Sunday, December 21, 2014

Time Theorem: Time Actually Does Go Faster As You Get Older

For as long as i can remember I've heard people of all ages commenting on how fast time is moving and seems to be accelerating.  The older the person, the more pronounced the phenomenon becomes.  This is not just the dominating rule, its an experience everyone shares from all cultures, socio-economic backgrounds and geographical locations.   Without exception.

It was an obvious pattern I first started thinking about 30 years ago. How could that be? That as everyone ages, they strongly feel as though time is moving faster.  My conclusion at the time which remains is that if its an experience EVERYONE shares, it must be true.  Time actually does move faster as you get older. 

We all accept the passage of time to be mechanical and deliberate, like a clock should be.  Click, click, click....seconds and minutes passing by in sync with the movement of the universe around us.  It makes sense.  

The problem is we're not a fixed part of the universe around us.  We are biological beings here for an exceedingly short flash of "time" relative to the universe around us.  And thus, the phenomenon transitions into a reality.

As living things, we center our existence around mechanical movements of time that exist in the universe but not within our individual biological beings.  On a core level, we're really only able to measure the passage of time relative to our own, personal existence.  Not based on an external clock that's calibrated on a wholly different cycle.

We all agree to accept and live by mechanical movements of time, but our personal perceptions of time vary as uniquely as we are as human beings.  

This is why, to a 60-years-old, a year goes by many times faster than to a 10-year-old. When you're 10, a year represents 10% of your entire existence. A daunting period of time at that age.   On the contrary, to a 60-year-old, one year represents about 1.5% of your existence.  Such a small slice of the pie, a year becomes nearly an indistinguishable period of time. 

On a 10-year-old's birthday, how they perceive and experience the one year of time until their 11th birthday is roughly equal to how a 35-year-old perceives and experiences a two to three year period of time until an expected promotion, which is roughly equal to how a 60-year-old perceives and experiences the five years of time until they retire at 65. Time moves about 6-times faster to a senior citizen compared to an adolescent.    

Time in fact moves faster as you get older.  

-Nick Matzorkis

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