You Are Where Your Attention Is

That very simple sentence is unpacked by Andrew Sullivan in an insightful confession regarding his need to pull the plug on his addiction to social media. Go ahead and read it now, I’ll wait. (It’s long but worth every sentence.)


Timothy Keller in his book, Counterfeit Gods, states that many of the idols we worship in place of God are good things, wonderful things, but nonetheless, the wrong things because God. Sullivan describes the distracted life that virtual reality presents perfectly. I know because I’ve been disentangling myself from it with the help of my wife and spiritual directors. It also has helped to step out where the Internet can’t get you, which is why Christ in the Wilderness is perfect for a retreat not only from the busyness of the actual world but from the distraction of that virtual world the Web presents in so many ways.

What is truly chilling about what Sullivan describes is that the more you immerse yourself in the Web, the more hooks it has with which to enthrall you. It’s not Evil but the Bible states that “where your treasure is, there will your heart be” (Matthew 6:21 and Luke:12:24). That’s another way of saying you are where your attention is. We have to be careful about what we get attached to.

“The reason we live in a culture increasingly without faith is not because science has somehow disproved the unprovable, but because the white noise of secularism has removed the very stillness in which it might endure or be reborn.”

Pull the plug. We have a hermitage just waiting for you.

(Many thanks to Lynne Saccaro for bringing this to our attention.)

Don Vicha