Secrets, Lies and Confidentiality

Secrets, lies, and confidentiality are a triangle in which each one relies on the two others.

A secret, according to is something “kept from the knowledge of any but the initiated or privileged.” I was trusted by my brother to keep a secret; he and his girlfriend were having twin babies. My brothers, their girlfriends, my sister, my girlfriend, and I were the only ones who knew this secret. My brother wanted to surprise the family. He also wanted to avoid any negative judgement or comments from family members.

What about lies? Lies are different. Lies are purposefully saying something that is not true in order to be deceptive. Was my brother’s secret also a lie? My brother and his girlfriend later lied to family members who were aware she was pregnant and asking what the sex of the child is. When they said it was a boy, instead of saying two boys or boy and a girl. They didn’t know for sure both sexes at the time, but they did know there were two babies, not one. The lie was not meant to harm and did not harm but it protected the secret.

Lies don’t usually happen in the triangle. Lies are only necessary when a member of the secret or confidentiality agreement is questioned by an outside source. Unquestioned, there is no reason or purpose in lying unless a lie is created to throw the public off of investigating a potential truth. This is probably something large organizations such as governments would do.

Confidentiality, according to is “marked by intimacy or willingness to confide; private, secret.” Confidentiality is a secret. Confidentiality is not a lie though. It is an agreement between two parties not to disclose private information. Confidentially simply means don’t say anything. Therefore, it is neither a truth nor a lie. Did anyone breach confidentiality in this agreement? No, we did not. What needed to remain confidential, did so.

Having dinner with my aunt one night, I almost broke confidentiality and let the secret out. When she asked, “How is your brother in Chicago doing?” I replied, “Great he’s having twi-trouble at work though.” My girlfriend gave me a glare. Luckily, my aunt didn’t notice or suspect anything that would result in my having to lie about the matter.

The knowledge of the secret was empowering. It was like being a kid on the playground saying, “I know something you don’t know.” We are all naturally curious beings and knowledge is power. Knowing something someone else does not, gives you power over them. That’s why governments do it.This is why governments keep secrets. In the case of Edward Snowden, the secret of the NSA was so big that he just had to tell everyone. The government had a lot of power over the people with the NSA spying and watching everyone’s every move. Imagine running a business, you know all the trade secrets of all your competitors and they know little about you. Such an extreme advantage would give someone great power. Good writing and very thoughtful analysis.





Off the Grid

Forty-eight hours without news. No reviews, no sports, no talking with others about news. I went completely off the grid– I shut my phone off. We are so connected that if my phone had been on, I would still be receiving notifications from news sources and social media.  I kept wondering what was going on in the world. What if the apocalypse was happening? Would I even have known? I fought the urge to check. I played a video game. I drank some tea. I meditated. Upon meditation, I realized the value of solitude. The purpose is to clear your mind. According to the article, “The End of Solitude,” William Deresiewicz wrote, “Man may be a social animal, but solitude has traditionally been a societal value.”  Some people take for granted the value of solitude. Other people substitute it for efficiency. Is solitude more valuable than efficiency?

Millennials have a fear of missing out, or FOMO. According to this article in Time Magazine by Eric Barker, How to Overcome FOMO. In the article, Barker defines and describes ways to overcome FOMO and how social media has increased it. One statement stood out; Barker wrote, “FOMO often originates in unhappiness.” It makes sense because people who feel the need to be recognized and the need to be accepted by or to please others are generally unhappy; the person who worries about others so much that he forgets about himself.

I experienced FOMO a little at first; afterwards, I stopped caring about what was going on in the world. The effect was that my stress level immediately went down. I was then able to look introspectively at my own life. I examined my positive attributes weighed against my flaws. I recognized myself for who I am and not what others believe me to be. In doing this, I effectively utilized solitude the way Deresiewicz had described why it’s valuable. Deresiewicz stated people want to kill boredom. Boredom is what fosters creativity. Are you sure it’s boredom that fosters creativity?  Why would anyone want people to kill creativity? To blind the masses to real issues that need to be addressed? Connecting instantaneously has its perks though; it’s efficient. I can send an e-mail to my employees letting them know what needs to be done today, even when I’m home sick or out of town.

The reasons why people connect is what needs to change. Trolls online purposely cause chaos because of his or her need for excitement. People go on social media and read their friends posts so they feel like they know what’s going on with someone who didn’t care enough to invite them. Social Media has really changed connectivity. Now you can see where someone lives, where they work, who their friends are, even what they are doing or where they are; it’s a stalkers paradise. Social media gives the illusion that someone is not alone; it blocks the positive effects of solitude, leaving behind loneliness and disassociation. We have effectively become a product manufactured by social media. Overall excellent writing. There is a grasp of the concepts and good analysis.

Carlos Rivero 5964829

Regarding what the author Deresiewicz says about our culture of celebrity and connectivity, I do see myself in this argument. I am the type of person who is heavily involved with social media and connections with the world. I do believe it takes willingness to “be unpopular”. I am the type of person who updates their social media occasionally, as to remain relevant and active to everyone else. This level of connectivity keeps me informed and entertained every hour of the day. Good.

As I disconnected myself from any media which could possibly contain news, I did not experience much difference. I am typically not one to follow the news so often unless it is required of me for a class or an assignment. Hence, disconnecting myself from news media was not a big deal for me. I simply filled in the small gaps with other things I usually to do as my day goes such as homework, or meetings with various clubs and people. The solitude I experienced was of relief. It felt good to not have to worry about the external events going on around the world and focus more on my own thoughts and the day to day things in my life. However, it was complicated to ignore the news. In my chats with friends, my app notifications and even from other people’s conversations, the news was prominent. We have grown so accustomed to being surrounded by the news that we sometimes take its presence for granted. Additionally, the news does help us think to ourselves and benefit us when it comes to developing decisions. It gives us power so that we can think for ourselves, thus contributing to our solitude. Solitude gives us the power to get to know more about ourselves; for our sense of individualism to strengthen. Very good.

Furthermore, after I disconnected myself for 48 hours from the news, I also felt lost. Although I was more focused on myself and my tasks at hand, I was not so sure of the problems going around the world that may also affect the moods of the people around me.  As good as solitude feels sometimes, it can be selfish to indulge in it too much. The popular (virtually clichéd, but good connection) quote “ignorance is bliss” becomes evident in this scenario. The enjoyment of not knowing something does not really last long in this modern era of immediate communication. For the most part, the more we know the more we want to know, and so on. If I were to be given the opportunity to stay on a safe exclusive island on a weekend with no technology that would allow me to access any news, I would take the chance. I do believe that we need news to go about our lives and the way we handle and make decisions, but in this example solitude would occupy any need of knowing about our world. Knowing myself I would not experience anxiety nor any worries. I would genuinely savor every moment of free thought that is not being influenced by extraneous sources. “I think therefore I am” would be turned into “I don’t think, therefore I still am”.

Excellent report.


William Deresiewicz writes about the “end of solitude” where he explains that nobody in today’s society is truly alone, and I agree. For 48 hours this week I was immersed in a world without news and without social media, and it was amazing (might want a slightly better and more objective word choice). During these 48 hours without news and social media I realized what it means to be disconnected from everywhere else in the world. Usually I would know what was happening in a country thousands of miles away from me thanks to a morning news show, without this morning routine I was alone. I was disconnected from the rest of the world, but was able to be a more active person in my own society. I replaced my morning routine with a text to my friends about what they wanted to do later on in the day and when we should meet up; replacing my mundane routine with a plan to enjoy myself later on. Good summary, but you should have tied your situation in more with the Deresiewicz reading in this paragraph.

Not only was I missing out on my dose of morning news, but also on social media postings by my friends and family that I follow on Instagram and Snapchat becoming my own person. I was my own person in the sense that I did not care as much about the way I acted or the things I said, I knew that they would not have a lasting effect forever (I understand your point, but the sentence should have been re-worded to be a little clearer.). In this sense I experienced a type of freedom.(full stop) I was free from the hundreds of prying eyes on social media, free of the judgement that others give from the other side of their screen (Good, but this doesn’t have as much to do with news.). In a way I also became a more social being, I went and experienced what people posted about with them. For those 48 hours I took the media out of social media reaching out to friends with a text and attending social events instead of just scrolling through my Instagram feed wishing I was a more exciting person.

In addition to being more social, I was also more alone, I experienced solitude the way that Deresiewicz describes it. I sat alone in the dark in bed contemplating life, asking myself existential questions and trying to answer them sometimes finding answers where there were none (Again, this is good, but it needs to pertain to the news blackout.). In those moments it became clearer and clearer to me who I really was and what I truly enjoy in life; being with people and being alone. It sounds confusing, but what I mean is that I enjoy going out and being with my friends and family, as well as attending social events, but I still enjoy my alone time and I need a bit of solitude at the end of the day.

At the end of this assignment I have come to the conclusion that the news (there was hardly any mention of news in the essay) and social media are not a necessary intrusion of our solitude. Instead, news and social media brainwash us and take away our solitude, they train us all to think a certain way and not for ourselves(On the right track, but how exactly? Elaborate.). It is not a coincidence that many of the people who ask the deeper questions in class or find the deeper meaning in things were not allowed television or social media as children. They truly think for themselves with no outside influence. Everyone should go through this experience and find out what solitude truly is and what it feels like.


Essay could have elaborated more on ‘our culture of celebrity and connectivity’ in the context of Dersiewicz, and why and how news is important. Otherwise, good work.

48-hour news blackout – Janina Williams

Overall, pretty good. Solid analysis, good integration of Deresiewicz. Sentences need work. Some are fragments, some run-on. Consider reading aloud to check for flow. 


Janina Williams

IDS 3309



The thought of being alone can make an average person feel on edge. Especially in an age of social media, interactive video games, messenger apps, and so forth. We are always plugged in.  The concept of solitude in our digital information society isn’t impossible. You can choose how much to filter in. The idea of disconnecting yourself from all form of media for a 48-hour duration causes an increased sense of solitude, from the withdrawals of daily routine habit’s being temporally halted.

Deresiewicz said, “Celebrity and connectivity are both ways of becoming known.” People want to be seen. They want to share their stories and experiences with others:  For instance, snap chat, Facebook and Instagram. Platforms used to be seen. (Not sure what you mean here) We are constantly updating pictures and mini video documentaries of our lives. Everyone sees where you vacation, eat and live. And what you’re doing at almost every hour of the day. When you’re constantly consumed about being seen. (Sentence fragment. Connect with next sentence) What time do you have to yourself? There is no time to self-reflect. Excessive use of anything can be strenuous. Having balance would be a good starting point. if we use them in moderation and just sign off for a couple hours we can achieve solitude.

Disconnecting wasn’t easy. You don’t think about it when you go reach for your phone and casually press the screen to open an app or got to a website. It’s almost second nature, it’s just the normal way of carrying on your life. It’s the few minutes you get to get away and immerse yourself. Seeing, what is the world up to? Just from observing a typical day in one’s life you can see how much relying on technology coerces our path. From looking at a weather app, to see if I may need an umbrella today. To mapping out the easiest route home. To checking on yelp for the best lunch spots in my area. In every aspect of life there seems to be an APP to assist. Even though it is affecting my daily choices, I did find most of the information useful to my daily task.

News is an important avenue of information. It is a necessary intrusion on our solitude. It is important to know current events in politics, local and informs us on things we need to know about. Our country, citizens and leaders.  News is providing proof. It is informing us on topics and giving us knowledge. Letting the public know what is going on. News does not create more solitude. If anything, it’s bringing to light a world of information. Making us feel more a part of a community. For example, when catastrophes happen people have a common denominator they are all citizens of that area or nation being affected. They band together by helping their community.

Technology has come a long way. Some of these websites and programs that we are plugged into are an asset. The wave of new media has made life easier. People are more well informed, but we are also more consumed by technology. Nether to say it is bad nor good. Just examine how it is changing daily life and if it has a positive or negative effect. Every generation has a new form of media, it is forever changing, and while it changes so will we.

Have We Reached The End Of Solitude?

In one of the first paragraphs of “The End of Solitude”, William Deresiewicz writes, “technology is taking away our privacy and concentration, but it is also taking away are ability to be alone.” As I read deeply into his article, I found inspiration to take this assignment seriously and isolate myself from the news for 48-hours. (we know that this is supposed to be done. Please keep the writing concise).  This week was a hard time to stay away from the media. I began my isolation on Tuesday and I was leaving out of town to northern Florida on Friday. Least to say, I didn’t even know there was a hurricane going toward  coming to where I was destination.

At work on Wednesday, the women in the office started talking about a storm passing through the panhandle later in the week leaving myself confused. I had stayed away from watching any news or reading the automatic updates from my smartphone. Even when I over heard the ladies speaking about the hurricane I refused to look it up and wait until the 48 hours were over. This was extremely hard, especially since I wanted to know if my weekend trip would be worth it. I found myself anxious with an itch to check every social media platform.

I even took this assignment a bit further and tried my hardest to lower the amount of times I checked my social media such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter. The idea came to me when I read about the teenager who is never alone for more than 10 minutes at once because of technology and text messages in Deresiewicz article. Sometimes I didn’t even notice myself on social media because it is such a happen to do when I am bored at work or waiting for someone on campus.

While keeping away from the news, I found myself lost and unsure of what was happening in the outside world. I also felt this feeling when Hurricane Irma came through and cause the power outage (Doing this during Irma was bad luck. Be sure to keep personal safety in mind). After the power came back, my cable would not work due to Comcast having issues with their connection. This really caused me to be isolated to the outside world. I could not watch any news for about a week. I then went to my family members house and connected to their Wi-Fi and the first thing I did was search up the news on WSVN. I had read so much about the aftermath of the hurricane that I had no idea occurred.

News is extremely important and much of the time we speak or read about it unknowingly. It gives you a sense of security because you are aware of what is going on in your neighborhood, city, state, country and world at a moments notice. I tend to read the news when I am alone or bored, thinking that it is facilitating the boredom, but it is actually decreasing my ability to be in complete solitude.

Good, but essay could have used a little more analysis on how the effects of the media blackout pertained to Deresiewicz.

Individual Assignment 3: 48-hour news blackout Ashley Exposito

Through this assignment I was able to better understand what Deresiewicz means to be in complete solitude. We are never truly alone. Through technology we are in constant connection with one another. This type of constant communication, although it is useful, it hinders us from creating our own identities. We are constantly viewing images of other people’s lives and comparing them to our own. We also have a tendency to take on the opinions and ideas of others instead of coming up with our own.Good.

These 48 hours of solitude really made me aware of my dependency on technology, especially my cellphone. The first few hours of disconnect weren’t too difficult I kept myself busy with outdoor activities like running. After a couple of hours is when I started to feel a bit anxious. All I could think of is how badly I wanted to look at all of the social media platforms I use. I found myself longing to check my Instagram feed as if keeping up with other people’s lives gave me satisfaction in my own life. This lack of being able to communicate or know what my friends were doing did give me a bit of anxiety. This lack of communication made me wonder about how it was possible for people to communicate with one another before this type of technology was developed. Interesting, although the blackout specifically pertains to news. Instagram probably would have been fine as long as you didn’t look at any current event, sports, or news pages.

As Deresiewicz explains my generation is constantly seeking the opposite of solitude. We crave attention and interaction. We are ultimately afraid of solitude. This 48 hour disconnect from all things technological made me realize that I, like many others in my generation, fear solitude(full stop). and I especially fear not knowing. Through these two days I found myself picking up the remote and getting so close to turning a news channel on because I was dying to know what was happening in our world especially during this tumultuous time in our country. So much can happen in two days and it was hard for me to avoid picking up my phone and reading The New York Times.

What I decided to do during this time of disconnect is organize. I began with my closet and finished my day of organizing with my agenda as I fixed all of the dates and times Hurricane Irma uprooted just like the trees in my backyard. (As they say, a clean house is the sign of a broken computer.) Even though I did try to keep myself busy I continued to gravitate towards my phone. I picked it up and put it down at least 20 times that day. As the 48 hours came to an end I immediately reached for my phone. As I saw the list of notifications pile up I realized how relieved I was to be able to communicate with my friends and know what was going on in the world. This assignment has taught me that I need to become better at distancing myself from technology and become more involved with the physical world around me. I have to learn to be okay with moments of solitude.


Very good work.