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.

Christian D. Martinez, 48-Hour news Blackout

Deresiewicz says in his article “The End of Solitude” that our new way of communication is keeping us from being alone, creating real friendships and communities, but I would argue that I don’t see myself in this argument since I have had too many experienced way too many occasions where I have found solitude in our digital would and have been able to create strong friendships that have been propelled forward due to technology. I also don’t see myself in his argument because I don’t look to social media to feel like a “celebrity” nor do I use it to have more followers. I instead use social media as a way of keeping in touch with family, friends, and for news/memes. After reading the article I was told to disconnect myself from all forms of news for 48 hours. During this time, I noticed that I was more anxious than usual and wanted to go out and do something rather than stay at home, so I found myself working out more and playing basketball to avoid any kind of news. This made me push myself to be alone since having other people around would break the 48-hour blackout since someone would end up talking about some form of news.

I realized during my news blackout that news played a bigger role in my life than I predicted it to be. The biggest news source I missed was ESPN because no news meant I couldn’t stay up to date with anything in the football or basketball world which had led me to being outside more and listening to music. This also made me see that news is an important aspect in our everyday lives, without it we cannot possibly stay informed on the outside world. The downside I see to this is people relying on news to form opinions or make decisions. I don’t see myself like this since I try to not take a stance or have a bias when receiving news. I definitely didn’t use not having news as a reason to go outside or workout more since those are things I usually do a lot of, but I noticed at times Id usually be on my phone looking at twitter for news or even my TV that I’d have to distract myself to keep the urge of being informed away.

Furthermore, news is a necessary intrusion of our solitude since we need it to not feel as if we are living under a rock. Personally, I needed to be informed with news to stay updated because I don’t like being in solitude and would rather be informed with the outside world and what is happening in it. While news does and should push you to think for yourself, it is still necessary to have it in our lives so that you don’t become ignorant on current events but it doesn’t mean you must be in solitude because of it. Overall, with news in my life I am more connected and more knowledgeable than someone without news.

Rhetorical analysis

Thesis: The article “why our memory fails us” used the rhetorical triangle to prove it’s point of memory lacking credibility.

In the article “Why Our Memory Fails Us” the authors talk LANGUAGE about the fault with relying on our memories. They build their case by providing examples along with studies, proving that our memory isn’t reliable. In an example, Dr. Neil Tyson’s misquote of George W. Bush’s 9/11 speech, that he later said wasn’t incorrect because he had remembered hearing it somewhere. They use pathos when evoking a sense of emotion through a relatable experience and logos when showing logic through the studies. PATHOS LOGOS GOOD They also used ethos briefly by mentioning a study that one of the authors was part of. This shows that the author and the study are reliable by being published in a credible newspaper. GOOD As authors, they seem to be critical in the beginning while writing about Tyson, they later take a tone of understanding, providing similar examples.
The top three reader’s comments included a comment from Tyson himself, and two other comments that the readers seemed to agree with. The first reader’s pick is Tyson’s comment, linking to Facebook where he further explains himself. This was chosen because the readers acknowledge that he is one of the subjects of the article and he provides his own point of view. The questions answered in the link are him saying his sources are from his “memory”, further proving the point, memory fails. He is using ethos during this discussion and is trying to convince the audience of his credibility despite his lack of sources. GOOD ANALYSIS
A second comment, made by a reader who claims that the author’s memory of Bush being an “intelligent person” is faulty, provides an article and quotes from Bush claiming otherwise. He uses ethos and logos through quotes, making his reason considerably credible through source. The third comment is posted by a Jacob Sommer who says that people make honest mistakes.This comment seems to have convinced the readers using pathos and appealing to emotion. It can be read and can cause sympathy within the reader, acknowledging that this is something that happens often. The issue with this is that Tyson wouldn’t initially accept his mistake and instead said Bush’s quote is “somewhere out there”.
The first NYT pick comment is like that of Jacob Sommer’s, our memory is not meant to retain every detail. So, when we are at fault we cannot deny it. Another NYT pick doesn’t account this mistake to memory but instead to the lack of importance of reason. “We” let ourselves make inferences and use our memory as a cop out to make up things we want to be true to further prove our point. [Are we aware of this memory lapse? If not, then how is it a “cop out”?] The third comment picked by NYT was about how our memory can be questioned by an experiment that be conducted in a journalism class.
I think that the picks are chosen not to show agreement with the comments but to show different opinions. I feel it isn’t as necessary as it wishes to be. [The comments cannot wish.] The comments picked by the readers are just as effective in showing different viewpoints, and show comments that possibly wouldn’t have been picked. BUT HOW? ANALYSIS NEEDED HERE.