Secrecy – Jennifer

From the moment, a friend demanded that I keep a situation confidential and keep quiet, I knew that I would be stuck in a predicament and possibly hurt my reputation with those on the other side. Although this person was my friend, I felt compelled to do something. How could I protect this person and still be loyal to myself? It was a difficult situation, in no way, shape or form did I have any intentions of lying to my friend’s family and friends who were also my coworkers. I not only felt manipulated by the fact that I HAD to keep this secret, but I felt two-faced and most importantly I wasn’t being true to myself and my beliefs.

To make matters worse, the people I was being disloyal to were people I worked with. They gave me an opportunity and took me in as their family, yet here I was keeping a massive secret from them. I should note that this secret was not going to harm anyone in any way, it was only to protect my friend, but in the process hurt any connection I had with my coworkers if I had to lie. In this difficult time that lasted a couple months, I was approached by several people. They persistently asked what was going on, why this person had done this and that, and why he no longer was working at his job. As a mature and loyal person, I intended to keep my friend’s secret confidential. As stated in the concealment and secrecy lecture, secrecy did lower my resistance to the irrational and pathological. With no doubt, I had to put away the pathos and ethos and use a more rational appeal to surpass the situation. It wasn’t my place to lie and It wasn’t a good situation to reveal a secret. If I was going to lie, I’d need to justify why I didn’t say something earlier, why my friend was lying or keeping a secret, all of which I tried to avoid. I had a lot of power, I could easily break my promise with my friend and tell his secret or I could’ve lied to my coworkers. Instead, I simply decided to stay neutral in the situation, letting people know that I wasn’t sure and I wasn’t the best person to ask questions to.

To back up my facts on secrecy, AWKWARD. Edward Snowden who leaked confidential government information was in no way being rational. It was not his duty to leak any information. He displayed disloyalty and ruined his reputation among others in his line of work. This was a matter of privacy, and if the government was keeping a secret, it was not his position to act upon.

The Effects of Swearing Secrecy

The phrase used by journalists “the public has the right to know,” is not valid in all scenarios. In the case of disclosure of personal information, people are sensitive about it. That’s where it lies the importance of secrecy and our word to keep such secrets.

However, there are cases where “prima facie duty of confidentiality” can be conflicting. An example based on my personal experience, was when one of my closest male friends liked a girl I knew from high school. I tried to help my friend by putting a good word for him with her. After a while, they started dating. She asked me to keep the secret and even considering that we were not close friends, I accepted.

There’s something about learning a secret that makes people feel important. Even if they are not close with the person who holds the secret, the human curiosity makes you want to know about it. It also allows people to feel that they belong and have an intimate bond with someone, as it was in the case with me and this girl. Even if it meant that knowing the secret might put my moral judgement in jeopardy.

She revealed, that she never had feelings for him as more than a friend, but she was giving him the chance to date her since she considered him a good person. That situation put me in an uncomfortable position because I gave her my word that I wouldn’t tell the secret and if I tell him I would be disloyal to her. But at the same time, If I didn’t tell him I would be a bad friend and it meant I support her decision to play with his feelings. Other people, like my boyfriend and friends, who noticed I was upset and knew something was going on, tried to penetrate the secret. I still didn’t disclose the information with anyone.  Having this information and not being able to do much about it such as, ask someone for advice, caused me anxiety. However, after giving it a lot of thought, I decided to do what I considered was morally adequate. Without disclosing the information to my friend, I advise him to take the relationship slowly and not commit without being sure of her feelings. In this situation, the girl was the one empowered with the information because she put my word and my friendship on the line for knowing the secret.

When she finally decided to tell him how she felt, they broke up and I was able to tell him the truth. I felt relieved, since I no longer had to carry that burden of information. He didn’t get mad at me because even if I didn’t disclose the information to him, I still indirectly warned him about it.



Individual Assignment 6: I’ve got a secret




In high school, my best friend had sneaked the answer key to the Physics midterm and scored a perfect score on the exam. A couple of days later, the teacher grew suspicious as to how she had received a perfect score, which was nearly impossible due to the way she had structured the exam. My best friend who we can refer to as “Shelbs” had only told me about her secret. I was the only one who knew that she had cheated on the midterm. Shelbs did not want people to know about her cheating because it would have made her look inferior. People would think that she had to cheat in order to pass the exam, she couldn’t even try to study intensely like everyone else did. On top of that, it was an Honors class so Shelbs felt that if others found out she would be highly ridiculed. To Shelbs and I, knowing her secret indeed gave us power. We knew something no one else knew, and if it got out, her and I would have been suspended permanently from school.

Shelbs and I were the insiders, and the teacher and classmates were the outsiders. Our classmates were curious and even a little jealous about Shelbs receiving a perfect score on such a difficult exam. She was also not known to be the brightest bulb in class, so without question, everyone was confused on how she achieved such a score. I found that many of our classmates were suspicious and wanted to know what the truth was. Their curiosity was driving them but most importantly, the fact that they felt powerless and inferior in not knowing what the truth was the most frustrating to them. They wanted to penetrate the secret, and I felt powerful in knowing the truth, even a little threatened because I knew I was also in a predicament.

Many classmates knew I was Shelbs’s best friend so they tried to get information out of me. They lied to me by saying that they they already knew the truth but if I didn’t get confess they would bring me down with Shelbs. However, they were not the only ones lying. I also lied to protect Shelbs and I, the secret had a wall around it and it was up to me to keep it from falling. The secret guarded our lie, which was that we had no idea about what was going on. GOOD — CAN YOU CITE THE LECTURE? All Shelbs did was study for the exam for hours on end, no cheating was at hand. That was how we concealed our secret, that was the lie. The reason why we kept the secret, was simply for the protection of our reputation, name, and future in our academic studies. If anyone would have found out, we would have been in deep consequences. There were even moments where I had wished that Shelbs had never told me, because now I had been attached to the academic crime.

The teacher had pulled me aside and told me that if I knew something she did not know, it was my responsibility to tell her. If I didn not confess at the moment, and something was to be found out later, I would suffer further consequences. Even then I lied, and said I knew nothing. I protected Shelbs and her reputation. I was also protecting her future. Knowing the secret may have given me power over my classmates, but it put me in a predicament with the school authorities. I was at risk just because I knew what Shelbs had done. Even though she got away with the crime, and I got away with knowing the secret, I know I never want to be tied to a crime like that again. It may give you power, but it can also lead to destruction.



“We know that secrecy protects lies, that lies protect secrecy and that lies and secrecy protect the prima facia duties under confidentiality agreements. Privacy/secrecy is something that is very important to every human whether they want to admit it or not. Privacy protects against scorn in most, but not all situations. In most cases when people get involved in our privacy it is like intrusion. There are many benefits of keeping something private. A few reasons it is beneficial, is so that the other person doesn’t feel embarrassed, you do not get caught in a lie, to benefit the right person. We use lies to cover up on our secrets. Lies are beneficial to the person who is keeping the secret. If that someone gets caught it defeats the purpose of the lie. Some people that do not lie often can’t keep up with their lies and then but they get caught.Once you hold a secret it is not so simple to keep it in because you can’t always keep up with it. Not only is it dangerous to you but if the secret unfolds it is hurtful or bad when the other person you’re keeping it from finds out. YOU DIDN’T NEED ANY OF THESE SENTENCES. GET TO THE POINT.

UNTIL  I HIT ‘ENTER,’ THIS WAS A 494-WORD ENTRY! From my experience I could remember one time that I kept a secret and it was for the reason to not hurt my cousin’s feelings. I got recently engaged and had a family member living in my house that recently broke off her third engagement. This family member was very sensitive to everything that has to do with marriage. Once my wedding planning started me and my mother had to keep her out of it, so that she does not get hurt more. We started hiding wedding appointments and telling her lies such as I had work, doctor’s appointment, school, so on and so forth, so that she does not feel the need to come with us. Once I got used to it and forgot that my cousin was there I mentioned to my sister that I went dress shopping that day and she overheard. This not only got me into trouble, it got my mother into trouble too. This comes to show us that when you lie even though it is beneficial to both parties it can get you into an uncomfortable situation. After this situation my cousin questioned every step I made and made sure that she would know everything about everything, since she got the hint that we did not want her involved. Yes, secrets and lies is a good thing when you know for a fact that it will never be unveiled. In conclusion,confidentiality is something that everyone has the power of sometimes.The world we live in,nothing is a secret anymore. One day all our secrets will be exposed, if it is the smallest secret to the biggest everyone will find out.

I’ve got a Secret

Not again… I am sitting on the couch and OF COURSE she would invite him over. “He was just in the neighborhood” … yeah, right. What lie am I going to have to come up with now? What if her boyfriend gets off work early? Why am I stuck in the middle? What am I going to get out of this, besides another headache. They are both my friends and now I’m stuck in this situation. My best friend was cheating on her boyfriend with her ex-boyfriend, Jonathan. This wasn’t the first time it happened. She had no explanation for her actions. I had no word of advice to tell her, anything I could tell her wouldn’t matter. My opinions would have been useful but her actions took over her better judgment. The adrenaline rush she had every time he would text her and entertained her is what kept her living this lie. I lied to her boyfriend on several occasions when he asked, “What did you guys do today? “Is Nat  okay because she really hasn’t been herself lately”. Forcing me to have to act like everything was perfectly fine and nothing out of the ordinary would happen that night.

This experience did not empower me, at all. GOOD — CITE THE LECTURE. I had kept this lie for many years where the truth didn’t even matter anymore. However, it empowered my best friend who had her cake and ate it too. Even though, throughout that period of time, I did lie to her boyfriend to not make him think otherwise and ultimately hurt him. Our other best friend was also involved in this lie as well. This made me feel terrible about myself and about the situation we were all in. Sometimes, I felt like telling the truth to him; I felt guilty having to keep this secret. However, my loyalty is to my best friend although he was also my friend. It was up to her to tell him the truth and choose to end her infidelity.

In situations like this I rather not be informed about the situation, keeping secrets and having to lie so much in order to have the secret kept is too messy. Even though I had a choice of stepping out of the situation, involuntary, I was involved keeping this secret for my best friend. I was ultimately stuck between a rock and a hard place. I had to choose between being a good friend by staying silent about the mess that was happening right before my eyes or walking away from her and having her feel like I was betraying her trust. Everyone has dealt with situations wherein they had to keep a secret from someone and had to lie in order to maintain the secret, a secret.


The Impossibility of Solitude

William Deresiewicz, in her article “The End of Solitude” explains that solitude is “the act of being alone” and that “the camera has created a culture of celebrity; the computer is creating a culture of connectivity.” In other words, People are in constant need to learn about new information as well as sharing information about themselves. But is also a way to cope with the new world of technology, if are not aware of the trending information, we don’t have much to talk about with others, neither through chat nor in person.

To be able to analyze and understand solitude and its relationship with news knowledge, the class was asked to do a 48-hour news blackout.

During this past 2 days that I been avoiding any type of news through Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, TV, radio and even in conversations with friends and family members. This experience has been somewhat difficult. I it started this Monday through Wednesday morning. Immediately after I decided not to open any social media, I was coming up in my head with reasons that would explain my need to check them. I decided to take it entirely form my phone’s main screen to avoid the temptation from making me cheat. Since my family lives in Venezuela and there’s a lot of news censorship over there, people use social media and chats as a platform to be informed. Which to me it meant that I had to ignore most of the messages sent by the people from there. This situation caused me anxiety for not been able to know what was going on. I would constantly unlock my phone, thinking that I had a notification or a message, but I still couldn’t check them.

I also use the news and social media as a break from studying; however, because of news blackout I started binge watching series that I would never have watched otherwise. I was trying to compensate for my “time of solicitude.” Even while eating I realized I needed some sort of companionship. I also noticed it was hard to communicate with people, since I couldn’t know much of what was going on. So, the conversations were restricted to, how was their day? And what they will do the next day?

Before doing this experiment, I thought I enjoyed being alone. I realized that the only time I am in solitude is when I am in my room reading and studying, before going to sleep, if I go to the gym by myself and in the shower. But as Deresiewicz mentioned in HIS essay this society is in constant fear of being alone. Therefore, people not only use technology for communication and as a source of information, but also to compensate for the time they spend in solitude, which explains my anxiety and my use of TV series to avoid being alone.

This extra time allowed me to think more of the past, when I didn’t have a phone and technology wasn’t a priority. I could write a journal every night and understand better the information and my surroundings, free of distractions. This time also allowed me to understand that knowledge of information is important, but people shouldn’t let it control their lives, as Deresiewicz said solicitude is necessary “to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.”

48-Hour News Blackout – Jennifer

Who knew that entering a phase of complete solitude could open your eyes to the actual wonders of reality. Disconnecting myself from all sorts of news for 48 hours was difficult but doable. Often I found myself reaching over for my phone, computer or TV to catch up on the latest news, gossip or weather forecasts. The hardest part of experiencing the blackout was avoiding my parents who consistently brought up the latest news that might have been relevant at the time. In this blackout period, FULL NAME Deresiewicz’s statements were always popping up in my head. He states that “technology has taken away our privacy and our concentration and our ability to be alone.” I could not agree more with this. In my time of solitude, I found myself reading books as I usually do at night, but during the day I became lonely. I wanted to go back to my technological news and catch up with the world. Sitting down at a red light or waiting patiently in the doctor’s room became dull and distressing. I realized that even in moments where I wasn’t sitting still such as going for a run, I still turned on my Spotify and listening to music or called my mother to keep me company. This modern society we live in has become dependent on technology. It was a shocking surprise to how aware I was of my surroundings when I put down all gadgets and spent time alone.

By the second day, I became present, I was in living in the moment as one should. I still struggled with getting off my computer as I was constantly checking fashion blogs, YouTube videos and occasionally switching back and forth between Gmail and FIU’s web page to entertain myself. This is where I think of Deresiewicz, in his article, he states that “the internet is a powerful machine for the production of loneliness as television is for the manufacture of boredom.” This goes back to my statement on switching between web pages just for the fact of being on the internet due to loneliness. It is a terrible feeling and unfortunately, as a digital society, it is the generation in which we live in. GOOD. To fill the gaps at night was easy, I indulged in a book for hours and wasn’t even concerned with looking at my phone. During the day was a bit more difficult, I tried to use my time wisely by catching up on homework, writing in my journal or working on my personal blog. I found this to be the easiest way to “pass the time.”

I would like to state that this period of solitude made me quite anxious in the sense that I was oblivious to world news and for some reason, I did not enjoy the feeling of not relating to the world and what was going on. The news is important but to a certain extent. Solitude on the other hand is vital to living a more peaceful and present life.