs my attention. [How do these experiences relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 
You can only do so much to try to truly disconnect from news but in all actuality news is everywhere. News is a huge part of our everyday lives whether we acknowledge it or not. [How do these insights relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?]