Secrecy: Assignment 4

Thesis Statement: Secrets are a part of your privacy, keeping family secrets is the most intimate type of secrecy because of the bonds you all share. GOOD

“Family comes first”, is a quote that I live by. The inner works of how a family runs is critical, and must be done right in order to flourish from it. I come from a extremely close family, where we laugh together, cry together and keep each others secrets. A few years ago, my father had lost his job, that he had for 13 years, due to budget cuts. My dad is a workaholic, something that everyone in our family knows, so when he had lost his job we knew it was going to be hard on him. As my small family of four adjusted to the change, we were asked not to share this with out extended family. My parents did not want pity or money they just wanted things to get back to normal.

Along with keeping secrets comes lying. Lying to my family on why we could not go on family vacations with them, or lying about how our weeks were going. Just because it was a secret that mentally and physically brought us down, the secret did not empower me. Holding that secret ate me alive each and every night, wondering how we were going to make ends meet to keep our house. Being part of a such a close extended family, they knew we were acting strange. They were trying to figure out the true reason on what what going on behind closed doors in our household. As they were growing more curious, we all became more anxious and uncomfortable talking about certain topics such as the future or our careers. My dad had been working tirelessly, interview after interview, and you could just tell the toll it took on him. You could see it in his tired eyes that he was shameful for loosing his job, which was so hard to see in him knowing that he could not have prevented it.

Once you get older, you start realizing how important secrets actually are. In Middle School, they were a form of gossiping or revealing your crush. Once you come into the real world, you see what type of impact secrecy has. We had kept that secret to protect our family name and control our reputation of a hard-working “American Dream” family. We were using lies to guard our secrets and trying to justify them by saying that we had been protecting our family.

As time goes on and secrets come and go, the secret may have gone but the intimacy and loyalty between a person and whom they may have shared a secret with stays. The bonds me and my family have today is because of the true faithfulness we have within each other. Keeping family secrets may be the hardest ones to keep, but what they leave is something so much better. A small family of 4 was able to make it through 2 tough years of unemployment, through the intimacy and trust they had with one another. VERY WELL WRITTEN AND ANALYZED WELL


Individual Assignment 4: I’ve got a secret

Thesis: Lying is a societal bad trait.

The readings and presentations demonstrated how secrecy, confidentiality and lying are all interrelated and yet how sometimes we have the need to fall under the lying pattern. Secrecy is believed to be synonym of power, a meaning for human autonomy. Is the human being truly prepared for this kind of power? Along with secrecy comes the control of the information flow which it is believed to be extremely dangerous. For example, it can hurt our judgement and based on this hurt people, intended or not. Making it a treat.

Based on this I remember once covering for my little brother. He had gotten bad grades at school and decided to tell me about it. I still remember his last words that day: “don’t tell mom and dad.” Basically, my duty was to keep this secret for my brother and lie to my mother and my father so they wouldn’t get mad about it. This was a really uncomfortable situation because I wanted my brother to trust me but my parents also trusted me. I was standing right in the middle of the problem.

This situation made me feel somehow empowered. It was a huge deal to my brother and by having this information I had the power to make him be nice to me. Not a good thing to do, but the entire secrecy thing made me feel that way, while he was vulnerable. GOOD ANALYSIS Yet with some days passing I realized that my brother got bad grades because he was always playing video games instead of studying.  He had to face his responsibilities and I had to be loyal to my parents (the ultimate power at home) I decided to break the deal and tell them. I broke the confidentiality agreement I had with my brother and told my parents. They didn’t react as bad as he though. But they taught my brother that in order to get good grades he had to pay more attention to school projects.

As the presentation showed and based on my anecdote we can see how secrecy protects lies, how lies protect secrecy and secrecy somehow protects confidentiality agreements. In order to protect my brother’s secret, I had to omit some details which in the long run turned into a lie. Lying in the other hand protected the secret making sure there was no “finding out”. Then secret also protected the confidentiality I had to maintain and didn’t. Because if I was not able to reveal the secret I couldn’t be able to reveal the person’s identity either.

Secrecy is a feared trait in society. Yet somehow, we encounter circumstances where we are tested. Sometimes we do have the need to lie. It is in us to manage if it is worthy or not. Lies in the other hand not always protect secrets. How do we know when a lie is not a secrecy scheme?  Analyzing behavior can determine that lying can be dangerous. That’s why it can directly and promotionally affect our loyalty while dealing with other people.

Amanda Cil


Secrets – Ana Silva

THESIS: Secrets are meant to be kept, but there are instances where they need to be told for the better of all.

Secrets are dangerous. They have the power to destroy relationships, create a deep bond between individuals, acquire superior knowledge and ultimately build lies.

I found myself in a situation where the secret I had to keep was of too much importance so as not to share it with someone else. That turning point, that telltale, was the exact point where the secret that I was keeping became treacherous and thus dangerous.

My family consists of four people: my parents, my brother and myself. Being the older sibling by only two years, my relationship with my brother has always been very close. We have always trusted each other to the point that we keep secrets from my parents and help each other in all types of situations.

About three months ago, my brother went on a road trip to Gainesville, FL. He told us that he was going to meet up with some of his other friends that were studying in Santa Fe College and attending a tailgate. My parents weren’t very happy about the idea since those plans could get messy at any point, but they let him go.

The information that was withheld from my parents, was that my brother’s ex-girlfriend had recently moved there and he was planning on meeting her. So far, it was just a small secret which I didn’t consider to be bad nor that it could cause any trouble, so I just kept quiet.

I received a call at around 2 am from my brother telling me that he was coming back to Miami right away. He had gotten in a fight with a guy that his ex-girlfriend was currently seeing. His nose was bleeding and appeared to be crooked. At that point I didn’t know what to do. The secret wasn’t as simple anymore, I was withholding important information that involved the health of my brother and a five-hour-drive late at night. WOW!

Instead of making me feel powerful, the secret made me feel powerless. I had this information that was making me feel like I had a heavy weight on me. There were two things I could do: tell my parents, get immediate help and break the trust my brother had put on me, or keep the secret, maintain the relationship with my brother intact and lie about the events. GOOD

I decided to tell my parents as I thought it was for the best. The secret turned into something alarming where if I kept it, not only would we both have gotten in trouble with them but my brother wouldn’t have gone to the hospital where they told him that his nose was broken. I would also have been led to lie about the whereabouts and well-being of my brother each hour that passed by.

This secret was bigger than my sibling bond with my brother, that’s why I had to tell. I didn’t hold any power, nor did I feel closer to him. Instead, it was making me restless and vulnerable. I had to tell, just because he needed help that I couldn’t give.

Blog #2: 48 hour blackout

When Deresiewicz talks about the culture of celebrity and connectivity I did not find him wrong, although, not each and every person may desire to be the “contemporary self”. While reading about validation, it makes you realize how much of yourself you actually put out there on social media, and all for what? I do see myself in the way he puts his argument. Although I may not realize myself, I am constantly posting on my social media outlets to keep people updated on what I am up to. Many of us might not directly realize it, but we are looking for validation. Validation from society to think what were posting is unique, exciting or different. As a women especially in this generation, I feel as we may concern ourselves with how good we look in a picture and how many “likes” we are getting on a photo to receive that connectivity from people we may never talk to in person. GOOD

After disconnecting myself for a hard 48 hours, I constantly found myself evaluating how much I do put my life out, to people who most likely do not care. Especially after reading “The End of Solitude”, 48 hours was not as easy as I thought it would be when we were first assigned this assignment. I was not necessarily feeling anxious to talk on social media, but to go back to what I had posted in the past and just see the times that I had just posted just to feel that “connectivity” that Deresiewicz talks about. I was not purposely trying to fill gaps with any specific social activities but I did find myself being more active, I did more in the day and left the house earlier to start my daily activities, because I spent less time on the internet just scrolling through Twitter just to see what people were talking about that day. At the end of each day, when I would usually catch up on social media, is when I would have that feeling of something was missing, the emptiness. INSIGHTFUL

The news is an important factor in daily life, although I usually try not to watch it too much because the amount of negativity, it is imperative to know what is going on in the world daily. To be caught up on current events, is not only for your personal interest but to know HOW news outlets are handling “Breaking News” and to realize WHAT is being reported. As a society, we do take news for granted. Especially in the times that we are living in, with the amount of non-news worthy news, we have stopped worrying about current events and started worrying more about the people on the internet and their lives. GOOD Depending on the way you receive news is if you let it intrude your life. For example, my mother has CNN & Channel 7 News Alerts to her phone hourly, which I truly believe at that point is an intrusion to her solitude. But if you intake news, daily (not hourly) it is a necessary intrusion in my opinion, helping us realize what makes our government react and society take note upon. GREAT WORK!

Individual Assignment 3: 48-hour news blackout

Thesis: Solitude as a traditional societal value shouldn’t be feared but encouraged.

Solitude has become a myth among the millennials. Following the 48-hours news blackout instructions I decided to turn off my phone and place it on a drawer. The experiment took place between Wednesday and Thursday. The first 8 hours were the hardest ones, my anxiety almost drove me crazy. I felt what William Deresiewicz presented on his article: loneliness and boredom. I didn’t know what was happening around me and I couldn’t communicate with anyone either. Around the 10th hour I started to realize that it wasn’t so bad after all. I introduced myself to the solitude Deresiewicz talked so much about and it was amazing.

I combined my solitude with some photography, writing and painting. My usual social activities were replaced in just a couple of hours. Solitude for me was just a myth and by analyzing Deresiewicz’s article I can arrive to the conclusion that solitude can be tricky. Yet, necessary to get in touch with our Romantic side.

In the other hand, is only accurate to say that News is a necessary intrusion of our solitude because it keeps us updated of what happening on real time (from weather forecasts to social and security news). It is a necessity in order to survive Regular activities such as driving were a little more complicated than normal. I was basically blind to any traffic jam.

As a contemporary self, I am submerged on the culture of celebrity and connectivity. I see myself in this argument. Social media has encouraged me to keep with an image but also to keep touch with those I love, losing any piece of solitude with every online interaction.

The appeal to Ethos is present in the research and Pathos is all over the article because Deresiewicz is giving us a taste of solitude. But he mostly appeals to Logos and by this he is able to makes us understand the necessity of solitude and how we no longer experience it. Solitude is basically the opportunity to expose our true self. It is the window that allow us to have a more down-to-earth approach with life in every aspect. But is really solitude a myth for the millennials? Are we afraid of solitude? Is solitude the reflection of an antisocial self? IT WAS NOT REQUIRED TO ADDRESS THESE CONCEPTS BUT GOOD FOR YOU.

If we analyze the contemporary human we wouldn’t be able to complete the picture without a smart phone. The merging of this artifact and the internet created a codependent self. Yet the problem with solitude is not the invention of the phone. The problem with solitude is that us, the human race, as a reasoning specie don’t know how to balance it out. Deresiewicz makes a great statement by pointing out that solitude is a traditional societal value, one that the current society doesn’t enjoy off.

Solitude is a very relevant topic. Mainly because we are close to those we connect with online but far from our immediate family; and mostly far from our true selves. Now is only accurate to say that solitude has become a myth among not only the millennials. But among almost every human being that has access to a phone with internet.


Amanda Cil


News Outbreak

I started the ‘news blackout’ on Friday at four p.m. with the expectation that it would be as easy as I thought it would be. My first social breakdown occurred that same Friday evening. My phone kept buzzing as new notifications kept coming in. Instinctively, I grabbed my phone with new WhatsApp notifications being part of the homecoming committee and Panther Power it was new information on events. I decided to turn off my phone before I could read anything. At that moment, I went through so much anxiety and uneasiness it was an unsettling feeling. Before bed, I tend to check all my Social Media: Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I follow a couple news sources, so I’m usually updated well.  That Friday night was honestly the longest night of my life. I had absolutely nothing that could entertain me. I couldn’t talk to anybody, I couldn’t be informed on anything, so I read a book and fell asleep. A BOOK?! HA.

Saturday morning, I woke up at around 10 a.m. My usual morning routine consists of me checking all my notifications specifically my emails. I concluded, that every email I received had something to do with “new news” and I couldn’t read any of them. At around 12 p.m. I met up with a friend at the mall, I explained the assignment to her and let me tell you we had the vaguest conversations. Everything felt emotionless, she couldn’t update me on gossip or tell me about any upcoming events or who won the football game. I’ve known this person for years and it felt like we were two strangers meeting for the first time. At around three p.m. we went out for lunch, inside the restaurant televisions were set up everywhere some with sport games and others with the news on. Everywhere I went I was surrounded with new information. We ended up sitting outside, but the realization that I couldn’t be up to date on anything was truly overwhelming.

Perhaps the most painful part of this assignment was not being able to check any social media throughout the day. I had no sense of communication with anyone, and I was in desperation of wanting to know what was going on in the world. Completely dissociating myself from the real world was a lot harder than I imagined because news is everywhere. I went to the gym that Saturday night and even there I couldn’t get away from the news.

By Sunday morning I was a complete mess, the 48-hour countdown couldn’t come sooner. I wanted nothing more than to check my phone, respond to my friends, read the news, and just surf the web in general. Giving up the news, was also giving up a part of me that I was so well adjusted to. It was like breaking my right arm and having to adjust to using my left. Those two days were utterly boring and uneventful. I experienced what Deresiewicz mentioned and was in complete solitude. I now have an entire different perspective on the news and media, I realized that it’s a habit I can’t let go off and will never underestimate what it holds over me. GOOD ANALYSIS. YOU ALSO FULLY INVESTED IN THE BLACKOUT.

News blackout – Ana Silva

Being a blogger, youtuber, or Instagram influencer is something that in my generation and today’s society is considered the new norm. I cannot say I’m not part of this ideology being that I have a youtube channel which I’m trying to grow each day a bit more.

The task of being disconnected from news for an amount of 48 hours was very difficult. Social media is where I usually get my news from, apart from person-to-person conversations that is. So when I set myself to do this “media cleanse” as I thought about it, I debated wether to temporarily delete the apps such as Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram or to just disable their notifications and ignore them to the best of my ability and self-restrain.

I ended up by keeping the apps just so as not to lose the information that its saved on them. This option made it definitely harder for me because even though I didn’t get notifications from them, I still could see messages pile up making me want to open them every time that little number circled in red at the top right corner of each app increased. Nonetheless, I made it through and as hard as it was for a millennial that depends on this type of connectivity, I’m thankful for it.

This assignment and the whole idea of being disconnected from the world, thus being in solitude, changed my perspective on how the world and its society works nowadays. I found myself in many situations wether it was with my friends, family, or even alone where I was analyzing how people acted. WHETHER NOT WETHER

For example, I went out for lunch with my friends and I just left my phone in my purse so as not to be tempted to use it. What I saw, was that my friends were stuck on them wether it was taking snapchats of when the food arrived, answering messages that they had gotten, talking phone calls, or just giving likes on posts in Instagram. I was able to see what was going on from an outside perspective of sorts in which I didn’t know if we all were alone in our own bubbles or together but in a physical state solely.

The idea that we all are connected on an invisible platform such as the internet is, permits us to be in constant relationships, completely informed of what goes around us, and looking at everything through a screen. We are more worried about what people think about us, how they interact with us, approve whatever we post, and how their opinions agree or disagree with ours.

Having no knowledge of what went around during 48 hours I had a feeling of being lost rather than being alone. I was able to see what went around me, appreciate the sights and sounds as they actually are in real life rather than through a recording. I was lost, rather than alone just because I wasn’t connected on the level that everyone else was.