Lying and Secrecy

A few months ago, my brother-in-law told me that he was planning to surprise my girlfriend with a futon as a birthday gift. He was very excited because he chose light blue furniture that matched the rest of her newly bought home. Given that it was a surprise, I made a pact with him and was sworn to secrecy. However, this pledge was made well over a week before the futon was supposed to arrive. I would have to keep this information to myself for ten days.

Having this knowledge was not much of a burden at first. I thought that I would hardly have to fib because my girlfriend wouldn’t even being think about surprise deliveries. As the days went on, she began to question certain events that felt odd. Her birthday had already passed. All family members had given her a gift, everyone but her brother. She kept wondering why this was case, given how close they were. To mislead her and diffuse the situation, I constantly made excuses for his apparent forgetfulness.

“Maybe he’s waiting for payday” or “He’s been really busy at work lately and hasn’t been able to get you something” I lied. The more she pondered what was going on, the more guilt built up inside of me. I knew she was feeling hurt by this and I wanted to cheer her up.

Finally, on the day the delivery was supposed to arrive my girlfriend wanted to go out to dinner. Yet again, I had to lie to her. I told her that it would be far more romantic if we stayed in. All afternoon I checked my phone for updates and kept it close to me so she wouldn’t glance over or get her hands on it. That night, we were settled in to watch a movie, when there was a loud knock at the door.

“Who could that be?” she asked. I shrugged and shook my head.

When she opened the door, her face lit up and she breathed a sigh of relief. Her brother was standing on her porch with a massive box. He hugged her and wished her a happy belated birthday. She turned to me and punched me on the shoulder. She was amazed that I could keep the ruse going for so long.

Keeping that secret did not feel empowering. Although it was a rather mundane secret, there was a certain level responsibility on my part. I had to make sure I kept the secret for my brother-in-law and consistently lie to my girlfriend. There were many opportunities for the plan to go awry. Thankfully, everything went according to plan and with some quick thinking, the surprise was not derailed. If I found keeping something light like this to be tricky, I cannot imagine attempting to hide major news like being fired or finding out that you are becoming a parent. Keeping a secret and lying is weighs heavy on me and I feel this should be used sparingly.

Good narrative but no much in the way of analysis!



Secret blog team 11

Secrets and lies go hand – in – hand to breaking a relationship between friends, family, etc. How you deal with the result is up to the person who finds out the truth.

hand-in-hand  and don’t use etc. but good thesis!


People have had the tendency to keep secrets and/or lie for several reasons. Some say it is to not hurt the other person’s feelings. Others say that they just wanted to keep the secret from the other person so they’re not in the middle. The list goes on and on. Eventually we either become the bigger person and communicate with the people involved or just drop them from our life all together.


This certain example is similar to what happened with this group I had back in high school. No longer calling those individuals my friends except one girl who stands out more than the rest. In this group, it consisted of my current best friend, an acquaintance, and myself. My best friend told me that the acquaintance girl dated a guy that I dated after a week. My best friend came clean to me about it around the beginning of Fall semester. Her and I have never kept secrets from each other so she was nervous to tell me because she was scared how I was going to react. I wasn’t mad at my best friend at all. I appreciated her in my life more that day because she waited to see if the girl would ever just stand up and tell me what she did. Once she noticed that she never would, she decided to tell me first. To me, I felt like she was a trustworthy friend and I was mad at the girl for hiding it from me and acting fake by showing up to my birthday and still text me like if nothing happened.

My best friend and I may have gotten closer ever since she told me this. We have tackled high school together and now tackling college life. This situation helped our relationship to amend stronger than ever because from that girl, I saw her true colors and realized that she never cared being a “friend” to me. I learned my best friend cared so much to keep me in her life that she told me the truth. The “group” minimized from three to two and we couldn’t be happier.

Good writing style, but more narrative than analysis.

I’ve got a secret blog

In Summer 2017, my older brother Antoine visited Miami to see my dad and me for my mom’s funeral. Since 2011, my brother has lived in Baltimore, Maryland. It had been six years since we’d seen him. He secretly called me on the phone to tell me that he was going to take a train to Miami. Hearing this news made me extremely excited. However, when he spoke to my father, he came up with an excuse saying he was not sure if he was going to be able to see us. After their phone conservation, my dad told me that my brother seemed like he didn’t want to see us again.

One day, after my brother left work, he called us and asked my dad how he was doing. After they finished speaking to each other, my dad gave me the phone. I quietly asked my brother if he was in Maryland. He said that he was on his way. My dad was clueless as to what we were talking about.

Two days later, my dad walked with me to the bus stop while I was on my way to the FIU campus. I thought about telling him that someone will come by the house that day, but I decided to remain silent instead. By the time the bus came, my dad arrived back home and saw my brother standing outside. They gave each other a hug. When I was on the bus, I texted and asked my brother if he arrived in Miami. He answered yes. I later called my dad and asked him if he saw anyone come by the house. He said that he did not expect to see my brother.

When I revealed that I already knew my brother was coming home that day, he laughed. It brought him joy. However, I did tell a few people that they were going to see my brother at my mom’s funeral. They thought my dad already knew he was coming, but he didn’t. Antoine wanted to see how my dad was going to react once he saw him. Although he didn’t want to believe that my brother wasn’t coming to see us, it made our family feel closer.

Three days later, I took the bus to get home. When I walked in my house, I saw my brother and gave him a big hug. Watching him reconnect with us again made us realize that we were not alone.

To conclude, sometimes it is better to keep a secret. My dad would not like it if I lied to him about a situation, but things worked out in this case. My lie helped my dad bring back the great memories that we’ve shared with our brother and gave him a pleasant surprise. Keeping my brother’s secret showed him that I can be trusted and keep things confidential. This displays my understanding of how secrecy can make a person react differently than they normally would.

This is more narrative than analysis, but good writing.

Individual Assignment 3

I don’t see a thesis statement?

According to Deresiewicz’s article “The End of Solitude”, solitude has changed
dramatically over time. The author says that computers are creating a culture of connectivity. I agree with the author’s argument that technology keeps us connected, but it can also get addictive, which leads to distractions. This takes us away from doing things we would enjoy, especially when we are by ourselves. When people are alone, they can reflect more on life . (end sentence) ; or, People could use that time to go to the park or play video games. From my point of view, the internet has taken up a lot of time away from doing things that are more important. (like what for instance?) It keeps me from paying attention as well. When I get bored, I noticed that I either pause, check my messages on Whatsapp and Instagram, or watch several videos on Youtube. Giving up social media helped me avoid distractions, and allowed me to focus more on myself. (good point)

During the Spring 2017 semester, I was registered with the Disability Resource Center at
Florida International University. Ever since I’ve been enrolled in Disability Resource Center, I am able to do tests for my other classes with no one around me. This has made it easier for me to focus better in a quiet environment which has made an impact on my school performance. Distractions make it impossible for me to get my assignments done on time. I was in my dorm room alone doing my homework the other day for my class. Not being on social media for this period of time has helped me get a lot more work and studying done.

I experienced the impact of the Internet that Deresiewicz describes in his article, “The
End of Solitude”. I do not speak to my roommates or friends like I normally would when I am using the Internet. In addition, the author demonstrates that he does not like being bored which is something I can relate to. I would usually turn my television on my favorite show to keep myself from being bored. When I stopped looking at social media and news, I realized that I was not thinking about my favorite celebrity, but focusing more on developing friendships. (good point)

Substituting other faux social activities has kept me from being lonely. It has actually
helped me feel connected from the outside world. For instance, I recently became a member of a program called Academy of Leaders. Although I would usually isolate myself from others, this program has given me the opportunity to connect with others. If I had not given up social media, then I probably would not know about this program.

When I started this assignment, I wondered what solitude makes people do. Social media
and news prevent students from exploring new things and takes their time from fun activities. Without social media, I focused on doing more important things that are worth my time. A little bit of solitude would change society for the better. (how?)

I was wondering why you started each paragraph with a sentence but then left half the first sentence on the first line and then finished the sentence on the next line? I’d like to see more about the concepts in the readings as well as more analysis.  You have some good points, however they are not fully realized or fleshed out. Keep practicing!

48 hour Assignment

The 48 hours blackout wasn’t as hard as what many other students may have thought it was. A Twilight Zone lifestyle of solitude is my life.

While this assignment was explained to us, I was actually laughing to myself how easy this would be. I have been able to  go more than 2 days without watching, listening, or even reading any sort of news. People will comment that they really can’t avoid it because big headlines are all over Twitter, Radio stations, newspapers,  or just on television but as for myself I’m not connected or even look(ing) for new stations. I’m not going to say that I do not own a Twitter account, especially since how young I am, but what I can say honestly is that I don’t even use it. I’ve deleted it like avoid using this word unless you are using it as a simile three times in the past and just decided to keep it open. So using twitter as a new source, not an option for me. Now for radio, the only radio I use would have to be my car radio and even for that I  rarely ever use it for local stations, let alone local new stations. As soon as I get inside my car, I turn on my blue tooth on my phone so I can ride along to my music alone without commercials. The third (third? I didn’t see a first or second?) thing on how people normally get their news is through the L local (capitalize only if you were naming a specific  station) new stations and rarely ever do I ever watch that. I normally watch TV shows on Netflix or watching movies while I work on homework. Knowing about the news just doesn’t interest me because it affects people’s emotions and I like feeling happy so I choose to ignore it.

My take on the article by Deresiewicz, (no comma)is that most people can’t go through the day without using any social media(. end sentence after media) Begin new sentence , seeing as  social  Social media plays a big role in today’s society. Technology makes it difficult for individuals to truly experience solitude., while begin a new sentence,Society makes it seem undesirable.  Deresiewicz it describes how technology made individuals forget about themselves and that (how) they just escape into their little screens to this virtual world where everyone expresses themselves with words or with a photo.  He believes that when people stop using social media individuals (you could substitute “individuals’ with ‘they” begin to experience anxiety because you’re (they’re) (plural pronoun to match ‘people) unsure about what is going on in the world and feeling like you’re they’re missing out. Deresiewicz stated in his article that some people can’t stand the idea of them eating alone in a restaurant while others don’t really mind.  We think more clearly and can focus on what is going on around us and with ourselves when the news and social media is less prominent in our lives. We can listen to ourselves truly without any distraction and make better choices rather than being influenced by social media. It is through this experiment that I truly see how bad social media can be, and I intend to be more aware of my usage from here on.

Your thesis statement needs revsion. Some of your writing style is more as if you are talking than writing, for instance, “Now for radio, ….” sentence, and a few other places .  Also be careful of overuse of the work ‘just’ in writing.  Overall, could use some revising on the concepts and more analyzing the readings.




(no thesis statement?)

Two days without contact to the news and the outside world is a harder endeavor than I originally imagined. I believed this assignment would not be that difficult, (comma not needed) given that I am not the most social media dependent person. However, I soon realized just how conditioned I am to check for weather updates, traffic reports and the news. I found myself constantly checking my phone and almost failing the experiment several times. This seems to be a subconscious habit that has developed over time due to my increased dependency on technology.

Every morning I get ready for work with the news on. I had become so accustomed to this routine that when I went two days without it,(comma not needed) that the silence unnerved me. The 24-hour news cycle both creates and destroys solitude. It creates solitude in that it allows people to take an introspective look at issues and events. With many(people) feeling that the news can be sensationalist or biased, they must not take things at face value, but think hard about what is being reported. On the other hand, the news destroys solitude. Our lives are spent around watching the news daily. The news and weather are at the center of small talk. Without the news, we would be completely uninformed about the events that are shaping our community.

In his article, “The End of Solitude”, William Deresiewicz discusses this current generation. He states we have “lost the ability to be still… lost the ability to be alone, their capacity for solitude.” During these 48 hours where I lacked connectivity, I struggled with this concept. Deresiewicz’ statement was accurate in my experience. Instead of staying at home, I created several social events to fill the void. Inviting several friends to go the theater to see “Black Panther” and spending a day touring a Homestead winery, I could receive the interaction that I was missing. It was hard to steer the conversation from current events and keep my eyes away from other’s Instagram and Facebook pages. Honestly, if the guidelines were to completely avoid the news and media for a full two days, then I failed. How could I avoid the news when they are a sea of televisions broadcasting CNN on my college campus and gym? The media is everywhere in the city and trying to dodge it seems fruitless.

I did experience solitude several times during this period. Being totally alone with your thoughts is like being on vacation. Disconnection from the outside world is both freeing and worrying. Solitude allows you to truly be yourself with no filters. However, there is also the sinking feeling that you are missing out on something by not involving yourself with others. Deresiewicz quotes Thoreau when he states that “men are generally still a little afraid of the dark.” I agree with this assertion. At night when you are in bed, all you have is silence, blackness and your thoughts, fear creeps in. When there is no one around to talk to, your mind goes to dark places. You think of the state of the world, the state of your life and all the stresses weighing upon you. Maybe people flock to social media to escape this feeling of loneliness that overwhelms us.

Well-written and nice connection to the concepts. Good observation of your thoughts and feelings. You could easily have a thesis statement if you moved your first paragraph down further and put your second paragraph first.  I am giving you credit for having a thesis but please be mindful of where your thesis belongs in your essays in the future. Otherwise, good job!


-Eric Bello, Team 11

48 Hours News Blackout

If there’s one thing that all soldiers will remember from training, it’s to never forget your battle buddy. This concept has been ingrained into our minds from an early age: school child going to the bathroom? Take a buddy. Working on a class project? Pair up. Sending out invitations? Remember to add a plus one option. While some of these are obvious safety reasons & basic hospitality; (use comma, not semi-colon here) (please read the proper use of semi-colons and when to use commas) the advancement of digital technology has taken the meaning of grouping up to new extremes.

Instant messaging & social media has brought on the ability for an individual in one group to communicate with another group. While the individual is seemingly alone, they are not in true solidarity. (solidarity has a different definition – please look it up. I think you mean ‘solitude’) To be in solitude however, is to be “off the grid” which is an alien concept to the digitally connected society. William Deresiewicz’s “The End of Solitude” links outdoors activities like fishing in Walden Pond to the solitude that the digital society lacks. The references to Henry David Thoreau really struck home for me as an avid outdoorsman.

In fact, the assignment couldn’t have come at a better time as the next day I went on a three day canoe trip on Peace River. For 72 hours, I didn’t even have service, a situation I often encounter on my adventures throughout the country. Finding partners in South Florida for these trips has proven to be difficult because of inexperience,(‘…many are inexperienced and feel unprepared’ perhaps?)but that stems from a lack of motivation to take initiative to learn from trying.

I travelled (traveled) solo on my first rock climbing road trip in 2012 with only my dog for physical companionship. In the beginning I found that I stayed within service (in order to) to meet with climbing partners & coordinate with friends back in Miami. After losing battery on my cell phone a few times, it became inconvenient to hike back to the car for the sole purpose of re-charging. I began putting my cell phone on airplane mode to save the battery for emergency situations, in which it’s crucial to start with a full charge as the battery drains faster when searching for service.

The act of going on airplane mode to conserve battery has become a subconscious effort for me to tune into the present moment. A problem that many people seem to have as much of society walks around with eyes on the digital screen in their hand or ears connected to a streaming device. The inability to tune into the present moment is a direct correlation to the inability to find solitude.

Essay does not really address or analyze the reading very much.  The canoe trip, rocking climbing trip and conserving battery usage for your cell don’t particularly relate to the readings.  I also didn’t see a thesis statement. Perhaps you could re-read the assignment.