I have got a few secrets – Daniel Velasquez

Please be sure to properly categorise your blog post by group (A or B) and team so we can find your assignment.

Lucas 8:17 says “For nothing is hid, that shall not be made manifest; nor anything secret, that shall not be known and come to light” (King James Bible version) and it This is relevant because it is true. It is also relevant because the world is full of lies, full of  and secrets, that eventually will come to light if they have not already. Everyone has kept or keeps a secret from someone. The reasons why this happens may vary, in my case for example, it was because a friend of mine needed protection. Secrets are important because humans cannot know everything about everyone, gives you and the other person a bond that is not meant to be broken and because sometimes to keep a secret is the only way out.

When a person has no secrets, he or she is automatically in disadvantage from the rest of the world because people can use what they know against this person that has no secrets (interesting perspective, if not somewhat abstract). Not all humans have good intentions and if someone that is trying to hurt you, it is easier for them to know how to get to you. Keeping a secret can keep you out of trouble, like a friend of mine, who his secret was discovered and now he has 50 years of jail time (WOW). What secret can help you to avoid so many years locked up? If you are thinking murder, you are thinking right. This story contains more than one secret.

Unfortunately, I was aware of everything that was happening. There was this girl, she was married, she had a child. I knew her, her husband and my friend, which were all the parts involved. Before the story starts she already has one secret which she confesses to my dad, she is only getting married to leave her house, she does not really love him, my father kept her secret. Long story short, the girl had and has some mental issues, she and her husband were fighting constantly, and eventually they got separated (not divorced). By coincidence I met her husband at the beach one day and he confessed to me that she suffered from bipolar disorder and that he could not handle that. Times goes by, they get back together for some time. After a few months she gives birth to a girl. They start having issues again and she starts dating my friend. My friend goes around saying that the child was his daughter and him and the girl are officially together. Months go by and one night this girl’s husband is murdered at his house. A few weeks later my friend tells us that he is leaving to Argentina because he had killed the guy. Well, they found him, the girl and got arrested, now serving their sentence in Honduran territory.

This secret was not hard to keep for me, even though I knew everyone and everything it had to be known, but I am that kind of friend you know. I did not want to see him rot in jail, my friend is not a bad person, he just got involved with the wrong girl. When he got sentenced it was heart breaking, but that is what you get when you make the wrong choices in life.

Interesting, but wrong choices in life don’t necessarily tie in with the assignment unless it has to do with secrecy and lies.

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End of Solitude by Daniel Velasquez

Deresiewicz hits the spot when he talks about how nowadays technology is being used by people to be known. It is also true that thanks to this technology it is very hard, if not impossible to “be alone” or in solitude like Deresiewicz says. According to the Census Bureau the Earth has a population of 7.4 billion people alive in the world, with those numbers it is hard to be known so every time people is doing more and more on their social media just to be known or recognized, even by a few (Sentence is a little awkward.). Solitude today is a very hard thing to find not only because people like to be known but also because there is so much information to our reach, and us humans are social animals, if we get bored and we can “socialize” virtually (assuming is the only option at the moment) then we will.

In my case it may be a little different, the end of solitude with so much technology is a real thing but it does not apply to all the humans that are alive right now. I make use of social media, I post on my social media (not regularly) but that does not mean I want to be a celebrity. I do not know if it is because of the life I have lived, or if I am just wired that way but sometimes I like to disconnect myself from everything, even my family, I want and need some alone time. I have lived in five or six different cities, I have been to two different universities, and I was in 4 different schools throughout my childhood. I could say I have met a lot of people which some of them I may never see again and I can keep in touch with them through Facebook from time to time, but that is not the only reason I like the internet. I mostly like it because whatever information I am looking for, I know where to go, it is easy, it is convenient, it is educational. Thanks to it I can find out what is happening, while is happening, anywhere in the world or minutes after it just happened and I find that fascinating.

A United Nations report in 2016 determined that only 47% of the world’s population made use of the internet by that time. According to this data we are a little far from ending solitude. Let’s also take into account that of these 47% not necessarily use the internet to be known, because not everyone can be known. From those also not all of them want to be known as bad as the one next to him. What also happens is that people get bored, we “do not have anything else to do”, and that in when we go to our social media and start “promoting” ourselves, but it is not always like that you know, while I may like to post pictures on my Instagram when I am bored, you may like to read a book in the park. There is a little bit of everything in the world.

 

What about the news blackout? Essay doesn’t follow the main part of the assignment.

Blackout Phillip Hall

No current events, no ESPN and no twitter for 48 hours was hard assignment to swallow but I found it rather simplistic. My life during a semester consists of trapping myself in my room watching Netflix while doing homework. When I’m not doing those things, I’m at work. The only time I have to learn about current events is when I get it from a friend or family member. But for two days I didn’t need to talk to anyone much. The ideal of solitude for 48 hours in my life is easy, but I know an extended time of darkness will eat away at anyone’s mind dying to know what is going on outside of themselves given the endless amount of ways we humans can access news. (run on sentence)

I’ am very self-centered person. I enjoy the alone time I get and only had a problem not being able to access ESPN knowing that I have a Fantasy Football team in desperate need of a win. I don’t see myself as an anti-social person but if a current event doesn’t affect the way I live, I won’t pay it much attention to it. News is an intrusion of our solitude and every once and a while we need this type of release. Free from any pain and joy any news article might cause. Sentence fragment We need to be able to disconnect ourselves to relax and not worry about things that trigger our actions or emotions such as a derogatory phrase from our president or simply what a sports anchor says about our favorite player. Feeling at peace and unstressed is much better form of going about life than knowing anything and everything that is going on in the world. People will stop trying to find ways that a decision made by hierarchy affects them and continue to go about the same routine they’ve been practicing for 20 years.

In the 48 hours I did try to create social atmospheres at work to help past time that didn’t involve news. Footlocker is a place where all we talk about is what new is coming out and what other people say about items in our store. To avoid talking about news I engaged in conversation with customers that involved their life where they came from to past the time. At home I was able to catch up on math and watch the Walking Dead Netflix to avoid commercials.

News should only be cared about when it affects you directly. As it affects yourself, your job, your daily routine, your actions will be changed and you may need make a decision to change. News influences change, which is why this world of technology evolves so fast. During this blackout I realized that every technological company wants to be on top of the competition. Watching advertisements and knowing what’s new and available creates stress and anxiety that changes citizens peacefulness into an eager behavior. Analysis is lacking. There is no reference to the Deresiewicz article, which would have made your arguments stronger and more insightful. Watch for run on sentences and sentence fragments.

Assignment 3: 48-hour news blackout

Overall, pretty good. Well written and thoughtful. A bit less narrative and more analysis would help.  Needed a stronger connection to Deresiewicz.

 

 

Brian Phillips

Over the past two days I have been without any form of news. I have to admit, there were many times when I picked up my phone, only to quickly realize the mistake I was making. It wasn’t just my phone either. I didn’t expect my parents to be such a hassle.

I’ve gone longer without news before. When I was a Boy Scout, my troop would go to summer camp for a week. The signal at each camp was never any good, as it wasn’t supposed to be. Those times were easier because I was younger and surrounded by friends. I didn’t need to look at the news for satisfaction or just to pass the time. Hurricanes would knock out power every year as well.

It’s difficult to believe that I was alive during a time when technology wasn’t as developed as it is now. I was younger and didn’t care what was going on everywhere else. I would have never given it a thought. But once it became easier to connect with people, it also became easier to hear about the news too.

Something I’m proud of myself for doing was making a list of things I wanted or had to do that didn’t involve updating information. I took advantage of a bad situation, there was still some damage from Hurricane Irma that needed to be repaired and cleaned up. In fact, I was able to do lots of spring cleaning in the fall. I got to do multiple rooms in my house. The first day was more or less full of productivity. But on the second day, after I was able to finish off everything on the to-do list, I became bored and anxious. Eventually, I gave in and decided to hang out with some friends.

Throughout this activity I was never in any true form of solitude. I always had some sort of social form around me. Whether it was music, friends, family, or even my cat, I was never alone. I’ll never be alone either. When needing comfort, my parents would tell me “We’ll always be right here”, as they would point towards my heart. As cheesy as that is, ever since I first understood that, I know that I’ll never experienced Deresiewicz version of solitude.

I’m confident that I don’t need the news to survive, but I would still prefer it. We need the news in order to keep up our evolution. Taking a 48-hour blackout is one thing, but living without it isn’t an option anymore. If I didn’t know what was going on around the world, including how my friends and family were doing, it would change my personality for the worse. I would become less social and gracious. I’m a friendly person so I’m glad to have company in the form of anything.

I’m happy with defining solitude for myself. I can be alone for the rest of my life and still know that those who I love are within me.

 

Solitude: 48-hour News Blackout

Excellent essay. Your analysis is sharp and engaging with several interesting observations. Quite well written. Good job!

 

In “The End of Solitude” Deresiewicz states, “ Technology is taking away our privacy and our concentration, but it is also taking away our ability to be alone,” and I could not agree more with his outlook. For 48 hours I did not submit myself to any form of media and having done so, I was able to truly understand Deresiewicz’s many points regarding solitude and the importance of news.

It was not until this essay was assigned to me that I realized how much I rely on technology to keep me from feeling alone. After the first three hours without social media or any type of news platform, I began to feel completely isolated from the world and what was going on. Picking up my phone to check social media almost comes as second nature to me and not being able to do this allowed me to experience true solitude. To compensate for the time I would’ve been on social media or watching the news, I read books and found myself doing a lot of thinking.

Deresiewicz believes that our fear is not in submersion by the mass but isolation from society. Not having an outlet to go to for news demonstrated the importance of news in my daily life and how without it, I feel isolated and oblivious. Having so many accessible outlets to turn to for our news can cause us to take it for granted. (Interesting observation) Often, many people do not search for news, rather it comes to them on social media or by switching the channel on their TV. Not being able to readily access any form of news for 48 hours caused me to yearn for it more than I would have expected.

Whether it be through our phones or TV, we are constantly looking to have an imaginative presence of others. (excellent phrase) I live alone and the two technologies that help me from experiencing solitude are my phone and TV. Social media allows me to communicate with my friends and makes me feel connected to people even if they are not physically with me. Sometimes leaving my TV as background noise also makes me feel less lonely when I’m alone.

Deresiewicz makes a strong connection between celebrity and connectivity as ways of being known and not having to experience our fear of anonymity. I would not consider myself obsessive over social media; however, after the first 24 hours of detaching myself from it, I began to wonder if anyone cared enough to notice that I had not made any posts. (Interesting concern) This made me reflect back to Deresiewicz’s belief in our contemporary self wanting to feel recognized and connected. It made me realize the extent to which social media allows me to feel visible and without it, I began to feel the effects of solitude. As unfortunate as it may be, for many of us visibility secures our self-esteem, just as Deresiewicz states.

I have come to the conclusion that news is, in fact, a necessary intrusion of our solitude. Although we may rely upon and overuse the outlets in which we obtain our news, it essential for us to know what is going on in the world. Without this intrusion, it is easy for us to become oblivious to the world around us and too focused on our own personal lives. We need news to intrude our lives in order to remain informed and form educated opinions.

Assignment #4: I’ve got a secret

Brian Phillips

M: 5:00-6:15 (?)

Learning from my mistakes helped me grow and understand the importance of keeping secrets.

There was a time in my life when I tried marijuana. It was a time when I was vulnerable to peer pressure and depression. My grandfather and uncle had recently passed away within the span of a few months. I loved both of them dearly and they were gone from my life. My uncle had cancer and my grandfather was elderly, so it wasn’t a surprise. I was ready for it their passing and to take care of those around me who needed it. It was an emotional time that taught me many lessons. I found myself appreciating who I was and what I had (you don’t need all this as it’s not relevant to the assignment. Remember that this is a short essay.). I began developing a growing desire to get more enjoyment out of life. That’s when I realized that I wasn’t laughing as much as I had before, which led to me trying weed.

This secret was a responsibility to keep for myself. This wasn’t a lie directed to anyone, but whoever asked if I’d ever had or will try it, I’d say no. I didn’t want this to affect what people thought of me, or hurt the ones that were close to me. I was worried that if my family found out, they’d be hurt that I turned to something else for comfort instead of them. (Good.)

I’m a Boy Scout, and each time we’d say our pledge and responsibilities before the meetings began, I’d think about how I was falling short of these characteristics that were supposed to describe me. When the doctors asked if I smoke cigarettes, I’d say no. When they’d ask if I’m sexually active, I’d say no. When they ask if I’ve smoked marijuana, I’d look away, then say no. But when they would ask if I had anything else I would like to ask or share, that’s when I’d struggle. I’d hesitate, say no, and leave the office worried. It was my health that concerned me. I had heard all the contrasting facts about drugs from documentaries, online videos, and friends. I argued with myself over telling the doctor that I’d had experienced marijuana and if there was anything I should know or be concerned about. They say never to lie to doctors, but it’s a different view point when you have a reason to. All good. Relates to information and misinformation, and how lies distort this.

Of course, I was paranoid at first, but started to relax as the weeks came and went. As time went by and I grew older, understanding more of the world around me, I discovered that my secret wasn’t as big of a deal as I had once thought. This secret was something that I wasn’t embarrassed of, nor did I have any regrets. Everyone has their own secrets, mine is no different. Keeping this secret wasn’t just a responsibility, it was a growing point. This was something that I was able to learn from without the help of others. The fact that I did something wrong, and I was fully responsible for it, was a form of proof that I was becoming an adult and it gave me a sense of achievement.

Quite good, covers all the major points. Make sure not to go over 500 words.

Lying Phillip Hall

Lying always feels like the right thing to do in every situation. Our lies are solely based on fear itself. We fear contradicting opinions and consequences that may follow the truth, but all lying does is dig a deeper grave for your own conscience.

When I was young I used to lie about receiving my progress report so my parents wouldn’t ask for my brothers. Mid-way through the nine weeks when my parents would ask to view my report I used to lie and say I never received it or my teacher wasn’t present at school that day. At that moment lying felt like the best thing to do knowing that in a week’s time my brother will be able to improve that one bad grade. In this situation lying is easy given that there is an endless amount of lies you can tell and only one truth that may lead to danger. With that being said there is also an endless amount of ways that your lie after lie eat away at your conscience. As time goes by and the truth remains a secret, different forms of consequences begin to run through your head. Thoughts of my parent’s capabilities of punishing their youth would make anyone question their loyalty to a sibling.

Fear itself also drives a person for being loyal about a promise. Once you lie, fear of a consequence keeps the lies going for as long as possible. Knowing that the consequence will be greater for the amount of time the lie proceeds, fear within yourself continues to rise extremely high. Doubt also plays a role in fear as the fear of getting punished for protecting a sibling grow stronger. Given that fear plays a big role in this particular situation empowerment between my brother and I was nonexistent. At this moment in the lie the brother is empowered with the feeling that he is being shielded with a never-ending shield. But in fact weakness perfectly describes my feeling every time I faced my parents and my brother. In the other persons eyes you want to them to feel that you will hold up, but inside you feel weak because you didn’t cause this lie to occur in the first place. Choosing to lie to protect the younger sibling always seems like the right thing to do and initially gives you a short burst of power forgetting about every consequence that can occur.

In this situation my brother maintained all the power throughout. With him knowing that I know the consequences he and I will both experience, he knows that only way he will get in trouble is him revealing the truth himself. But I will lie about the little things for someone I love as it drives me to think I can overcome a consequence or even fear itself knowing that I will not go down alone.

 

A good, simple example which uses all the concepts of the assignment. Great work.