More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Time Flies As We Get Older

Humans have really bad time tracking instincts. Some animals can keep track of time very accurately and do certain things at certain times. Humans, however, couldn't track an hour accurately if our lives depended on it.

With our bad sense of time, it still doesn't explain why our lives seem to get faster as we get older. I know everyone has probably uttered the phrase "Time Flies" a million times. I have found myself uttering these words more and more. What is it that supposedly makes our lives seem to go by quicker as we age.

I can remember back in the days in primary school where the school year just seemed to last forever. Or is that my memory of it now as how is supposedly was back then. I guess back then I never really thought much about time and what things I had to get done. But from my memory I'm pretty sure I never questioned why there wasn't enough time to do all the things I wanted to do.

Nowadays, weeks blur together and soon months also start to blend a bit. I sometimes can't remember exactly how long ago things happen. Usually I always underestimate and think something has occurred more recently than it really has.

I met my friend Calvin on Monday for lunch. We both said we hadn't seen each other for a while, but could both clearly still remember the last time we had lunch. So we were guessing that it was probably two months since we've met. But upon closing scrutiny, we realised that we hadn't seen each other for 6 months, 6 months, can you believe it. It almost felt like it was only last week.

So what is this phenomenon that seems to speed up our lives. I have a couple of theories and so does my work mate Tafazal. Firstly, for my more mundane theories. I think as we get older, our lives get more and more complicated, with many more responsiblities and worries. This will occupy more of our minds and during those many moments of thinking and concentration, we lose track of time and it passess by more quickly.

A second reason I think is that most adults have to work. Work is usually not something that is utterly enjoyable most of the time. During the 8 hours of work, it may seem like long hours at the time, but afterwards, we tend to forget each individual day and blur them into one as they encompass fairly similar activities. This means that you lose 5 days of each week where it feels like you don't achieve much personally and hence feel like you get nothing done. I know you also use 8 hours when you were going to school, but the difference is, once you got home from school, you just enjoyed yourself. There was no need to cook, clean, pay bills, reply to emails etc. So you felt like you did everything that you wanted to do. Whereas now there are a million other priorities that we should do before we can do what we want to do.

My work mate Tafazal has more extreme theories. His first theory is that time is literally getting faster. As in a minute today as read by a clock was actually two minutes 20 years ago. But I hear you ask "Why don't little kids feel like time is going faster". Well the answer to that is they have never experienced anything different so to them this is normal. When you have nothing to compare something with, you don't realise if there is anything wrong with it.

Tafazal's second theory is that the human race as a whole is slowing down mentally. Hence it takes longer to do every task and this all adds up. So we are slower now then when we were kids, so it feels like there is less time because everything takes longer to do but we don't notice it because our minds are working at a slower speed. Once again kids don't notice because they have nothing to compare with. Tafazal used the example that in a sloth's time frame, we would look like falcons, but for a falcon that moves and reacts much faster, we would be like the sloth to them. I don't know how this fits in with his theory but it was interesting. I asked him to clarify but the more he clarified it, the more I got confused, so I'll just leave it to you to work it out in your own slower minds.

So to conclude, I still don't know why "Time Flies" but I think my theories may be plausible. Now I just need the MythBuster team to devise an experiment and confirm or deny the myth.


Blogger afrobev said...

I know what you mean. I remember when I was in Primary school and even in Secondary School time seemed to drag a hell of a lot. A school day in itself seemed to take forever and we were probably only there for about six or seven hours when you think about it. Now time is just sweeping past so quick I can't believe how fast the last five years have flown. It's weird but perhaps we are having more fun as we get older. You know what they say about Time flying...

4/21/2006 12:56 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

I hope too that we are having more fun James. I know sometimes it is fun but usually I just hear a lot of people complaining that they don't have enough time to do what they want to do and are stressed out.

4/21/2006 6:02 PM  

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