Does my perception align with reality?

In the beginning of the year, I noticed a change in my best friend’s family photos. I started to see that her dad was becoming less involved in her life. This was unusual because, [no comma] my 23-year-old bestie had the greatest relationship with her father. Her mom had not mentioned anything to me via text which made me assume that; [no semicolon] I was getting ahead of myself by formulating conclusions.

There is a greater story behind what I can perceive. I cannot come to a logical conclusion without knowing the reasoning that leads to the decisions my friend and her family have made.  I need to listen to her before hearing other voices that comment on the situation or, I will never reach the level of true analysis. [Relate the insights to the readings and lectures.]

Three weeks past [SP: passed] and, [no comma] there was still no sign of her dad. My best friend’s father is in entertainment industry so he must be traveling [comma] or so I thought. It wasn’t until her mom’s birthday dinner that I saw that my suspicions could be correct. All of the closest friends and relatives were there except the loving and caring husband, [no comma] who never misses an important family celebration.

 I began to worry.

My best friend knew my past and the difficulties I had to overcome with my own dad. So, I would think that in her own vulnerability she would come and confide in me if that were the case. I felt empowered to speak a word of encouragement into her current situation but how could I, [no comma] if I did not know if my thoughts were true. How could I mend a wound that might not need healing?  My best friend had the power in her hands to tell me the truth. I was waiting.

I wanted to know what was happening not to gossip about it but to aid and comfort her and her family.

“Hey! Is everything ok?” I said.

“I can really use a friend right now in these difficult times. There has been something I have been wanting to confide in you over the past month.” She [comma and lowercase] exclaimed.

“My dad cheated on my mom with another woman. He left the house and, He does not want to speak to me. “

“I have called him five times and, he does not answer. I have to admit that I am angry, ashamed, and confused.”

“What have I done?”

“He may not be a reliable husband right now but, I need him to still be my father.”

“Pray for me and, don’t tell anyone else.”  She said.

I was speechless.


Nothing seemed chaotic about her parent’s marriage. In fact, I admired how after 27 years, her dad would always take Alba on a date every Saturday. He remembered the little things whether it was flowers or her favorite wine.

[How did the experience empower you, the other person, or both of you?]

No one was asking the status of her parent’s [punctuation: parents’] marriage so keeping confidentiality was not going to be an issue. [Relate to class: A secret does not require a lie.]

I would never compromise my integrity and my relationship with the family for something in exchange. [Relate to class: You kept a confidentiality out of a prima facie duty and to show loyalty to a family.] 

Unlike Judas Iscariot, my lips are sealed.

I’ve Got a Secret – Murakhovsky, Alexandra

I am currently employed as the Operations Manager at a spa management company. Responsibilities of mine include organizing the facility, inventory, compiling weekly reports, day-to-day operations, and most importantly – according to my boss – managing the schedule. I play an important role when my boss needs to fire or hire someone since I hold the skeleton key to scheduling and employees’ performance evaluations. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] With the power that I hold, it’s important for me to keep a professional relationship with the employees, as well as remain impartial during the scheduling process. I wish I had known how difficult this position would have been before my friend and I both started working at the company at the same time. [Relate to class: Keeping a confidentiality puts tremendous burden on the agent.] 

Before my promotion, my friend Jane* and I had been hired as entering employees and had the same opportunities to work up the ladder. Fortunately, I was promoted to my current position as Operations Manager after only six months. The relationship with my boss was fluid and we worked well together, so I had no problems helping him professionally and at times, being a close confidant. As I worked closer with my boss, Jane found herself comfortable enough to call out from work more often and not put in one hundred percent effort like she once had.

My boss, knowing that Jane and I are friends, confided in me that during the next month’s scheduling to cut her hours in half, with intentions to have her quit so my boss wouldn’t have to pay her a severance package. Honestly, I didn’t mind too much because Jane had become a nasty worker with a lazy work ethic, a side to her I’ve never seen before.

I felt extremely empowered to be as trusted as I was by my boss. In a strange way, I was on a power trip that only him [case: he] and I knew about, but I couldn’t shake the guilty feeling of betraying an acquaintance [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?] . Through our time working together, our friendship unraveled and we were but mere coworkers at the time I was asked to butcher her hours in secret. When I had posted the next month’s schedule, the questions began to arise.

Aside from the ethical dilemma I faced, I felt guilty betraying someone that was once a friend to me. Fortunately for me, she had given enough excuses and turned out to be such a poor worker that shaking up the schedule felt like second nature to me. Jane berated me for weeks for an answer as to why she was basically being kicked off the schedule. [Relate to class: Do you think the person trying to penetrate the secret had a desire to know, gain control, feel superior, or be intimate?] 

It only took three weeks since the new schedule for her to call it quits. Our friendship hadn’t been repaired since the ordeal, plus I would feel weird continuing to befriend someone that I not only betrayed, but also lied to on a constant basis for almost a month. I also didn’t have the guts to tell her she had become a terrible worker and was lucky she wasn’t embarrassingly fired. [Relate to class: A secret can hurt people, intended or not.] 


*Name has been changed

Blog #3 Secrecy

[Eliminate introduction and apply insights to the story.] The video of revelation and secrets explained why secrets are important in terms of privacy. The bonds that links lies and secrets [sentence fragment]. Also, it talks about of how when we get a hold of a secret, we get control and we are supposed to feel power. Lastly, the dangers of secrets and principles of confidentiality.

It was the night I received my Associates Degree that I found out my dad was having an affair with some other woman, worst night of my life. After that [comma] I could not see my dad the same way, [period mark] I did not want to have a conversation with him and even worst [worse] [comma] I did not want to sit on the table with him, [period mark] his presence just annoyed and aggravated me. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] My mom asked me to not tell anything to my little brother or to anyone and [comma]even today after so many years where everything is back to normal and we are back at being a normal family [redundant] [comma] I have not open my mouth. This is related to a principle of confidentiality called prima facie duty since I did not break that pledge of confidentiality with my mom and display the loyalty I have towards her [good insight].

In the video is mentioned that when you get hold of a secret we have control and a desire to feel superior; that was not my case, it was guilt and sadness. My brother was in China and he had the right to know what was going on as well as my family but I could not break my mom’s heart by making everything worst. Also, at that point [comma] my dad and my brother were having a great father-son relationship and I could not hurt that either. [Relate your feelings and insights to the readings. Did people make appeals based on ethos (your sense of honor, loyalty or justice) or pathos (feelings)? Did you carry a burden the way that Edward Snowden said he did?]

I was nurturing the growth of lies by lying to him every time he would call and by pretending everything was all right when it really was not. In Addition, I was doing something irrational to my best friend, since I have never lied to him before. Furthermore, this links to the bond of lies and secrets, where a secret guard a lie and lies are used to protects secrets [good insight].

“Secrecy=intentional concealment and that overlaps with privacy”, [period mark] I related to this because it was my mom’s secret but it was also my dad’s, and I in some way I was protecting him, his name, and all aspects of his identity in the eyes of my brother and my family [good insight].

As my conclusion, maybe and we are not lovers of lies, and we do not think that by having a secret lying will be necessary, but we are going to get to a point in our lives where [missing word or words] are going have secret, and in order to keep confidential and to protect it we are going to have to lie [Relate the insights to the readings and lectures.].


News Blackout – Amanda Vega

Solitude is often something taken for granted, as Deresiewicz writes in his essay “The End of Solitude”. Experiencing solitude is a rare case in today’s world because being alone is seen as weakness. We have created social media to fill an imaginary void. A void that was once useful in attuning to one’s self. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] For me personally, being alone and in solitude is my safe place. I have a predilection for being by myself, especially after a day of being surrounded by others. As a result, this assignment did not seem disconcerting for me.

Thankfully, I had 48 hours this week where I had no prior obligations. I was able to rid myself of all news and social interaction at this time. I should elucidate at this point that it has been only recently that I started reading the news. Partly because this course requires it, but mainly because I have been increasingly socially aware. Subsequently, it was not burdensome to revert back to my “no-news” days.

I found giving up Facebook and Twitter for these 48 hours to be painless, however, I was unable to disregard Instagram. I am a lover of photos and design, and gather all my inspiration from Instagram. This form of social media hardly ever reports on the news therefore I was not hindered in my news blackout. [How do these experiences relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

I was solicitous in picking up an old hobby of mine, which is reading. As a result, I ended up reading an entire novel in these 48 hours. Not only did I accomplish this, but I also completed more online coursework than I normally would have. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] Although I was physically experiencing solitude during these times, it was not frequently that I experienced it mentally. Instead, I was occupying my mind mentally with tasks and hobbies. I believe this is because I was craving something more stimulating than my own thoughts; [comma, not semicolon] something that reading the news would have provided. Every time I would succumb to my solitary thoughts, I found myself reaching a depressed state and wondering why I was alone, and why I wasn’t doing something greater with my life at the moment. [How do these feelings relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

The news is very much a contributing factor to solitude because it allows us to see the greater picture at times. When reading the news alone [comma] we are unbothered by outside opinions and can fully absorb the material, thus creating more solitude by making us think for ourselves. As humans we tend to be reticent even within our own solitude, but news material allows us to experience the thoughts and emotions of others and apply them to our lives. While it is easy to get caught up in nonsense news stories, most stories greatly benefit our solitude and play a part in forcing us to deal with mental roadblocks we may have otherwise ignored. [Good insights. How do they relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

Under the Influence: How News Media Affects the Notion of Solitude

“Today’s young people seem to feel that they can make themselves fully known to one another. They seem to feel that they can make themselves fully known to one another. They seem to lack a sense of their own depths, and of the value of keeping them hidden. If they didn’t they would understand that solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.”

I agree with Deresiewick’s [SP: Deresiewicz’s] comparision between celebrity and connectivity. Individuals seek to know and to be made known. People view life from the perspective of the sonambulus as McLuhan wrote in the medium is the message. [good insight] The way we communicate with everyone changes our behavior, the way we think, and the way we see the world. Therefore, because we are not fully aware of the impact that media has on us, solitude is perceived as being nonexistent.

When I disconnected myself from the media for 48 hours, I experienced what it was to be an Orthodox Jew who observes the Sabbath.  I am used to being alone at home and focusing on my “checklist”. However, not being able to access all the capabilities of my smartphones, [no comma] was difficult. It seemed as if I lost the notion of being present in reality, which left me in a state of solitude. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] This allowed me to redirect my priorities by focusing on areas in my life that I did not need to use technology or to search for the latest news story. For example, I did not look at the news app when I woke up. I was able to see the significant role we have allowed media to play in our lives and how it affects our nervous system.

The way individuals communicate has altered our culture. Media dictates societal value which affect our emotional and logical reasoning. Being socially connected has given us the confidence and validation to “be someone” by forsaking the notion of loneliness. Peace and quiet is not a part of the routine of the average American. We may not be in the same room with someone but that does not mean we are alone. Technology is the medium we use to be socially active. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] Therefore, when I detached myself from seeing media for two days, I valued other avenues of information, entertainment, and connection. News is actionable information yet, it should not be something I can’t live without. A social life is important and with this blackout, I have also seen how solitude is valuable too!

News Blackout

“For no man is a prophet on his own land,” says Deresiewicz as this blackout experience to me was similar to this quote. My land, my home that I am comfortable in, is one where I have easy access to the world around me. To freight and scurry away at the mere mention of current social politics and world events is not a land I’m familiar with – which is exactly what happened this week while purging from all things news.

Deresiewicz’ argument of celebrity and connectivity relates directly to me, as well as to most of my generation. The Millennial generation was born during a time of technological progress and advancement; we have been connected to the outside world since the day we were born. Specifically in my case, the intertwined culture of connectivity and celebrity is madly important as I’m seeking a career in the world of connectivity. To be linked, I must be aware of ongoing social changes and to create work that can be sustained by validation. [Relate to McLuhan’s saying, “The medium is the message.”] 

From the basics of connectivity, my entire life has been attached through ever-evolving social mediums like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. All of these channels have one relating feature, the need for validation. Posting a photo on Instagram, for example, is the quickest way my generation can “get a quick fix” of feeling real to ourselves, like we’re important.

I’d like to believe that I can pull away from my daily life surrounded by technology and experience the solitude Deresiewicz explains, but have I ever felt the solitude of what true mental silence is? Sure, I can close my eyes for a couple of minutes while baking in the sun, but is that as far as my solitude goes until I’m reaching for the phone to take a picture of the beach and posting it to my social channels? Am I really somewhere, alone, unless I record it? I’ve thought about how I am able to be physically alone and be in my thoughts, but a lot of those times it’s short lived until the next red light. [good insights]

News is imperative to society because it’s a form of education, and as humans we are generally in search of further intellect. To sit in idleness is to be in a perpetual cycle of boredom. News is important for that is how we continue to stay connected and be aware of worldly events. [How do these insights relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises about boredom in his essay?] 

This project allowed me to realize that the news we hear or read isn’t only telling us what to think about, but what we need to think about. Without staying connected, we’re only associated to the tinier worlds of what our acquaintances ate for lunch. News doesn’t particularly promote solitude, as it does promote more connectivity. Thinking for ourselves is thrown out the window when being transfixed on what the news is molding our thoughts to be. [good insight]

News Blackout


For the past 48 hours, I have put myself in a complete media blackout. I typically am alone most of the time in my apartment but I always had the internet and television with me. I actually like being alone but without the internet it does tend to get a bit maddening. I do not use social media but I tend to read what other people right [SP: write] on different forums and they could write about what is going on in the news. I felt a bit anxious for the moment but I take medication for that anyway so I cannot really tell if it’s from the experience or not. [How do these insights relate to the points that Deresiewicz raises in his essay?] 

The most social interactions I get is from playing games with multiplayer interactions. Since I did not have access to that outlet for two days [comma] I went with a single player experience. The only type of social interactions I had in those two days was with the people inside the game [comma] so I would describe it as a faux social interaction. Eventually I got off the game as soon as I got bored of it or needed to take a break. That is how I would describe how I felt about the whole experience. Mainly I was bored and I tried to do anything to not feel that way.

Deresiewicz describes boredom and loneliness as “closely allied.” I would say this is true because without any online interactions I just became very much bored so in turn I was lonely as well. One would think that spending most of their time in solitude would a person used to it [comma] but in my case with the disconnection of media it made me feel more alone than ever. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] As Deresiewicz also says, “solitude isn’t easy.” But I myself typically tend to seek out solitude and was very uneasy at first doing the group project relating to the Ghost in the Shell movie. Which also reminds me on how the Major used solitude herself when she went diving in the movie to gain insight about herself. [good insight]


In The End of Solitude, Deresiewicz talks about the culture of celebrity. I do not feel that I fall under this category of this culture. I do not really have many friends and I do not use social media at all. I mainly prefer physical solitude but I still crave the social interaction. During the end of the media blackout, it made me appreciate all the media that we have. To me it is not really all of that intrusive since I only use the internet to read and television to keep me entertained. But without that there is this all-encompassing feeling of boredom and loneliness.