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anniereborn's avatar

Why do you think time seems to go faster as we get older?

Asked by anniereborn (14525points) August 31st, 2015

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21 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

Time is relative and static but at this stage of life it seems like someone hit the fast forward button.

majorrich's avatar

The years do seem to slip by more quickly as I age. Especially since the little guy showed up, grew up and is now out in the world doing his thing. I wish I had an explanation and a way to slow them up a bit. But there are stretches when time seems to stand still too. Like the waiting room just before going in for a colonoscopy.

Lawn's avatar

Just a thought…
At age 5, one summer represents 5% of your lifetime, so it feels like an eternity.
At age 25, a summer represents 1% of your lifetime.
By age 50, a summer represents only 0.5% of your lifetime.
And so forth…

ragingloli's avatar

maybe the brain deteriorates, so it drops a lot of data packets during processing.

JLeslie's avatar

Because we have more plans for the future and more errands to run during the day. Also, I would say it goes faster for an adult than most 12–20 years olds, because adults are happier. Although, there is a twist that very young children time seems to go slowly, and I think they are usually happy also.

DoNotKnow's avatar

This explains it pretty well.

Judi's avatar

I think it’s relitive to the percentage of your life a measure of time takes up. When I was 5, waiting for Christmas to come again was like waiting a 5th of my life.
Now it’s 1/54th of my life and it feels like last week.

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

Because we learn to value it.

Pachy's avatar

I once read that as we age and our metabolism slows, we perceive time to pass faster and faster. All I know is, since I retired the weeks and months are flying by.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I’ve pondered on this too. I think it’s because we have more commitments and responsibilities. We have family things going on and work (paid or otherwise) commitments. We may be involved in community issues or groups. There are many more demands on our time and emotions and so there’s much less downtime and it feels as though time is moving faster. I know I rarely feel I have time to just ‘stop and smell the roses’. So life is often rushing by in a blur.

My to-do list is never empty. I think to slow things down we need to perhaps build in time to meditate and just enjoy this moment. To listen to sounds, watch the clouds floating by, to smell that coffee or flower in the garden. The difference between now and in our youth is that we need to consciously commit to creating the time to just be.

rojo's avatar

It appears to do so in my little world.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I used to read that during a day if we experience more new things time will seem to go slower to us. So as we age and gain more experience, we become more familiar with everything happening around us. And we think time passes faster.

JLeslie's avatar

@Mimishu1995 That’s very interesting. A good reason to keep learning and traveling.

Strauss's avatar

I think it’s the relative nature of time. At age 20, ten years is half your life, while at age 80 the same ten years is one quarter that.

anniereborn's avatar

@Mimishu1995 That makes sense to me. When I first drive to a new location it seems much much slower than when it becomes routine.

majorrich's avatar

I distinctly remember time compression starting the first time I went to the barber and he trimmed my eyebrows! It must have flipped a switch somewhere in the space/time continuum. Suddenly my son was in college. Last time he got my ears now he’s in grad school. Where does hair grow next?

ibstubro's avatar

I agree, @anniereborn and @Mimishu1995 that time is more-or-less defined by original experiences. I think we’re wired to record the “new”.

That said, there are people that see “wonder every day” and people that have “seen it all’. Most of us fall inside that spectrum. I tend to see wonder. Nobody had to tell me that a butterflie’s wings were full of scales. I’d already looked under my microscope.

talljasperman's avatar

Because we are closer to death.

dxs's avatar

A lot of great insights on this thread! I was going to say it’s because of routines. Once you get used to something, second nature makes it go by faster, which is why I try to give myself the least amount of routines.
An example I gave here on Fluther a while back was about taking a different road. Say there are two roads that lead to your house, and they both take the same amount of time to drive down. You always take Road A, but one day you take Road B. It will seem like it takes you longer to get home but when you time it, it’s the same amount of time. That’s because you’re not used to driving down it like you are Road A, where you see the same buildings and landmarks. Once you start aging, you start seeing the similar landmarks, and they become routine and expected.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Because you’ve been there, done that.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Oh yes, it is a countdown.

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