Assignment #4: I’ve got a secret

Ivonne Gamboa

Thesis statement: Keeping secrets under confidentiality agreements often nurtures growth of lies to protects a person’s violation of solitude and identity.

My senior year of high school, my best friend Sebastian confided in me a secret about his sexual orientation. While Sebastian opened up to me, I felt how anxious and difficult this was for him to say after keeping that part of himself confidential for his entire life. Keeping his secret was not a burden to me, I never felt emotional stress or guilt to disclose with others because I felt like it wasn’t my secret to tell. Above all, I was protecting Sebastian. As explained by Professor Blevens, I protected Sebastian’s identity against ridicule and intrusion of personal space from fellow peers. Throughout high school, many students always speculated Sebastian was gay and me, being his best friend, I was always the main target for questions. After knowing Sebastian’s truth, I felt the obligation to protect him from student’s attempting to penetrate the secret by diverting the conversation and lying by declining “rumors.” Lying did not make me feel guilty because I had a “prima facie duty” to uphold and Sebastian’s trust was more important than other’s longing for knowing.

Before watching Bleven’s lecture, I never realized the empowerment both parties feel when revealing a secret. I felt empowerment because I was the only person to know this huge secret about someone who would remember this moment for the rest of their lives. I also felt empowerment because, besides Sebastian himself, I was in control over the flow of information, which I would never expose unless told to do so. My responsibility protected his four human elements: his identity, his plans to come out when he decided it was right, his action on how to do it and lastly his property, which in turn is his autonomy or reputation. Sebastian felt empowerment because he felt a weight lifted off his shoulders and comfortable in his own skin with his closest friend. This experience made our relationship stronger because in exchange I opened up to him about my own secrets, which held him responsible for the secrecy of my confessions and we created a closer bond because of it.

After two years, Sebastian was finally able to come out his sophomore year of college to his family during a holiday gathering and his friends through social media. Many people started to ask me if I knew and remembered how I dismissed or at times lied on behalf of him. It didn’t make me feel any different about keeping the secret because it allowed Sebastian to find his true identity and expose himself when he was comfortable enough to do so. There was times where I felt an urge to say something in the moment to free him of constant badgering but I always felt an obligation to remain loyal and put his emotions and trust above all else. In the end, we see the links between secrecy that protects lies and secrecy that nurtures growth of lies. It’s very difficult to keep a confidentiality agreement without the use of either when protecting from outsiders attempting to penetrate insider information. Very well done. A great example and application of concepts from class. Glad you were able to support your friend the way he needed you to at the time and glad he was able to feel comfortable later, too.


Secrecy Assignment Hailey Brun Team 17

All of us at one point of our lives have been put into a situation where we must lie to protect a secret or someone with a secret. This information that we know and cannot tell another person can make us break our morals. I have experienced this a couple times in my life and it has shown me how secrecy and lying interrelate.

I remember the day like it was yesterday, I had just come home from school when I read a distant whimper from upstairs. I walked upstairs to find my sister crying on her bedroom floor. About an hour later I had learned that she had gotten three detention slips for the next three weeks and that our mother had to sign them. She was scared and so I told her I would sign the slips and not tell my mother of the incident. In that moment lying and secrecy are intertwined. I had told my mother that she was staying after school to complete tutoring so she wouldn’t be suspicious of her coming late.

This experience did empower me a lot because I had power over my sister with this secret that I promised to keep. I couldn’t tell my mom, or my sister would get in trouble. As an analyzed this situation from the past I can know see that this lie made anything I said less credible. This is because the information from the source already has a rep for lying could very well just lie again. For example, I thought I a lot about if my mom found out, I would be less credible to her because I had already lied first. This made me think a lot about lies, and that maybe helping my sister wasn’t worth the after effects.

To complicate the matter further, my sister told my other younger sister about the situation as well. However, my other sister used it to her advantage and wanted to breach confidentiality. She wanted to expose the secret for her own gain. This made me feel like I had to stop her from saying anything to my mom for my own benefit. I had to lie again in order for other sister not to tell the secret. I felt like one lie turned into another and I needed to tell more lies in order for no one to find out that I covered for my sister.

Looking back at the experience, I can clearly understand how lies and secrecy in interrelate. That just one lie or one more secret can make someone dig a deeper hole for themselves. In the end, my mother did find out about what happened and it did make me less credible. This has taught me how strong the power of information can be and how information had hold someone to their fate. Overall, lies and secrecy are seen a lot today in people with the  most high and powerful positions in the world. Very good job. You were able to analyze the layers and unfold them in an organized essay.

I’ve got a Secret by, Katelin Murphy

Katelin Murphy

IDS 3309

Professor Blevens/Pearson

Group 17


Thesis: There have been many situations in my life that have prompted me to keep a secret, one of them being a secret that I kept  for a friend in high school, as she had a boyfriend and wasn’t allowed to at the time.

There are many situations that cause people to keep secrets, whether it be for a friend or for themselves. I will tell you a little bit about one secret that I kept for a friend and how it played out, Sophomore year of high school, I had a good friend and she happened to have very strict parents. At the time, her parents had made her promise that she would’t date until she turned 18, and so when she fell for a guy sophomore year she decided not to tell her parents. She told me about him and I agreed that she should keep this a secret from them as to not cause any problems with her parents.

A month had passed and my friend decided that she wanted to go out on a date with this boy, so she asked me to tell her parents that she was hanging out with me for the night. She was a good friend, and so I agreed to lie to her parents so she could go on a date with her boyfriend. I had no problem with covering for her, and I actually think that this secret strengthened our relationship. We trusted each other more and it created a closer bond between us that we didn’t have before. This experience empowered us both as she could do something she wouldn’t have been able to do if she didn’t have me to cover for her. It also empowered me because it made our friendship even stronger, and that made me feel good. My friend’s parents never caught on or became suspicious, so we dodged a big bullet because if they did become suspicious we may have been caught in our lie. I was relieved we didn’t have to go through any of that and her parents never found out about my friend dating a boy. Interesting perspective and good take-away.

From this experience I can see how secrets and lies go hand in hand. It is hard to keep a secret without telling a lie here and there. Two individuals can decide to keep a secret but there will come a time when somebody will ask something and telling the truth would mean giving up the secret. This is when you have to decide what is more important to you, in my case I decided that keeping the secret for my friend was more important to me than telling the truth to her parents. I also felt as if it was not my secret to tell, and so I had to lie sometimes in order to keep the secret for my friend. She shared confidential information with me and a good friend would keep that information confidential, unless that information could hurt somebody. It is up to individual discretion whether or not a secret should be kept and to whom the secret may be told. Good job on telling the story and utilizing concepts from class.

I Got A Secret IDS 3309 Team 17 Richard R. Thomas

Thomas, Richard
Dr. Blevens, Professor Pearson
IDS 3309
22 February 2018

I’ve Got A Secret

Thesis Statement: In the case of my friend’s secrecy, there is an apparent interconnection between secrecy, lies, and confidentiality due to its seriousness and evident breach against morality and ethics.

While I was in high school, I had a close friend who had told me one day one of his darkest secrets: he had been touched in a provocative manner by his cousin when he was two years old. I was obviously shocked and felt really bad for my friend when he told me this. I thought, how could a family member do such a terrible thing to a two-year-old? How could one be so cynical? However, this case of a secret relates to several of the concepts presented in class in regards to how secrecy, privacy, lying, and confidentiality are intertwined.

Firstly, this secret I had been told shows how privacy “protects us against scorn and ridicule”. Secrets, in many cases, can be embarrassing enough for people to insult and/or laugh at us. Thus, this is one of the primary reasons he had told me his secret because he knew I would not ridicule him. Sadly, these days we live in a very judgmental society full of media and technology where people are looking for juicy details of others. So, we must be careful with who we tell our secrets to not ridicule ourselves nor to be ridiculed by others.

The concept of privacy “protecting us against scorn and ridicule” is also connected to privacy “helping us control our own reputations”. With not wanting to be insulted or bashed, we want others to think good things about us as well. One of the primary motives for which he had not told his family was because he did not want to tarnish his cousin’s reputation. In this case with my friend, he knew I would not change my reputation of him nor would I ridicule him. Most importantly, my friend knew he could confide in me with something dark from his past. His ability to confide in me demonstrated his “loyalty” to me as a friend and trustworthiness.

Moreover, analyzing this case of secrecy more in depth, one could point out that “secrecy is intentional confinement that overlaps with privacy.” Looking back now, my friend kept this secret on purpose: not to embarrass himself, cause drama in his family, and ruin his reputation. Yet, he was so worried about others not finding out that he was to be as private about it as possible even if it meant still remembering and feeling that pain from the past. Therefore, with secrecy comes privacy despite the consequences we try to prevent from them.

Furthermore, the point of secrecy and going hand-in-hand coincides with the idea that “every lie needs justification; secrets, however do not.” We can avoid consequences of bad outcomes with lies, such as telling a little white lie, which always have an excuse, for example. On the contrary, in the case of my friend, it is morally acceptable for him to have not had a reason to tell his secret to people. In conclusion, secrets are usually much more profound and serious than lies. Secrets are true, lies are not. Very good analysis using concepts from the lecture and relating them to a secret. This is a serious subject, and I hope your friend eventually let someone else know.

I have not mentioned the name of my friend in order to keep his identity safe.
The quotes in this assignment come from Dr. Bleven’s slide presentation/lecture on secrets, lies, and confidentiality.


Secrecy, lies and confidentiality

       Thesis Statement

Confidentiality, lies, secrecy go all hand in hand. But can we really trust one self or others to keep our secret or a secret?

          In life and in the history of the world, secrecy, lies and confidentiality have always existed in one way or the other. Sometimes for some people it’s very difficult to keep a secret even if they tell you they won’t tell anyone. It’s important to have the capacity to keep an important secret for the person who is telling you. A way to prevent your secret from getting out, it is key that you know who you are saying it to and you should always ask yourself if that person is reliable and confidential enough to keep the secret. Sometimes one person or one company may have many secrets which is never a good thing because like it says in the New Yorker article “When too many secrets are kept, it becomes difficult to know which ones are important.”

         Speaking about secrets and confidentiality, I’ve had to keep sensitive and confidential information for some of my friends and family members. One of the biggest and craziest secrets that I ever kept, was from one of my good friends back in college. Nonu and I had been friends since middle school and we have been through each others ups and downs through the years. At the time she revealed her secret, we were both sophomores making our way up to complete our associates degree’s. Nonu use to have a boyfriend which she’d been dating for three years and they were in love with each other. Nonu and Jonathan were both dedicated young adults striving to have the best future possible, studying medicine to become ophthalmologists.

         On October of 2014 she was acting weirdly in our usual study dates in her apartment. I asked her if she was ok, that I knew something was not right. She told me right away, to quote her exact words she told me crying and sobering “I am 4 weeks pregnant.” I remember how my heart dropped because I knew how disappointed she was in herself for getting pregnant at age 19. Nonu asked me to keep her secret until she was ready and I did. Surprisingly we kept the secret for more than 3 months until the moment her belly started showing. I had to lie to everyone that we knew, even to parents because I use to go to doctor consultations with her to check that the baby was ok and I would tell my parents I was somewhere else. 

         Nonu’s pregnancy secret empowered us and it made me realize that even though it was right for her family to know she was expecting a child, it was not my place or decision to penetrate her secret. As her friend, I understood how important it was for her to hide that she was having a child. I remember feeling honored because out of all the people that she knew, she had chosen me to keep her precious secret and be confidentiality partner. The secret made us stronger because we knew we could trust each other no matter what. Some structural issues, but a good example of a kept secret.

I’ve Got a Secret

Secrecy, lying and confidentiality are three key words that seem to interweave easily as one. Many people may have a secret or various secrets. Others may share their secrets with friends or relatives who they trust. These people may keep these secrets confidential. Others may cover their secrets with lies. Whichever the circumstances are, people usually guard their secrets to protect their privacy.

I could have a secret or even several secrets. My privacy is a highly valued asset to me, an extension of my property. I keep my life in secrecy as much as I can. The reason I have kept my life private is to protect my daughter and myself. I have chosen what to share to the world and what to not. As it is mentioned in the lecture by Dr. Blevens: “Privacy promotes autonomy.” Such is the case with social media, on my Facebook account, I do not go by my real full name. Most of my posts are private, I choose who can tag me and it is only me who can see what others write on my wall. Unfortunately, this privacy is undermined every time social media apps create more shortcuts to make individuals more visible or accessible to others as someone adds the phone number or email to their engine search. And it has gotten to the point that I feel my secrecy could be compromised.

I have certain secrets that I have never shared with anyone. One in particular, would have destroyed my mother’s friendship with one of her best friends by my mom would have been hurt very badly; and besides that, I was a little girl and I did not understand how serious the occurrences were. I have also been a fierceful guardian of my friend’s secrets. I have never been exposed to serious questioning so I cannot recall the need of lying to protect their confidentiality. There has been no need from my friends to tell me some things were confidential, but I have treated their revelations as if they were mine. Without knowing, I have practiced the pledge of “Prima facie duty,” cited by Blevens, a moral ethical principle that cannot be broken with no exceptions. Our friendship is so intimate that I would never put my friend in a false light. I am not afraid of being ridiculed by others when it comes to protect my privacy or others’.

In the lecture Dr. Blevens says that “Secrecy speaks to power.” Honestly, I have sensed that power as I control the information I share on social media or with real people on daily basis. I have unintentionally become very secretive. I have planned trips, goals, moves, and bought a vehicle without sharing my ideas with anyone. People have a thirst of making most of their lives public and I do not feel comfortable with that. I enjoy the fact that not everything needs to be said or shown to the world. Secrecy has given me a sense of security and privacy that connects me with old times that have almost been forgotten by many and never lived by so many more. You did not elaborate much on the particular secret you referenced: answering assignment questions and applying characteristics in class to your secret.

48-hour news blackout Hailey Brun team 17

After participating in a 48-hour news blackout, I have concluded that Deresiewicz’s article “The End of Solitude” makes perfect sense in describing today’s culture. While completing this assignment, I have never been more anxious in not knowing what was going on around me but I was ultimately bored. The newer generation grew up with many fancy gadgets that keep us occupied at all times. The articles use examples of teenagers sending over 100 text messages a day and have many social platforms to keep them busy. Deresiewicz’s states in the article how when we are terrified of being alone we turn on the television to end that solitude. I wanted more than ever to turn on the television or look at my phone to see what was happening. The thought of not being connected, not only scared me but helped me to realize how conditioned I was to turn to technology to fill the hole of loneliness.

Deresiewicz talks in his article about how there is no more solitude in today’s culture. We gained the ability to have over 500 Facebook friends and therefore feel less of a need to create true friendships. Humans by nature, crave social interaction, and although social platforms can temporarily ease this, person-to-person communication is essential. This all leads to how we need to feel validated by other people to feel important.  This argument is extremely relatable on a personal level because when I get a lot of likes on my social media pictures or have multiple texts messages from different people I feel a sense of happiness. Our generation is never in solitude with today’s technology. very good work applying reading to your experience

Towards the end of the 48-hours, besides counting down the hours that I could jump on Twitter or watch the local news, I somewhat got used to the idea of not having it around. I realized that we take the news for granted, because it so accessible to us. The news is a very important way to get information and relieve the feeling of solitude. If we didn’t have the news, we would feel disconnected and disinterested. This all leads up to the question, Is news a necessary intrusion of our solitude? The answer is yes, because it lets us know what is happening. We have the right to be informed about major events that happen all around the world. The fact that these events may impact us makes it even more necessary. However, the news can create solitude by making people think for themselves. For example, an event such as an election can allow people to create their own viewpoints on certain topics. Just as Deresiewicz states in the article that many ideas are created during solitude. This is a time where we can think for ourselves and not be influenced by other sources. Over all, this assignment as much as I hated it in the beginning, has showed me that in a world full of chaos, solitude is very important to have every once in a while. very good