Research Paper

Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 395-408

First online:

Communicating and Philosophizing About Authenticity or Inauthenticity in a Fast-Paced World

  • Becky L. DeGreeffAffiliated withDepartment of Communication, North Dakota State University Email author 
  • , Ann BurnettAffiliated withDepartment of Communication, North Dakota State University
  • , Dennis CooleyAffiliated withDepartment of History and Philosophy, North Dakota State University

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North Americans live in an increasingly fast-paced world. Not only might this be physically and relationally unhealthy, a fast pace of life might prevent people from living life to its fullest and achieving happiness. Using Heidegger’s theory of Dasein, this study examines how individuals talk about time in holiday letters. Results of the study indicate that many letter writers were living inauthentic lives. According to Heidegger, inauthenticity prevents individuals from experiencing life at its fullest; implications of the findings blending philosophy and communication are discussed.


Fast-paced life Heidegger Authenticity Inauthenticity