Ever feel like time is speeding up? There’s a reason reason for that
A new idea explains why it feels like time is speeding up as you age – it simply has to do with the way we see years relative to how many we’ve experienced.
If you are under the age of 20, then this article probably won’t make any sense to you. It will one day, but for now continue living under the glorious impression that you are invincible and have fun.
If you are a little older though, you’ve probably come to realize that time is not really your friend. That doesn’t make it your enemy, but it certainly isn’t looking out for you. Instead, you’ve probably felt that time may actually be speeding up the older you get.
Well, it turns out that it may actually be, in a way.
It’s really a matter of perspective, but when it comes to time, everything is a matter of perspective. A recent theory published at Maximilian Kiener builds on that idea and shows us exactly why it feels like time is speeding up the older we get.
Basically, it comes down to our frame of reference. When you are one year old, your entire life exists in that one year. Everything you’ve experienced is contained in that time frame, so that one year encompasses 100-percent of your life and perception of time. When you are ten years old, a year is a tenth of your life. When you are 100, each year is a single percent of your overall experience.
The theory essentially makes years into a commodity, and the older you are the more of that commodity you’ve experienced. If you need an analogy, think of eating a hamburger. The more you eat, the less of an event eating it becomes. If, for example, you’ve only eaten swordfish once in your life, that experience makes a larger impression.
That also informs a lot of the arguments older people frequently throw at younger generations – sometimes legitimately, sometimes not.
When we are younger, things seem more absolute. A person you dated in high school may have been your whole world, and it may have felt like they were your entire life. And relatively, they were a huge portion of it as a significant portion of your entire life involved them. As you get older though, you have more relationships, and each individual relationship is less of the whole. Beyond just the lessons you learn from those relationships, they each become a smaller percentage of the total experience that is your life.
So in a very real way, yes, time is speeding up. Enjoy it while you can.