Friday, May 26, 2017

Does perception of time go faster as we get older?

Have you ever felt like the years go by a lot faster these days compared to when you were younger? When we were kids, it seemed like the years would take forever to go by, but as an adult, they tend to fly by before we know it. It got me thinking, does our perception of time go faster as we get older?

Here is a little experiment I tried, and you can try too. First, get a timer. You can pull one up with a quick Google search or on your phone. Without looking at it, start the timer and then count for 60 seconds or 1 minute. Then stop the timer when you think 60 seconds have passed. Check to see if the time went by faster or slower than you thought.

When I compared my count to the actual time of seconds, I found that real life seconds were going by a lot faster than I thought. I was surprised as it seemed like seconds were moving almost twice as fast as I remembered. This means time is going by faster than I thought.

I did a little searching and there are some more articles out there about this same issue of time speeding up as we get older. One of the theories is that as we get older, each year is a smaller percentage of our overall life. For example, when you are 10 years old, a year seems like a lot because it is 1/10 of your life experience so far. Compare that to when you are 50 for example, 1 year is just 1/50 of your life so far, so it is a much smaller percentage.

Another theory is that as we get older, our life experiences become less eventful and more routine. For example when we are kids, everything is new so there are a lot of new memorable experiences, but as an older person, chances are each year is relatively similar in terms of life experience. This may lead to the years kind of blending together which may make them feel like they are going by faster.

There is also physical age vs how old you feel. I find, I feel younger than my actual age. This feeling may also have an effect because if you feel a certain age but then get a reality check of your actual age, you may realize how fast time has gone by.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you feel like time goes by faster now compared to when you were younger?

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