WHY time FLIES? Here's the ANSWER

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2010 5:41 PM GMT
    I've been listening to tons of npr podcasts lately. One talked about how when you fall it seems like it happens in slow motion, and another about why years seem to fly by the older you get. Here is what they say:

    1. Normally your mind filters through the tons of information it receives every moment. You remember certain details, but not others. Otherwise you'd overload. But when you fall, or have a tragic situation (car crash, etc.), your mind clears a wide open space to take in every detail it can, probably as a protective measure so it can access the situation.

    You may think about whether you will die, who will remember you, can you swerve in time, the people around you at the moment, the color of the sky, the sounds, what's happening a block away, etc. etc.

    Because you remember a lot of detail, it seems like it took longer to fall than it actually did. You've essentially fit tons of memories into a second or so. This explains, conversely, why time flies when you get older.

    2. As we age, we experience fewer new activities. From birth to college, virtually everything we experience is new. New classmates, learnings, loves, jobs, loss, etc etc. But as we get older, new experiences are farther apart. Been there, done that.

    Because you have fewer new experiences as an adult, you will have fewer substantial memories of what you've done, and therefore time will seem to have rushed by. In other words, your mind doesn't have much to show for the years that have gone by.

    Ever spend a weekend camping or on a trip, and even though it was two or three days, it seemed a hell of a lot longer than two or three days at home? See, more new experiences to expound upon.

    So if you want to "slow" time down, get yourself out there and do new stuff, every day, no matter how big or small. icon_wink.gif
  • Desmondlug

    Posts: 92

    Aug 22, 2010 10:18 PM GMT
    I loved that, that was just so neat!
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    Aug 22, 2010 10:19 PM GMT
    another take on this is that as kids -- our frame of reference for time is much, much longer relative to the amount of time we've been alive.

    For example, to a five year old, waiting six months for an expected event (vacation, Christmas, etc.) is 10% of his entire lifespan thus far.

    Telling him to wait a couple of years would seem like forever to him, as that is nearly half again his lifespan.

    Similarly - time passes much more slowly for him (to his frame of reference) - some event a year in his past seems like a very long time ago - 20% of his lifetime ago.

    For someone who is 40 years old, these timespans compress into a very much smaller percentage of his life: six months for him is a mere 1/80th or 1.25% of his entire lifespan.

    A couple of years spent at a given job would only amount to 2.5% of his life.

    And for someone who lived through WW1 and is... by some combination of genetics and luck still alive at 110 years of age...

    ... six months to him would be a fleeting 0.005% of his life, and the two years he may have spent fighting the Hun would be barely 0.02% of his life.

    I like the memory/information filtering concept though. Definitely makes good sense.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2010 10:21 PM GMT
    I have noticed that time seems to get faster as we get older. I never really had an idea of why, but this topic seems to be a good explanation.
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    Aug 22, 2010 10:24 PM GMT
    alphatrigger saidanother take on this is that as kids -- our frame of reference for time is much, much longer relative to the amount of time we've been alive.

    For example, to a five year old, waiting six months for an expected event (vacation, Christmas, etc.) is 10% of his entire lifespan thus far.

    Telling him to wait a couple of years would seem like forever to him, as that is nearly half again his lifespan.

    Similarly - time passes much more slowly for him (to his frame of reference) - some event a year in his past seems like a very long time ago - 20% of his lifetime ago.

    For someone who is 40 years old, these timespans compress into a very much smaller percentage of his life: six months for him is a mere 1/80th or 1.25% of his entire lifespan.

    A couple of years spent at a given job would only amount to 2.5% of his life.

    And for someone who lived through WW1 and is... by some combination of genetics and luck still alive at 110 years of age...

    ... six months to him would be a fleeting 0.005% of his life, and the two years he may have spent fighting the Hun would be barely 0.02% of his life.


    This.
  • MuscleComeBac...

    Posts: 2376

    Aug 22, 2010 10:33 PM GMT
    wrestlervic saidSo if you want to "slow" time down, get yourself out there and do new stuff, every day, no matter how big or small. icon_wink.gif


    QFT
  • Hunter9

    Posts: 1039

    Aug 22, 2010 10:38 PM GMT
    alphatrigger said

    And for someone who lived through WW1 and is... by some combination of genetics and luck still alive at 110 years of age...

    ... six months to him would be a fleeting 0.005% of his life, and the two years he may have spent fighting the Hun would be barely 0.02% of his life.


    well you're not quite Newton or Archimedes, but i get the idea.

    FYI, it's 0.5% and 2%
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2010 10:41 PM GMT
    Hunter9 saidwell you're not quite Newton or Archimedes, but i get the idea.

    FYI, it's 0.5% and 2%


    Ran my numbers again, and yup... looks like I slipped a couple of decimal places.

    I suck at math. Sue me icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2010 10:43 PM GMT
    Blah blah blah hahaha ;3
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2010 11:04 PM GMT
    wrestlervic saidSo if you want to "slow" time down, get yourself out there and do new stuff, every day, no matter how big or small. icon_wink.gif
    That could very well explain why time has NOT slowed down for me, even at age 39.
    I seldom live the same day twice if I can help it. Monotony fucking sucks.

    Oh and I thought time flew because I carry my cellphone with me when I fly, and that's how I keep track of time.
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    Aug 22, 2010 11:07 PM GMT
    Interesting theory, that I must think about. But I do go camping, one of the examples in the OP, and it still happens too quickly! So I dunno, have to mull on it...
  • swimmermatt10...

    Posts: 281

    Aug 23, 2010 12:48 AM GMT
    That is so crazy. I was just in my first bad car accident in April and it really did seem like everything had slowed down. I feel like i can replay the entire accident with every bit of detail in slow motion in my brain. I always wondered about that.....very interesting