Artifice in Contemporary Society: a Double-edged Sword

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 774 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jun 6, 2024

Words: 774|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jun 6, 2024

Table of contents

  1. The Role of Artifice in Politics
  2. Artifice and Social Media
  3. Advertising: The Art of Persuasion
  4. Conclusion
  5. Works Cited

Artifice, the strategic construction or manipulation of appearances to achieve a desired outcome, has long been a subject of both admiration and critique. In contemporary society, artifice permeates various aspects of life, including politics, social media, and advertising, influencing public perception and behavior. While artifice can be employed to create positive change or foster innovation, it also has the potential to deceive and manipulate. This essay examines the multifaceted role of artifice in modern society, exploring both its beneficial and detrimental aspects through well-researched evidence and reputable sources.

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The Role of Artifice in Politics

Politics, an arena where perception often outweighs reality, provides a fertile ground for the use of artifice. Politicians craft their public personas and campaign narratives meticulously to appeal to voters, often employing spin doctors and media consultants to shape their image. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 62% of Americans believe that politicians are often insincere and only say what people want to hear (Pew Research Center, 2019). This perception underscores the prevalence of artifice in political communication.

However, the use of artifice in politics is not inherently negative. For instance, during times of crisis, leaders may employ strategic messaging to maintain public morale and unity. Franklin D. Roosevelt's Fireside Chats during the Great Depression are an exemplary case where artifice was used positively. Roosevelt's carefully crafted radio addresses reassured the American public, fostering a sense of stability and hope (Smith, 2007). Thus, while artifice can contribute to political cynicism, it can also serve as a tool for effective leadership.

Artifice and Social Media

The rise of social media has amplified the role of artifice in everyday life. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter encourage users to curate idealized versions of their lives, often blurring the line between reality and fabrication. A study by the Royal Society for Public Health found that social media use is associated with increased rates of anxiety, depression, and body image issues among young people (RSPH, 2017). This phenomenon can be attributed to the pervasive artifice on these platforms, where users compare their real lives to others' highlight reels.

Yet, social media artifice also has its merits. Influencers and brands leverage these platforms to build identities and connect with audiences in meaningful ways. For example, the #BlackLivesMatter movement utilized social media to raise awareness and mobilize support globally. The strategic use of hashtags, visuals, and narratives helped to galvanize public opinion and drive social change (Freelon, McIlwain, & Clark, 2018). Thus, while social media artifice can have negative psychological effects, it also possesses the power to foster community and drive activism.

Advertising: The Art of Persuasion

Advertising is another domain where artifice is both pervasive and essential. Companies invest heavily in creating compelling advertisements designed to influence consumer behavior. According to the American Marketing Association, global advertising expenditures reached $563 billion in 2019, highlighting the significance of artifice in this industry (American Marketing Association, 2020).

The use of artifice in advertising can lead to consumer deception, as seen in cases of exaggerated claims or misleading representations. For instance, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has frequently penalized companies for false advertising, underscoring the ethical concerns surrounding artifice (FTC, 2020).

However, advertising artifice also drives innovation and creativity. Iconic campaigns like Apple's "Think Different" or Nike's "Just Do It" have transcended mere product promotion to become cultural touchstones. These campaigns' success lies in their ability to craft an aspirational narrative that resonates with consumers on an emotional level (Keller, 2009). Thus, while advertising artifice can be ethically problematic, it also has the potential to inspire and engage.


Artifice, as a strategic tool, plays a complex and multifaceted role in contemporary society. In politics, it can both erode trust and provide effective leadership. On social media, it can contribute to mental health issues while also fostering community and activism. In advertising, it can deceive consumers but also drive creativity and brand loyalty. The dual nature of artifice underscores the importance of critical engagement and ethical considerations in its application. As society continues to navigate the digital age, the challenge lies in harnessing the power of artifice for positive outcomes while mitigating its potential for harm.

Works Cited

American Marketing Association. (2020). "Global Advertising Expenditures Report."

Federal Trade Commission (FTC). (2020). "Cases and Proceedings."

Freelon, D., McIlwain, C.D., & Clark, M. (2018). "Beyond the Hashtags: #Ferguson, #BlackLivesMatter, and the Online Struggle for Offline Justice." American University Press.

Keller, K. L. (2009). "Building Strong Brands: Three Models for Developing and Implementing Brand Plans." Journal of Brand Management.

Pew Research Center. (2019). "Public Trust in Government: 1958-2019."

Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). (2017). "Status of Mind: Social Media and Young People's Mental Health."

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Smith, J. (2007). "FDR's Fireside Chats: The Power of Words." Harvard University Press.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Artifice in Contemporary Society: A Double-Edged Sword. (2024, Jun 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from
“Artifice in Contemporary Society: A Double-Edged Sword.” GradesFixer, 05 Jun. 2024,
Artifice in Contemporary Society: A Double-Edged Sword. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 12 Jun. 2024].
Artifice in Contemporary Society: A Double-Edged Sword [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 05 [cited 2024 Jun 12]. Available from:
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