Secrecy – Ashley DeGroot

Thesis: Secrets are used to protect individuals, however, sometimes keeping a secret can also negatively impact someone else and in these cases it is justified to not withhold a secret to reduce the overall harm to ones we love. GOOD THESIS

I am close friends with two sisters, one of which lives here in Miami and the other who lives back in Guyana. Sam, the sister from Guyana, called me one day and told me she was coming to Miami to surprise her sister, with whom she would be staying with for her time here. Soon after the call, Mery, the sister here in Miami had called me and told me how she had a feeling that Sam was coming to visit, she explained her disgust of surprises and the fact that although she wants to see her sister she hates the uncertainty of not knowing when she’d show up. Mery likes to plan her weeks, and I know if Sam showed up it would throw everything off for Mery.

This placed me in a situation of loyalty, while Sam trusted me to keep her secret, Mery was a closer friend of mine and I was finding it really hard to withhold information that could affect her. Especially when there was an instance previously where I had given Sam the attention over Mery and Mery was totally upset with me, because I crossed her loyalty and it affected our friendship. I felt like I owed it to Mery to help her prepare but I did not want to break Sam’s trust, if she was to find out, as she would be hurt too. GOOD

After a few days of contemplation, I decided to tell Mery when Sam was coming. Mery was happy to know and stated that this proved my loyalty to her and she continued on like she did not knew Sam was coming. When Sam arrived, and I had picked her up from the airport and we were on our way to Mery’s house, Sam stated that she felt Mery knew she was coming and I instantly got nervous as I thought my cover was blown. When we arrived at Mery’s house, she acted so surprised even I forgot she knew. My secret was never revealed.

My inability of keeping Sam’s secret was due to the fact that it kept information from my closer friend Mery and it was beginning to question my loyalty towards her. Due to this, my friendship with Mery grew even more because of my proven loyalty to her.




Lorena Boushira – Secrecy Blog

Thesis: Even though lying is wrong, we sometimes do it to protect someone we love. However, no matter how much we care for someone we are guilt ridden by this act.

Though lying is wrong, sometimes its necessary. The story that follows has name changes in order to protect the peoples’ privacy. About a year ago, my two best friends Alex and Adam started dating. I was equally close to both of them and had their complete trust. Four months ago, Adam came to me and asked me if he could reveal something to me. I, of course, said yes. He warned me that it might put me in an awkward place and it might change our friendship. I felt intrigued and nervous at the same time. I was good at keeping secrets, but I definitely hated lying and being thrown in the middle of things. Adam then proceeded to tell me that he had been having an affair and cheating on Alex. At first, I was in total shock. Then anger took over me and I was yelling at him wondering why he could have ever done this to my friend. When I calmed down, he explained that they had lost their spark and this girl (let’s call her Erica) was the love of his life. I could understand that he could not control how he felt, but why hadn’t he told Alex? He disclosed to me that he just couldn’t find a way to end things without breaking her heart and ruining their friendship. He seemed genuinely upset over the thought of losing her as a friend forever.

Following this revelation, Adam made me swear not to tell and promised me that he would end things soon. Being part of the secret made me feel like I was part of the wrongdoing as well. I did not feel empowered in this case. I was protecting a friend, while leaving Alex vulnerable. The guilt was consuming me, the longer I knew, the worst I felt. Throughout that week I tried to pretend like everything was the same. I still spoke and saw them everyday, but deep inside it wasn’t. Thankfully, Alex never seemed to realize this huge secret between me and Adam. If she had, I probably would not have been able to hide it very well. Alex, as usual, still asked me for relationship advice in dealing with Adam. It was particularly tough giving her opinions without making her realize of what was going on. I had to stay true to her while making sure the secret would not come out.

This experience made me very uncomfortable. It made me feel like a bad friend to Alex, while protecting Adam. I loved them both equally, but was put in an awkward position. It was hard deciding the flow of information. Either way, I was hurting someone. My rational was that if I told, I would hurt Alex because let’s face it, it was going to break her heart; and I would hurt Adam by betraying his trust. I hope to never be put in this type of scenario because even though Alex understood why I kept Adam’s secret, my guilt never went away.WELL WRITTEN AND A TOUGH SITUATION


Thesis statement: When it comes to family bonds, secrets only tear family members apart because no member is superior and everyone wants the best for each other.  GOOD THESIS STATEMENT

It is a commonly accepted social norm that in a family environment there should be no lies, because no member is superior and intentions are pure. Yet, it is inevitable that secrets are kept, but when a secret involves the emotional well being of everyone it should not be kept – there is no justification for that. A couple of years ago my mom confided in me that she was getting a divorce from my dad but that I had to keep it a secret from my two younger siblings until all of the affairs were in order and she was ready. At the moment I felt powerful, being the older sibling, trustworthy and mature enough to keep the secret. Also, I felt closer to my mother and the privacy in which she confided the secret kept the rest of the family at a distance, which is not emotionally healthy. It was a dangerous secret that shut off family input in the whole situation and when it came to light it would hurt the multiple people in our family.

When growing up I had no secrets with my siblings, there was no curtain between us and our parents always kept secrets in order to protect us. There were certain things that as kids we wouldn’t understand and did not have to know, so when my mother confided this big grown up secret it was a curveball. At that moment I was no longer sitting in the kids tables and had moved on to adult issues and it made me more mature, but it also separated from my younger siblings.

Besides the rush of adrenaline that comes with learning a secret, it was also an emotional burden that was being added onto my teenage worries. Along with keeping the secret came the lies, because I needed to guard the secret and I felt justified when doing so. It was a clash of morals, because lying was wrong but at the same time I felt as if I was working towards a greater moral authority. ANALYSIS STRONG Every time my younger siblings would talk about how excited they were about the next family vacation I had to lie, because I was aware that we were not going to have another one. Instead, we would have to go through a rough time when our family separated, but I was attached to the confidentiality agreement I had made with my mom and therefore, I kept lying. Perhaps it would have been healthier to talk about it with them because they would be more prepared for the idea, and that caused me more anxiety and pain because I wasn’t able to share what I was feeling with anyone. My siblings kept asking me if something was wrong with our parents, but if I let them in on what was happening the secret would be compromised.

I learned that when it comes to family bonds secrets can never be healthy, and the feeling of power is not worth it.

Secrecy, Lying and Confidentiality

An analysis on how secrecy, confidentiality and lying interrelate with the handling and understanding of information.

Secrecy, confidentiality and lying are all linkages that interrelate. REDUNDANT They serve in the handling and understanding of information and how we receive and send information. The integrity of all this information is compromised in each exchange, giving less credibility to anyone handling the information or receiving it. There are moments where secrecy protect lies and vise versa to ensure the confidentiality between the sender and the receiver is protected. We see stories all the time on all media outlets were people lie to protect secrets that could cause more potential harm further down. Is it right? Should people lie to media in order to protect and maintain confidentiality between their loves one? To an extent, maybe, but just know credibility goes out the door once you do.

I’ve been in a situation where I have had to lie to my employer to protect one of my co-workers from possibly getting fired. To put in in perspective without being so vague, I work at a car dealership in the service department. One day as I was walking towards the garage of the dealership I noticed that one of the elderly technicians hit another car with, the car he was driving in reverse, basically side-hugging it. I basically stopped him from doing anymore damage than he already caused. He got out the car and we both evaluated the damage noticing scratch marks that weren’t on the vehicle’s before. Him HE and I being just employees decided not to necessarily say anything at first hand. I told him that I didn’t see nothing ANYTHING and won’t get involved as it’s not my business, primarily.

Day’s go on DAYS AFTER after that incident and I didn’t think much of it until, the owner of the vehicle came to pick it up. I told the technician that same day to do whatever he thinks is right as he will be the one affected by this, not me. Funny enough, the person who was chosen to pick up that car was myself. As I get towards the front of the entrance I knew that the customer would noticed so I let the technician know ahead of time. Of course, the customer noticed. He started asking questions and then I had to get management involved, lying that I didn’t know how it happened. They believed me but began to look over security cameras to get to the bottom of it. I felt empowered as I knew I would be fine GOOD INSIGHT but the technician didn’t, so he told management what happened before it got more out of hand. Knowing that they were going to look at cameras to penetrate this secret made me feel relieved as I knew the truth would unveil.

This situation showed me the difference in understanding the intersections of secrecy, lying and confidentiality. This confidentiality between the tech and myself would come to light from my lies and revealed the techs secret. Every lie needs justification, and it shows the dangers of secrecy and how It can affect others. GOOD EFFORT OVERALL AND NICELY CHOSEN EXAMPLE.


I was placed in a difficult situation throughout my junior year of high school because of girl’s academic laziness. IS THIS THE THESIS STATEMENT? NEEDS A CONCLUSION THAT WAS REACHED IN THE ASSIGNMENT.


Throughout all of my academic life, I’ve always come across a girl that is fairly attractive but simply doesn’t care about school. These girls always chose me to help them out. By “help them out” meaning a stern but flirtatious “send me a picture of the homework” at 2 AM; rare was the occasion where they would ask me for tutoring or outside of school help. These girls always made it hard for me to focus on school. I was placed in a difficult situation throughout my junior year of highschool because of a girl’s academic laziness. Personally, I’m not much of a cheater, I’ve never been one to ask you to show me your answer sheet during the middle of an exam. I find cheating one hundred more times harder than studying for a couple of hours. YEP. But to these girls it was second hand; they just needed to find the perfect idiot, and that perfect idiot was me. HA In 11th grade we didn’t have a block schedule, we would have 7 classes a day and a lunch period. I had the same girl in my AP Art History class, my Statistics class, and in my English class. During my Junior year, I took all of my classes pretty seriously since it is the most important academic school year. Well, this girl didn’t. When school started I went in with the mindset that I was going to work hard and I would see the fruits of my labor upon graduation, and that I wasn’t going to get easily distracted. A couple weeks into school, this girl began talking to me more and more until she got my number. She began to tell me how rough things were at home for her, so I didn’t mind sharing my art history notes with her on the days she couldn’t come and stuff like that. But as the school year progressed, she began to get more comfortable with me and the magnitude of her favors began to grow. During exams, she would sit next to me and do pretty well on them considering that she wouldn’t attend regular class to receive the lecture. My teacher began to get suspicious and she would always say that cheating wasn’t going to help you pass the AP exam, so she was curious on how this girl was getting good grades in a challenging class like AP History without showing up. I began to realize that I had power in this scenario, she wouldn’t do well in the class if it wasn’t for me. GOOD  It was a secret I had to hold because, in reality, this girl was very nice and genuine. REALLY THOUGH? When we would talk outside of school she was a really likable person, I didn’t want to go and rat on her to my teacher when she hadn’t really done anything wrong to me. I felt as if I was between a rock and a hard place in that scenario, it was extremely annoying because I didn’t know what to do. My teacher knew that she was making it by in the class through dishonesty, but not because of me. WELL WRITTEN ACCOUNT. WHAT HAPPENED THOUGH? THE ANALYSIS COULD USE SOME WORK AS COULD THE THESIS STATEMENT BUT GOOD JOB OVERALL.

48 hour blackout – Ashley DeGroot

As I started my journey into the news blackout, I was initially very skeptical and didn’t know if I would be able to make it through. In the beginning hours, I found myself constantly checking my phone for updates, mostly updates from social media but as these notifications were disabled, every attempt to see them were shut down. As a result I became aware that I now had plenty time available to do the things I always figured I never had time for, truth is I never prioritized those events. INSIGHTFUL I became very productive and finished all schoolwork, chores and even managed to get in a workout and this was only day one of the blackout.

On the second day, I was checking my phone a lot less, at some points I was unaware of where the phone was as I was enjoying spending time with my family and friends. I was also very content with the idea of just being alone and either reading a book, or just watching television and generally relaxing at my own will; It was refreshing. As the 48-hour window came to an end, I realized how distracting my cellphone was and this was mostly because of time spent on social media and missing out on the time I could be spending with the people close to me.

According to Deresiewicz, I was experiencing the solitude of being alone. I started the blackout and was met with a bit of anxiety but as soon as I shifted my focus, I can say I completely enjoyed my solitude. What was shocking was the amount of news I missed, coming back into the world, it was as if I was off grid for months, it took my an additional day to catch up with the world and what was going on. However, not being able to know what was going on in the world had no direct impact on me and it made my mind a lot more free of worry. GOOD POINT This could of been so, because none of the major news stories were in my area and could not have impacted me.

I entirely enjoyed this assignment and it has brought me to cut back on my social media pages. I have realized how great they can be but at times there negative impacts tend to outweigh the positive, and I am now completely off of twitter, my Facebook notifications are still muted and I only use Instagram after I have completed my tasks for the day, my aim in doing this is to enjoy more solitude in my life and appreciate the little things that social media keeps you distracted from. VERY GOOD


Lorena Boushira – 48hr blackout

Going into a 48 hour solitude was not going to be easy. In today’s world, our cell phones seem to be permanently glued to our fingers, constantly checking social media and other apps. According to Deresiewicz, we have eliminated our solitude and our constant connection takes away our ability to be alone. Though Deresiewicz argues that we do it to ourselves, allowing technology to confiscate our solitude. During the first twenty four hours of my blackout, I felt at peace. Not being constantly worried of what my friends tagged me in or how many views my snapchat stories got was a nice change. GOOD  In our society, staying relevant on social media is one of the ways in which we look for self validation. Though it is not a positive thing, it is common amongst people. We no longer understand the true meaning of friendship. Our ideas about the topic include our Facebook friends and Instagram followers.

Furthermore, social media and other apps are where millennials get their news. Whether you see a Facebook status, a tweet, or a Snapchat story, you are always aware of breaking news. During this blackout, I felt completely disconnected in both good and bad ways. The disconnect really allowed me to focus on other important things like friends, family, and nature. I became more aware of my surrounding and actually enjoyed my solitude or alone time. On the other hand, I felt completely helpless not knowing what was going on in the world. It made me realize how essential news (any news whether it be world, politics, sports, technology, or fashion) was to my daily life. It definitely is a necessary intrusion of our solitude. Without it, you are left feeling irrelevant and uneducated. I personally hate when people talk about an important piece of news and I haven’t heard about it. I immediately feel left out and isolated. Being unable to participate in the conversation lowers my self esteem.

The purpose of this assignment in my opinion was to make my generation stop fearing solitude and actually appreciate it. Most millennials do not even believe in solitude and have no desire for it. This experiment made me appreciate my alone time but towards the last few hours, I did feel some anxiousness and boredom. Due to this experience, I will try to take breaks, whether they be hours or days, from technology in order to disconnect. Social media and news can cause a lot of anxiety and negativity. I will take this time to empty my mind and de-stress. Not hearing about the horrors going on in this world and not worrying about whether someone followed me on Instagram will really help improve my mindset. This was a truly great learning experience, it taught me a lot about myself and what really matters to me.VERY GOOD TAKE AWAYS  HERE