Keeping a Secret

A couple years ago a friend entrusted me with a secret about some family issues she had been facing. It was in my first year of high school and this girl, whose name I wish not to disclose so I shall refer to her as Kim. Kim and I had just recently met, since we shared the same science class and quickly friends. Kim was a reserved person that usually kept to herself and always wore long clothing. I had been very observant of her habits, which were: refusing to eat lunch and refusing to take off her sweater, even when it was too hot for her to withstand.

After a couple of months of being friends, I asked Kim about her strange habits because I began to worry for her well-being since she seemed to become more fragile every day at school. Upon asking, Kim got very nervous and began to get a little shaky when she tried to speak. I told her it was alright if she wished not to reveal it to me, but if she needed someone to speak to I volunteered to be an open ear. Kim then calmed down a little bit with that response and a couple days later approached me saying, “I want to talk to you about something. Something I can no longer keep to myself and I wish to tell you as long as you can keep it a secret.”

With that I got worried, but was open ears to listen to her secret. Kim then told me about her family issues, being that her father abused her and her mother at home. She then explained that the reason she never takes off her sweater was so that no one could see the bruises that her step-father had left on her. I was shocked by her courage to show me the bruises, as well as, to tell me about the situation. In her eyes, there was pain from thinking back from the memories from home. I proceeded to ask her why she didn’t tell an adult or call the authorities on her step-father.

Kim couldn’t call the authorities on her step-dad because he was their only source of income since her Mother could not support herself nor her daughter. Her mother tried to bare the pain for her Daughter to live a better life that her Step dad promised her Mom that he would give to her. Learning this secret and having to keep it to myself was awful since I wanted to help her, but I know it could have worsened the situation. A couple of weeks after she confessed to me about her secret, Kim fainted in the spill out area due to heat stroke.

She was taken to the infirmary to be treated and when they took off her sweater her bruises were revealed to the staff who instantaneously got worried and began to investigate. However, she made excuses saying it was due to a sport she played after school. The teachers didn’t believe it so they began to ask her friends, which happened to be me, to see if they knew anything. I knew and it tore me apart keeping this secret, but I knew I had to keep it for her till she could confront and resolve it on her own.



Sharing secrets is a task that takes trust and confidence. Often, when someone shares a secret with me, a silent confidentiality agreement is signed. Typically, if someone is taking the time and effort to share a personal story with me, it’s my responsibility to guard it like if it were a physical possession of mine. All throughout the years, my friends and family have trusted me with some of their deepest secrets. Once a secret has been shared with me, I have the liberty to do what I want with that information. In a way, it is a very “empowering” feeling, however, it’s not a feeling or motive I wish to act on and exploit. Trust is earned, and if someone has decided to trust me, it is my responsibility and duty to act like a loyal and trusting friend. 

One of the biggest challenges is deterring those who may want to know the story or secrets that were once shared with you. A lot of people in this world are curious for the wrong reasons, especially when it’s information that has been “selectively shared.” To me, it is very intrusive to see someone attempt to extract information from me. I view it as a form as disrespect. However, from a different point of view, people in this world are constantly seeking to obtain things they cannot have. It does not surprise me one bit that people in my life have constantly attempted to extract information simply because curiosity got the best of them.

 Apart from the hardships of guarding a secret, there are a lot of positive things that stem from having a conversation with a trusted friend. From my past experiences, when someone has shared a secret with me, it has ultimately led us to form a stronger friendship. In a way, it forces us both to trust each other. My friends and family have put trust in me to guard their secret, and at the same time, I put our friendship on the line by trusting myself and guarding that personal conversation we once had. If asked, I might be able to offer advice or guidance on a specific situation. This is part of sharing secrets, and often, a very intimate conversation follows the sharing of a secret. I believe that’s where a “bonding” takes place where you are forced to trust the person who you are sharing the secret with.

 The times I have promised confidentiality to my friends and family have resulted in us growing closer. To this day, I have the same outlook on the sharing of secrets with me, and I like to remain responsible for the guarding of those secrets. Whether someone tries to protrude or invade my personal conversations is not a worry. At the end of the day, I must uphold my moral code and protect those conversations from the public. I will never put myself in a position where I put in jeopardy the secrets that have been shared with me.


What Secret?

I have the predisposition to be truthful as much as I possibly can, so the idea of lying is not something that comes easy to me. During my sophomore year in high school, I was placed in a tough situation in whether or not to keep a secret for my closest friend; she was pregnant. The idea itself made me uncomfortable. I was one of her closest friends, so she decided to confide in me because she knew I was not the judgmental type. I felt good knowing that she trusted me that much, but I was the only person who knew and I felt as if I had weights on my shoulder.

It was tough having to keep news like this all to myself, it didn’t feel right knowing what I knew and with news like that, she needed to talk to someone other than me. I insisted that she should go to local clinics but she refused, I even tried to get her to talk to her parents but she insisted they would basically disown her, and news like that would bring on embarrassment to her and her family. Keeping this secret put me in a strange position, it felt like I was doing both a good and bad deed.  Letting out her secret could have been detrimental to our friendship, and I couldn’t accept the idea of betraying her trust in me, so keeping her secret confidential became my crucial goal. I had to come up with different stories every time she wasn’t in school and it was tough coming up with different alibis. When someone would stop me and ask about her a different lie came out of my mouth. I started to feel the pressure of trying to keep her secret, teachers were hammering me to know why she wasn’t in school and it almost tore me apart. It was bad enough that she was ashamed of herself, I didn’t want others to make her feel worst when they saw her, thus I told many that she had to deal with a family matters and she will be back soon.

As mentioned in our video lecture The Balance of Concealment and Revelation, protecting her secret protected her from mockery and ridicule. what are others going to think of a 16-year-old pregnant girl? Will her parents even treat her the same upon finding out? Our previous assignment was on solidarity and that’s what I believe she needed at that moment. When dealing with something private, sometimes you just need to get away from everything and everyone. The idea of solidarity helps you get out of your own head and be in a place where you feel as if you cannot be judged.  Another notion from our online lecture was the fact that she may be put under a false light. She was a straight A student who made honor roll every semester, she never missed class, and a student who everyone would ask for help, but because of a careless mistake people would have undermined her character. GOOD.

Lies are necessary at time when wanting to reach a positive outcome. During the course of her finally having the guts to tell her parents and teachers, our friendship became stronger. To trust me with such a secret made me realize that lying for the right reasons is not bad. If I was put into this situation again, I would lie again just like I had did previously. When you have someone you love confining confiding in you and almost no one else, sometimes you need to lie in order to ensure things stay like that.


In my sophomore year of high school, I was in charge of Community Service for my Academy of Hospitality & Tourism. BY this time, I was determined to do the best I could since I was the youngest staff member among my peers. Near the end of the school year, we have one of our biggest and most important events, a Gala for a major Chamber group. I was assigned to recruit all of the students to attend and help with this event. It is very formal and required very responsible students. My lead teacher had warned me beforehand That I need to recruit responsible students for this particular event since it does have an open bar for its attendees, and many big names from the community are in attendance. Through lots of hard work leading up to the event, we were set to go with our volunteers. I was not able to attend due to my attendance needed elsewhere, but I stressed how the volunteers who were all seniors, needed to be responsible. The event to my knowledge, but a few days later I saw an image on social media. The image was of a group of students volunteering drinking at the event. I was upset and concerned since I did not know what to do. I knew that if I were let my lead teacher know, everyone in the academy would know it was me, but ethically, I knew it would be better if I told. Somehow, the students found out I knew about the pictures, and began asking me not to say anything. I knew it would cause havoc if this was leaked, but morally it felt very wrong to keep a secret, especially since I was trying to establish trust. After about a week, I decided to let my teacher know. I realized that people’s perception of me was not as important as the relationship between the chamber and the Academy, as well as me trying to establishing my trust and honesty.

While my teacher was happy that I let her know, many were not happy with me and actually confronted me in person. Since what they did was wrong, I felt that confidentiality was not as issue, especially since they tarnished that with their post. I also felt that with lying, it was doing much more bad the good. The students that broke the rules felt empowered since they felt they got away with it. But in all, I felt it was a good lesson. As those students approached me, I would explain why I did what I did, and I could tell that in a way, they understood. To add, it took me a while to think of a secret I could use. In all I do not like keeping a secret that would require me to lie.


-Serena Beze

Secrecy Assign.

Me and my brother have the type of relationship that if one of us gets into trouble we will have each other’s back, but sometimes it isn’t all that nice. A couple years back my brother was in his freshmen year of high school and back then he was a bit of the class clown. So, with that title sometimes it would get him into trouble. One day due to some joking around with his friends during class time one thing lead to another and he ended up getting written up by the teacher. He got a referral, that is the ultimate punishment, not anyone just gets that. So logically if my mother were to find out things wouldn’t be sunshine and rainbows, so he decided to tell me about it because they were going to call the house and I had to pretend to be my mother to save him. So, the phone call came and I told him I would keep his secret he just can’t be acting up anymore. As usual my mother suspected something since both me and my brother were acting weird but she had no idea what was going on. Over the course of the next few days everything was fine up until the point that I needed a favor and my brother was the man for the job. When I approached him, and asked him he refused and that’s when I was compelled to act. At this moment is when I felt like I had some sort of power over him, when he refused I was quick to say if he didn’t do what I asked I would go and tell on him and get him in trouble. So, when he heard that he decided to go ahead and do it, making him feel powerless. The ability to have power over someone for a bit is overwhelming it is as if you can have anything you’d like. I didn’t feel like I was lying at most but I did take advantage of the secret I was keeping for my brother. But the thing is this isn’t the first situation when this has occurred sometimes it has been vice versa so I know what it feels like. The difference between me and my brother though is that when he gets pushed to the limit he loses all care. So as expected I kept on pushing him with outrages favors and he got pushed to his limit and that’s when he said that he was just going to tell our mother so I would have nothing to hold against him. That’s when I realized that the little power that I felt that I had could be easily taken away. At this point I started to feel bad because I realized what I was doing and was just putting him in misery. So, I decided to just knock it off and keep his secret like he asked me to.



Total Blackout

The 48 hours that I experienced away from the media that surrounds me on a daily basis had left me in a state of isolation and urge. During that time, I found myself craving the desire of wanting to turn on one of my electronic devices and having a quick update on what is going on around the world. The feeling of being disconnected was dreadful, but what was worst was the fact that my siblings are avid electronic users, so I had to isolate myself from them too. Loneliness grew upon me and it seemed there was a distance between me and the outside world. As noted by Deresiewicz, loneliness was brought upon the lack of not being able to go on social media, and without television or the ability to use my phone, boredom struck me quickly. CAREFUL ABOUT MIXING BOREDOM AND LONELINESS To make for the absence of each, I exercised more than usual and doodled, something that I had never really done prior.

With the solidarity came a meditative state in which I had thoughts running through my head more than usual. What am I going to do when I graduate? Where will I work in the future? Is working two jobs really worth it? these thoughts came from the fact that I had no one else to really talk to but myself. If I had to go through this for a year, I’d be depressed, I would be missing out on so much news on life. Social media tends to distract me from really connecting with myself, but the distraction is a good thing for me.  I am someone who would rather be surrounded by a group of people than be alone. I did not like the solidarity as one would imagine since I do live with nine people. I needed to connect back to the media as soon as I could. Without a view of the outside world, you’re forced to try and create happiness and amusement for yourself that some just might not be able to do.  The feeling of isolation is more likely derived from the fact that I do rely on media to make my day go by. Seeing others go through day to day activities helps me worry less about what I have to go through. I often stress out about things in my life, so media tends to help me escape from whatever it is that brings me down.

The news should definitely be appreciated as it incorporates us all into one big community. We are all already connected in some way or form, in many ways media keeps us all relatable. For example, if there is a tragedy that has occurred, the news connects people from all over the world as one, and we can express and share our deepest sympathies and thoughts together. As a child I never liked being left alone, I always stuck to my parent’s hips, and when they were gone my friends and siblings kept me company. Without them, I’d occupy myself with technology.

Since I am a Public Relations LOWERCASE major, the connection can be made as to why I crave being connected with media and news. It fills a void and allows me to be surrounded with others in any sort of capacity. The anxious feeling comes from my upbringing of always being surrounded by people. I crave the feeling of belonging in society, and with media around to expose me to that, it allows me to see what I as an individual can contribute, and without any news updates or social media logins, it made me seem like a useless part of society. I want to leave an imprint of myself any way possible; from uploading a picture on Instagram, or to writing a blog post, it makes me believe I have added to society by contributing to the rhetoric of media; staying connected.


Going 48 hours on a media blackout was harder than anticipated. I figure that it wouldn’t be as bad as I thought but it was a bit. The first 24 hours I would say was the worst part because its staring the process that gives the most difficulty. I decided to just not have my phone on me at all, I placed it in a drawer and left it there the whole weekend. I decided to do this experiment Saturday through Sunday, I figured these would be the best days since I worked and I don’t really have any access to media, or the internet. I started off Saturday on a good page since I wasn’t going to need my phone for the first 8 hours of my day, once I got home that’s when everything changed. Since I wasn’t allowed to be on a computer, TV or any sort of device that’s when it got tricky. I found myself very bored and anxious. I felt like there was nothing to do whatsoever and it was driving me insane. I decided to go and have a conversation with my grandmother and I found that very enjoyable and it took about 2 hours. the good thing about this was I got to learn about my grandmas past and she told me some cool things about her. The rest of the night was a little tough but I just decided to bring out my old stress relief “coloring book” and getting entertained with the different pages was the best. Each drawing take about 6 hours to complete so it kept me busy for a while. Sunday was the final day of the blackout and I believe it was a little tough because I knew I was so close to being able to see the media again but I knew I had to go through the rest of the day without it. I spent most of Sunday at my job and the rest of the night in my home. I decided to use the remainder of the time to have some more quality time CLICHE. with my family and it turned out good. We didn’t discuss any news or anything political and it felt good. To be completely honest this experiment of blacking out from media was one I enjoyed because it felt more like a cleanse. Sometimes it’s needed because the constant need to be on a phone or a computer or watching tv is a bit irritating. I felt that this was something that many people should at least do once a month. I did feel anxious most of the times but it wasn’t nothing that was too crazy and I felt that I needed a phone right away. It felt good to be away and disconnected.