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Why does time seem to speed up as you age?

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posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 04:29 PM

Originally posted by DangerDeath
Time is the function of thinking, that is, the way we perceive things. Slowing or speeding up time relates to our ability to process data. When you are young you have much higher intensity of perception, as you age you slow down.

Also, since you have experienced most of the things that happen, you tend to skip them, this equals to boredom; but young people are hungry for experience and it is very intense for them. When you are experienced, your reaction to the already experienced situations is immediate, you don't even process data, you act immediately. This means that you suspend time in favor of acting instead of reflecting.

On the other hand, when you are old and face new situation, you may be very slow to learn (like learning new technologies, how to use computers and gadgets for instance). I think in this respect it's physiological slowing down. Weariness.

Also, when you play an interesting video game, time seems to pass very fast

It's because game play is totally unrelated to the rest of events and you lose sight of them. It's like being asleep, there is no perception of time when you sleep.

The sleep comment really really got me thinking. and trying to link dreams/sleep to what might be our natural existance.

Things just happen instantly often in dreams and there is no just happen.....not sure i can put the puzzle together yet but it sure is sparking my interest.

posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 04:42 PM
Perhaps it is as simple as units of time being an ever decreasing percentage of your total life experience. Lets say you have lived for 10 years. A year is a 10th of your life and you have only experienced 10 years, therefore each year seems like a long time. Whereas if you have lived for 60 years, a year is only a 60th of your life and you remember less about each one of those previous years than when you were much younger. Simple and obvious, perhaps, but thats how it seems to me.

posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 05:33 PM
Easy to answer. When you're young you have little to occupy your time, so the summer seems to strech on forever. When we are older, we have more demands on our time, but no extra time. So it seems to go faster. Time is relative, the more you have to do, the less time there seems to be.

posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 05:34 PM
ANother factor apart from the fraction of life you have lived is how we spend time.
Children are incredibly focused in the now. They are totally present in the moment, totally absorbed in whatever they're doing.
As we get older and begin to do more and have more complex thought processes, we begin to perceive time a bit differently. Unfortunately, it's hard to quanitfy these kinds of perceptions, so it's hard to say how much this really impacts our perception of time as we get older.

posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 05:39 PM
Maybe it doesn't have to do with age, but something else?

Did our grandparents feel the same way as they aged? anyone know? What if it has something to do with Earth's frequency?

Anyway the most sensible theory is as we age time feels faster because you have lived longer so time doesn't feek as long as a kid.

But I'm just saying, what if it's something else, I mean even my brother who is 10 feels like time is going fast.

One more thing it might have to do with city life. When I go on holiday the day feels longer, but in London it flys by.

[edit on 17-1-2009 by _Phoenix_]

posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 05:57 PM

Originally posted by semperfortis
If I remember my Basic Human Psychology Class, it has to do with the perception of the "Percentage of Experienced Life"

In other words when a 10 year old "lives" through one year, they are Experiencing 1/10th of their lifetime. Which in a concept of reality is quite a large perceived time frame.

When say a 50 year old "lives' through one year, they are Experiencing 1/50th of their lifetime. A much shorter segment of time.

Time being a constant, the perception is as we grow older, time as it is perceived, speeds up....


This is probably true but I have spent many a time thinking about this very subject and I concluded that I actually want to savor Spring and Summer. Unfortunately I work too many hours. I always say i'm gonna start leaving early on Fridays and get in 18 holes but Friday comes and crap hits the fan and bang, missed the day. Before you know it Holloween is upon us and we start to hole up for winter. Now winter LASTS FOREVER Indiana is damn cold 13 below at nite the last couple of days.

When I was younger I had lots of time and little to do (compared to now) and I didn't ever feel that time was quickened as I do now.

Because I have realized how quickly our summers can slip away I ENSURE that I get in at least 18 holes every weekend on a beautiful golf course unless weather wont allow it. I also try to spend more time in outdoor activities to savor the beauty of spring and summer. I try to get my children 2 moved out and 1 almost 18 and they don't feel that time is moving like I do.

I recently was contacted through my daughter via facebook by an ex-military friend who used to ride waves with me in Hi for two years every day, we were in our middle twenty's then and now early forty's. I saw a picture of him and damn what happened we aren't the same people; none of us are. I lift weights and work hard on my cardio so at 245lbs I am holding it together pretty good but my ex buck 50 buddy is now about my weight and doesn't look like he's exercised since we got out of the Corps. I would have walked by him on the street.

Everyone enjoy your life, if you are in your twenty's or early thirty's believe me one day you will wake up in your forty's and you wont know where the years went.

posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 09:59 PM
This is just a "personal opinion" e.g nothing to back me up:

But I think its got to do with learning... when youre a child, everything is still " new" to you. Your brain is still taking in this raw data " can i climb that tree- lets try! " " Can i jump off this wall -lets see! " and blah blah your hour is constantly filled with new stuff.

Fast Forward to being an adult, youre working your 9-5 job, repeating the same rubbish, day after day... youre not learning anything new, its all the same! and BAM it speeds past, nothing coming in, hardly anything coming out.

[edit on 17/1/09 by dawa]

posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 11:04 PM
i'm 52- and it's slowed down!

i read about Terrance McKenna and the 13th step of the aztec pyramid and all that. it did seem that everything is moving faster and faster.

so i disconnected from the tv and the matrix and started living for my reality. in other words--not letting the world take away my time by trivialities or sensationalism. when i turned 50 i realized there were a few personal goals that i never had time for. one of them was music, where small increments of time are very important,. so, this awareness and treating each moment as precious, has made the last 2 years seem like 5.

posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 11:25 PM
While it does seems to one's perception across a lifetime that time speeds up, I have often wondered across the long history of mankind of time hasn't actually slowed down?
In the beginnings of mankind according to the old testament men lived to be several hundred years old. I have pondered if that same several hundred years would be equivalent to 80 or 90 years in modern history? Perhaps the speed of the rotation of the earth has continually been slowing every so slightly since those days?
In any case to live 700 or 800 years, how short would a single year seem to be then to ones perception?
Just me thinking too

posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 11:40 PM
reply to post by drock905

Because we lived more in the moment as a child. That's the way the Eastern philosophies try to encourage us to return to... even Jesus, imo, when he says to be like a child.

As we grow older, we start to focus on longer term goals and start living in the future. It takes many more days to reach new milestones. Planning for your future becomes all consuming. The older you get, the more you become aware of your mortality and how you are going to prepare for your children and your own retirement.

I think it's as simple as that.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 12:16 AM
I read this thread with interest, as lately, I also have the same feeling as many others who replied to this thread. However, I think I found a much simpler answer and I seem to notice that only very few replies answered the same as mine.
Time is constant. The reason that people feels that the time is getting faster, is simply because they are slowing down because of age. Tasks that I could usually do in 2 hours, now I have to do it in five hours or more. Therefore, it takes a bigger portion of your full day activities. I think it is just as simple as that. I hope someone agrees with me.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 12:52 AM

Originally posted by ogbert
i'm 52- and it's slowed down!

i read about Terrance McKenna and the 13th step of the aztec pyramid and all that. it did seem that everything is moving faster and faster.

so i disconnected from the tv and the matrix and started living for my reality. in other words--not letting the world take away my time by trivialities or sensationalism. when i turned 50 i realized there were a few personal goals that i never had time for. one of them was music, where small increments of time are very important,. so, this awareness and treating each moment as precious, has made the last 2 years seem like 5.

This is the view I take. It's all about perception (obviously). Think of it this way. Our perception of time is compressed, removing all of the unconscious moments of time; the moments we aren't fully aware of what we are doing at the moment through automatic unconscious behavior. Just like the fast-forward effect you can produce by SLOWING DOWN the camera's frame rate. Unconscious moments are not detected as black scenes; instead you are ignorant of the unrecorded scenes. We all have a visual blind spot, but you don't detect it as a black dot; it's not detectable in the first place. You don't know what you don't know.

BUT, what about this paradox: Time flies when you are having fun!

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 06:08 AM
When we're young, everything is a new experience. As we age, everything becomes commonplace. Not much we haven't seen or experienced.

By the time we're 40 or 50, we're so bored with everything that a year should feel like a decade.

But a year feels like it zips by when your 40 or 50. In the blink of an eye, by 70 or 80.

It's hard to explain, and seems like a paradox.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 06:10 AM
If you're having fun at 80, I bet a year seems like .000001 sec. !!

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 06:10 AM

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 06:58 AM
reply to post by amatrine

I completely agree with you. It is the routines that we create in life that make time slip by. We create patterns and don't even think about them and the days just run together. It is a hard pattern to break. There are enlightened folks who are able to simply see the differences in the world each day and learn to enjoy them. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them and I suspect most people don't possess this gift - and it is a gift.

What is ironic is that when you spend time with someone who is terminally ill, they are forced to extract everything they can out of each day and while their time is short, the time they have is slower than it was prior to them becomming ill. It just shows that it all is perspective and something we all can work towards. Routines suck the life out of you.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 07:53 AM

Icke Talks about it. time is vibrating faster... as time reaches a end on

dec 21 2012 ... time will start to spin again normally after a few days or light or darkness ...because the planet will stop spinning on that DATE.

After that date ..a new beginining the age of aquarius

also in time speeding up ...our wolrd is getting close to reality of the other world ..that our souls go to after we die.

meaning the moments before dec 21 2012 our and that reality will be so close we will see our dead loved ones as they are standing before us...

and then time will continue

also the plate shifting and the storms...the end of days the dulge flood..whatever ya wanna call it....

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 07:54 AM
one other post pointed to 'biological clock'...then spun off into omega point

imho, it is centered on one's internal biological clock & a cellular timekeeping.

As one is growing, the cells & systems are all multiplying faster & growing,
therefore the outside world is 'moving' like molasses-in-january.

As we get past the prime, somewheres around 18-23 years,
our aging system goes into a sustaining mode, the cells 'turn-over' around every 7 years, as whole body systems are slowly replaced...
(circadian rhythm is not cellular clockworks, but is sun-moon connected)

which causes us to 'see' the world around us 'catch-up' to our now slowed down internal biology clocks. We seem to be standing still as the outside world seems to be whizzing by. So- in a way it's preception...
but a preception not based on anecodotes or intellectual mathematics...

it's all brought forth by our cell biology & the limited number of cell divisions as we progressively deteoriate on-our-feet

would this question be in the domain of philosophers or scientists, biologists or clergy ...

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 08:01 AM

Why does time seem to speed up as you age?

When you are one year old, one year represents 100% of your life.

When you are two years old, one year represents 50% of your life.

50% of your life seems like a smaller period of time than 100% of your life.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 08:15 AM
I know that for me time seems to both speed up and slow down.

If I desire something that has some kind of a ''deadline'' attached to it. (eg, you like a girl but you don't really hang out with her, and within 2 weeks you'll be gone forever.) Time seems to speed up considerably, and weeks seem to fly by.

However if I desire a game that has yet to be released, it feels like aeons pass without ever getting to see that game.

Of course this speed up / slowdown fluctuates for me depending on what desire I am focusing on.

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