". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Gen Z and Satan’s Concealed Powers of the Media: How Should Christians Respond?

July 4, 2023

To be considered part of “Generation Z,” your birth date must fall between 1997 and 2012. In the span of those 15 years, the invention of high-speed internet, iPhones, social media, streaming services, and eCommerce all took place — and took over. No other generation has grown up under such an overwhelming influence from the media. For better or for worse,­­ it’s here, it’s relevant, and it’s powerful. So how has technological advancement affected this generation — even subtly?

Up front, the phrase “ignorance is bliss” is simply not applicable anymore. Seemingly everything is broadcasted for the world to see. We see it all, we know it all, and it either inflicts fear — or pride— both tactics that the devil uses to distract us from the reality of God’s sovereignty and power.

Let’s talk about the first concealed power of media: to inflict fear. Crimes permeate the news channels; activists constantly post about why the government is corrupt. The sin surrounding us seems inescapable, and it feels like we’re doomed all the time. Approximately 90% of all media news is negative, and Gen Z grew up spending their most moldable years under this influence.

The truth is, things are not actually as bad as we make them out to be — or at least our condition is not worse than it has always been. We read in Genesis that a few thousand years ago, the wickedness increased to the degree that God had no choice but to wipe out all of humanity with a worldwide flood. The Bible repeatedly shows us times of exile, where people were rebelling against Him. Except, back then, there was no way to be informed of all the gruesome details of every sin committed. Now, we are up to date with every death, every war, every tragedy — all it takes is one scroll online or a few minutes watching TV. We are subconsciously trained to believe that the world is in its most horrible, terrible condition and that all hope is lost — thus inflicting a steady (and sometimes not even noticeable) fear.

The second operation of media is just as dangerous: to inflict pride. All that anyone ever wants to post on their social media pages is their highlights — that awesome trip they went on, their promotion, their new relationship. This can either create extreme discouragement when similar events are not occurring in our own lives, or extreme self-righteousness if they are. Even on occupational sites, like LinkedIn, the whole purpose is to market ourselves to the best of our abilities and dissect everyone else’s attempts to do the same.

Comparison is the thief of joy — we know that. But comparison is absolutely inevitable today. We are holding a digital, pocket-sized scrapbook of each person’s “best” — accessible at any moment — and then pressured to produce our own.

Approximately 94% of Gen Z members use social media today, and 90% of Gen Z members have experienced some kind of mental health issue concerning that first statistic. It’s because our gaze has been fixed on ourselves, instead of being fixed on our heavenly Father.

Personally, as a member of Gen Z, I think that Satan is having a heyday every time we unlock our smartphones or consume any kind of media. He loves how it influences us; he loves how addicted we are. It’s important to be aware of his tactics as he tries to convince us to fall into fear and pride. We need to call it what it is and stand against the schemes of the devil. Remember that we are being fed information to make us fearful and prideful, pushing us further away from the refuge of our Creator. The world is not as bad as it is perceived to be, and our lives are not ultimately about ourselves.

I find encouragement in 2 Corinthians 4:18, where Paul writes, “As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” This verse helps me to zoom out, and look at every issue, even this one that seems unsolvable, with an eternal perspective.

Even with these underlying, concealed powers that the media holds in our life, God is still in control. He knew when and how the recent technological advancements would come to be. He knew that Gen Z would grow up in an environment saturated with these effects — and He works ALL THINGS together for the good of those who love Him and for His glory (Romans 8:28), including Satan’s concealed powers of the media. Our God wants to use the media for His glory, and for our good — but we must let Him.

In response to these agendas inflicting fear and pride, young Christians need to learn to surrender control of their keyboards and accounts, and let the Spirit move through digital media. These are the cards we have been dealt; this is the world that we are living in. Speaking to Gen Z members specifically, He has given you platforms to steward well — so do that!