Our Little Secret

Full Disclaimer: I apologize, I cannot bring myself to breach confidentiality, even if the time where it mattered has passed.

Thesis: When one brings in a co-conspirator, the effects it has on the relationship can be strenuous. However, there are often benefits, or it would not be worth it. Was it worth it in this case? Certainly not.

Is a secret truly a secret when exposed to the whole world? Would anything I write here immediately be invalidated by my exposure of it? When everyone is the inside, and there is no outside, the secret is no longer, and the unknown is supplanted by the known. With this in mind I must choose my secret carefully, lest I betray the trust bestowed upon me by another, using the power given in a way not at all befit for one who was in confidence told not to share a piece of information. I simply cannot bring myself to do such a thing. Even if it is understood that the contract long ago was rendered null and void, it would still be wrongful of me to share it, whether it be with my closest friends or the complete strangers that most likely comprise my audience.

Unfortunately, I have not the willingness to sacrifice my GPA for the sake of my friends confidence in me. Yes, I am that horrid a person. So horrid, in fact, that I will share two secrets. I invite you to come inside this secret, to be my co-conspirators. Opening myself up to you, I give you a power over me I would much rather be forfeit. But first, I must set up some ground rules for you. You must be willing to lie. I know many more noble then me have made it their goal not to lie to their fellow man, but if you have such an ideology preventing dishonesty, I implore you: abandon it. You must also protect my identity; I would rather not be named and shamed for being a rascal who must hide the truth away from the light.

My first secret: I lied. My secret is that there never was a second secret. I only said that so those who could not follow my two simple requests would leave and we could share in our own little secret. It is a shame that the secret I share with you is built upon dishonesty on my part. I hope, dear audience, that you can forgive me. Unfortunately, I fear now that our relationship will deteriorate, because not only have you deemed me untrustworthy, but the stress of keeping my secret, of creating a facade through which you will hide this new knowledge, will surely weigh down on our already tenuous relationship. There is one benefit to our new relationship, however. I feel a sense of intimacy not felt before with you, as if we’re Bonnie and Clyde, sharing in the committing of a crime. Now that you’re part of this, perhaps you can tell me what you think of my secret. A second opinion will surely help.  While I hope not to be hurt, I know I will be, by either your feedback or through dispersal of my atrocious secret. I can only hope for loyalty, though I realize hope is for fools such as me. My secret is now yours, do what you will. ANOTHER UNIQUE TAKE ON THE ASSIGNMENT. CREATIVE AND WELL DONE.

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Blackout and Solitude

I am not much acquainted with the society of which Deresiewicz speaks of in his article, “The End of Solitude”. I am not a user of of social media. I have few friends, whom I like to think are close. Therefore, I have a hard time seeing myself in Deresiewicz arguments. I wish I could provide more insight, but the nature of the question precludes that. OK FAIR ENOUGH BUT WHAT ABOUT OBSERVATIONS OF YOUR PEERS?

I already spend most of my life in the solitude described by Deresiewicz. I do not check the news. I do not use social media. Thus, the media blackout did not have any effect on me. YOU STILL ARE EXPOSED TO NEWS AND SOCIAL MEDIA. Were I to analyze the feelings I had during the blackout, the only thing I could say is that I felt a growing sense of dread stemming from the fact that I would have nothing to offer the assignment, therefore rendering my grade a poor one. And in the end, I was correct. My daily patterns stayed the same, my emotional state stayed the same. How can one analyze a change when no change occurred. The only solution I can reach is that I already live in solitude, which offers nothing to the assignment.

None of the decisions I make to not rely on the news. Most of the news is simply outside my little bubble, and therefore irrelevant to me.  Thus, I do not get any actionable information from the news. As for whether I take the news for granted at all, I would say no. While one could make the argument that the fact that I do not care for the news at all would mean by necessity that I am taking it for granted, as the news must effect me in some capacity, I would counter that by saying I do not believe it effects me whatsoever. Well, that is false; rather, the effect is so negligible that it is impossible to take it for granted. I cannot affect change in the going on in the news, much like an insect cannot affect change in the foot that may accidentally crushes it. If something featured in the media inadvertently hurts me, me knowing likely would not have changed it.

News in itself is not an intrusion to our solitude. Only when we begin to interact with the news and others consuming it does the news become an intrusion; it is not inherently so.  As for the notion that news creates more solitude, it is wrong as well. Nothing can create solitude, as solitude is simply a state that one may or may not happen to be in. Perhaps news can lead one to want to be in solitude for a while to ponder on what they have have just consumed, but that is wholly the choice of the individual and only tangentially related to the news. The news may be a cause, but it is not the determining factor; the person is. INTERESTING PERSPECTIVE. WELL WRITTEN. NOT SURE I AGREE WITH YOUR POINTS. YOU FORGOT TO TAG THE GROUP AND TEAM SO THIS ASSIGNMENT WAS LOST IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE BTW (ALONG WITH SEVERAL OTHERS).

Secrets and Revelations Blog: Kendal Taylor (10-12-17)

Thesis Statement: Even to spare the feelings of a loved one, it is not acceptable to conceal information from them because the consequences can cause unintentional harm.  

Is there an acceptable time to lie? Are white lies acceptable?  Society cannot come to a conclusive answer. There is disagreement over the context of lying or keeping secrets, especially from loved ones. Even to spare the feelings of a loved one, it is not acceptable to conceal information from them because the consequences can cause unintentional harm.  

A year ago, one of my best friends needed a job. She seemed desperate, and asked if she could apply to my workplace. Since I was one of the general managers, she knew I could put in a good word with the hiring manager. I encouraged her to apply. I proofread her resume, helped her prepare for the interview, and arranged for her to speak with the hiring manager directly. She was hired within the week. She was grateful for the job, and I was happy that she was thrilled to be working with me.

After she completed her training, she was assigned to work with all the departments so she could fully understand the company. Besides the occasional carpooling and having lunch together, I hadn’t seen her work that much. She had the occasional complaint, but don’t we all? I didn’t think much of it. I was excited that I would be working with one of my good friends. However, a great friend does not always make a great co-worker.

About three months later, the managers convened for our quarterly meeting. After we talked about the various departments, the managers reviewed the performance reports. My friend’s report was terrible. The details consisted of tardiness, excessive phone use and lack of job skills. I was mortified. The managers agreed that her performance was disappointing, but they would give her some time to improve. I felt conflicted. I didn’t know how to tell her without hurting her feelings or betraying the confidence of the department managers.  To avoid confrontation, I decided to keep the performance report to myself and hoped my supervisor would talk to her.  

Every time I saw her at work, I felt a pit in my stomach. I didn’t want to disappoint my coworkers, but didn’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings. As depicted in the lecture, secrecy nurtures an environment for more lies. GOOD  The danger of secrets is that hurts judgment by shutting off criticism and feedback. This can hurt people, even if it was to protect their feelings. There was pressure to inform her of performance and position within the company. I knew this job meant a lot to her, so I decided to be honest. She didn’t seem surprised by the feedback, but respected that I was honest with her.  

Although I felt guilty because I knew information she did not, I did have some control over the situation. Knowledge is power. Once she was made aware of the situation, I lost some of the power. I learned from the situation that to be a good friend, you should be an honest one.  Even to spare the feelings of a loved one, it is not acceptable to conceal information from them because the consequences can cause unintentional harm.  WELL DONE.

Secrecy – Carmen De Armas

When keeping a secret, lying, secrecy and confidentiality are keys to being successful. Recently I had promised someone I would keep a secret for them. It was very hard because I had to keep it from one of my other friends.

My friend Katie and her boyfriend Edward had been going through some issues. Because of this Edward was being pushed away by Katie and was starting to get bored. Instead of giving up, Edward decided to ask her if she would instead think of being in an open relationship. She declined.

Edward, upset about her decision, left Katie’s apartment and went over to a friend’s. There, a party started to grow. During the party, a few girls who Edward did not know had shown up. Over the course of the night he and one of the girls, Heather, stayed away from the crowd. They were secluding themselves in the kitchen or in the hallway.

Edward came up to me a few hours later. He asked me if I knew the girl he was talking to and if he could possibly get her number. I reminded him that Katie was at home waiting for him. He said it was not a big deal, that Katie would not mind and that he only wanted to be friends with Heather. I told him he shouldn’t be talking to her and we dropped the subject.

A few days later I got a text from Heather. She said she had hung out with Edward. A few weeks later she told me they had begun a secret relationship. Edward and Heather asked me to keep it a secret until he was ready to tell Katie.

I understood it was not my secret to tell. I respected their privacy and did not want to get involved. The guilt did not go away though, it was hard to keep the secret from Katie.

Edward would lie almost daily, telling Katie he had to study, go to the gym or work. Any chance he got he would go see Heather. The lying kept the secret safe and the secret produced more lies.

Having this secret empowered Heather. It didn’t take long for her to take advantage of the situation. She began to blackmail Edward, threatening to tell Katie. She began asking for expensive dates and gifts and more of his attention. WOW Edward was afraid. He couldn’t imagine what would happen if Katie found out. He didn’t want this to ruin what he had, to affect his image or to ruin his relationship.

The power balance eventually tipped. Edward had told Katie and Heather no longer had anything to hold over his head. This caused her to completely disappear from his life.

Edward confided in me, he saw I was a loyal friend and thanked me for not getting involved. Katie never found out I knew. Somehow saving both friendships, life went back to normal. The guilt I felt was no longer always present, but it is still there. VERY WELL WRITTEN AND WELL DONE

I’ve got a secret- Camila Oller

THESIS: The day I had to keep the secret of my older sister being pregnant, was the day I realized that secrets can get the best of you.

During my life, I have kept many secrets that make me feel empowered and a person that people feel they can confide in. A situation that made me excited but at the same time was hard to keep a secret, was when my big sister got pregnant. My older sister is 8 years older than me I AM and has been with her boyfriend for about 6 years. My whole family knew the day was coming when they were going to get married, but as a “traditional” path they always thought of marriage before pregnancy. This traditional path has been marked for generations, but the newer generations tend to view that path as “outdated”. However, my sister got pregnant before they got married and decided the only one she wanted to tell was me. At first, I was stunned and excited for my first niece. My sister told me she was happy but that she wanted to keep it a secret since she believed that it would be a shock for my parents, so that she wanted to give it a few days before telling them. Days turned into weeks, and still no one knew but me. Then, I started to realize that I could not share this excitement with anyone, not even my mom which I see every day and it brought me anxiety. It was hard to talk to my mom and dad and know that their daughter was pregnant but did not want to tell them just yet. Nobody tried to penetrate the secret, the secret was only between three people: My sister, her husband and me.

My sister was using privacy as a shield and as a way to control her reputation. It took me a few days to convince my sister that my mom and dad were not “old-school” and that they understand that today the whole concept of marriage or the traditional steps have changed. People are now open to new ways of thinking. I used to lie as a way to avoid telling the truth to my parents and as a result my secrecy nurtured the growth of more and more lies. GOOD Three weeks had gone by and I did not know how to keep it a secret anymore. I knew that if my parents found out that I knew and never told them, they were going to be disappointed and really sad. Finally, I had to speak with my mom. I ended telling her the truth and betrayed my sister. I knew that this secrecy was going to hurt my mom’s feelings without my sister’s intention of doing so. Overall, my sister got mad at me for a while and I felt guilty and swore to never keep a secret like this again. Secrecy made me realize that it can be used against you and make you develop more lies as a result. I decided that I would never want to guard a secret that could hurt others feelings or make me feel anxious about doing so. GOOD ANALYSIS HERE

News Blackout- Camila Oller

According to Deresiewicz, “celebrity and connectivity are both ways of becoming known”. Yes, I do agree. Being connected and feeling known in today’s world are ways to “propaganda” your image into what you want others to think of yourself. GOOD However, we do not live in relation to others and therefore have no solitude. There have been many studies that people today feel loneliest LONELIER than 20 years ago. There may be some people who do feel they need acceptance by others, but personally I do not feel that most of the people I am surrounded by need that type of recognition. Solitude is still felt today, even though you have your IPhone and your computer, that does not mean you are constantly connected with people if you purposefully turn it off.

In my blackout, I found out that I did not feel that type of solitude Deresiewicz describes. Without news, you just feel uninformed and not in tune with what is happening out there. What brought anxiety to me, was that I chose to not read any type of news for 48 hours while Las Vegas incident was being researched. This event was a massive wakeup call for what we are living today and it has sparked my interest to see who and why will someone commit such atrocity. However, not knowing the details made me anxious and made me realize that news create more solitude by making us think to ourselves. To fill in the gaps of this anxiety, I relied on other activities. As Deresiewicz states the printing press serves “an analogous function (…) to that of television and the Internet in our own”. This was for sure an escape for me, reading while having so many other forms of entertainment around has become more and more isolated by me with time. I used to love to read every day while I was in school, and as I invest myself more with the computer now days I forget that I have books I love and the way they made me feel. To not pay attention to technology during my blackout, I started reading a book about mystery that kept me on edge and entertained. VERY STRONG ANALYSIS

Deresiewicz states the obvious “the real problem is that it has become completely natural for people in their teens and 20s”, and by “it” he means solitude. The problem lies within the natural context in which we were born in. We never lived a life without computers, we started using our phones when we were about 14 and television was always on since we were born. The millennials have definitely not felt complete solitude and probably never will. This is a fact we have live with and there is not turning back. Connectivity and celebrity will always make us want to become part of something else and therefore use technology to ignore our feeling of solitude. It is a hard conclusion to live by, but personally it has made me think about ways in which I can become more in tune with myself and stop worrying about the some of the non-sense that technology can make people feel today.

 

The end of solitude

In William Deresiewicz’s essay, “The End of Solitude” he describes how today’s technology has made it so that people are unable to be truly alone. Since being able to connect to people anywhere is in our pockets, there is no chance you can be alone without taking modern technology. People also want to be recognized so much that being alone isn’t appealing.

Deresiewicz argues that being isolated is a scary prospect to the youngest generation, as they have not had a moment in their lives that they have been by themselves. He argues that being alone should be an essential part of a person’s life, and everybody should strive to achieve that moment of solitude at least once in their lives.

Solitude is something that human beings should cherish, and that the modern equating of solitude with loneliness confuses a state of being that can be blissful with a negative emotion that it does not entail. GOOD  If you spend a lot of time blogging, texting, emailing, and so forth, then, you may be confusing loneliness with solitude, and put yourself in the situation of not being able to enjoy the latter for fear of the former.

Throughout the essay, he describes many people who have benefited either socially, physically, or spiritually from being unaccompanied for long periods of time. What Deresiewicz is trying to say is, we need to remove ourselves from technology to truly find ourselves.

We are becoming incapable of being alone, and the proof is that everyone has a blog or a Facebook page. Solitude is essential for listening to one’s own voice and for spiritual growth.

This news blackout was a different experience for me. Being used to having instant access to information is a luxury we tend to take for granted. As someone who spends a lot of time on their phone, looking through Facebook and twitter, news is everywhere. To succeed during the 48 hours, I had to be able to control the impulses of checking social media.

Even though I willingly gave up news for that long, realistically it’s almost second nature to check Facebook or twitter without even noticing. To control the impulses of social media, I tried doing things that kept me active or things that I haven’t done in a while. These include roller blading, spending quality time with my dog 😀 , swimming, and catching up with some shows. I found that when I got rid of news, things were a lot more spontaneous.

My mind made room for things that I really enjoy and everything fell into place more smoothly. I took care of my priorities quickly and had time to do whatever I wanted. That’s when I realized how differently my mind worked when unplugged. The days pass by a bit slower but are also more enjoyable. I don’t have to worry about who’s doing what or where and it was honestly a liberating feeling. GOOD  After this experience, I found myself wanting to check the news less and less and just enjoy my day for myself.