maria asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 1 decade ago

Why does time go faster as you get older?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Actually they have done some research into this and here is the latest theory that I've heard from a neuroscience magazine.

    In short, your brain is wired to catalogue and remember new experiences. When you are young, most of what you are doing is learning. Even when you aren't realizing it, you are constantly observing new things, having new interactions, and learning new things about the world and how it works. However, as you get older, you have fewer and fewer "original" experiences so your brain tends to gloss over them, storing them as groups instead of individual moments.

    The effect is that during childhood you are remembering and cataloging many more experiences and so times seems to pass slower. It isn't actually passing slower of course, you are just remembering more specific incidents between two points, which skewers your perception of time. As you get older, your brain groups like experiences and you remember fewer instances between two points, so time seems to pass faster.

    It's also why people can usually clearly remember events like their wedding, their first day on the job, the birth of their child, etc, because those things are rare and unique events, but they have trouble telling you what happened at work last Thursday because unless something unique happened that day it was just like 1000 other Thursdays at work that they've experienced. The brain just kinda glosses over it as a common experience.

    Another common example is driving. Have you ever driven a road so many times (the same route to and from work or the grocery store for years, let's say) that sometimes you get home and honestly don't remember driving the route? That's your brain essentially ignoring the experience because there was nothing novel about it. When you are 16 and learning to drive, you never zone out like that because the roads and driving itself is so new and you are still learning. But at 35, driving is so second nature you often have such "blackout" periods. you don't actually blackout and you aren't unsafe, but after the fact, your brain just ignores the experience.

    I hope that makes sense, but basically more unique experiences happen more often when you are young and that leads to more memories and brain pathways being actively formed and that leads to a perception that time is moving slower, but as you age you have fewer unique experiences and so your brain doesn't differentiate them and because you remember fewer unique events it seems as if time is passing faster.

    If you want time to pass slower, go experience new things as often as possible.

    • none4 years agoReport

      Adam, that may be true that "anobium625" may have just as good of an answer. However, you also lose patience when you are older. So, if Wesley B's answer seemed correct, nobody will take the time to scroll down and read the rest. At least for me, that is. Or maybe I am just lazy. lol!

  • 6 years ago

    I'm just wondering, does time continue to go faster the older we get? When I was little a year felt like eternity, when I was 15 it still felt like quite a long time. Now I am 23 and it almost feels like an event from about a year ago happened only yesterday. I think that it a shame, very much actually, I wished time went by slower, I am feeling like I am running out of time too quick. But will this actually get even more extreme by the time I'm 30...40...50? You know what I mean? Because if so, I better start experiencing alot of new things before my time is over :P

  • ?
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I suppose because you have so much more to do when you're older. Every year that goes by, I find time going faster still and I wish I could just get a hold of it for a second and then feel bad that I can't wait to grow up fully...it feels like I'm wishing my life away.

  • 5 years ago

    Time goes by faster as we get older because- for instance when you are 10 years old 5 years seems like a very long time to you as that's half the time you have been alive.When you are 60 years old 5 years is a very much smaller part of your existence so it doesn't seem to take as long at all to pass.

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  • 5 years ago

    I heard as you get older you run out of new things to learn. That's why time goes faster.

    • Ralph3 years agoReport

      I think time goes by fast because u get used to doing the same think every day. After I retired,I get out of bed,make coffee,an do things about the same every day

  • 1 decade ago

    This seems to be tied to our sense of patience and our total evaluation of elapsed time. The older you get, the less significant an hour is, as we fill that time easily with the application of our own interests (time flies) When you are young, your total learning and understanding provides simple understandings that lack a deeper consideration.

    Deeply considered thought takes more time as a rule and it is understood and accepted in our own minds that it takes x amount of time to do or consider things well. We evaluate the passage of time therefore, in larger increments. With all that we think and consider each day, time seems to fly at an ever accelerating rate that is matched by our ever accelerating knowledge and experience. Consider the child like behavior and impatience of the mentally impaired. without the demands that experience and insight place on the mind, time slows down to a crawl again.

  • 4 years ago

    If you use Einstein's axiom that time passes slower with objects in motion, time would go faster for older folks because they are more sedentary and immobile.

  • tousey
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Time Goes Fast

  • 1 decade ago

    because when you are younger, you dont really have a sense of time or anything to do, cause everyone else takes care of you

    but as you get older, you have stuff to do, and you know how to measure time so it just goes by

    also the older you get the closer to death you are, and humans dont really want to go so they think their like is flashing by

    • Daniel4 years agoReport

      You're right. When I was a young child I wasted most of my time waiting for the big events. Time passes very slowly when you're doing nothing at all and just staring at the surroundings. That's why it passed slowly when I was a kid.

  • 1 decade ago

    Lets face it. When your a small child you don't have a whole heck of a lot to do or to worry about. Waiting for lunch, waiting for dinner, waiting for school to start, come-on...time goes by ever so slowly when you don't have any responsibilities or bills to pay or job to get to, grocery shopping to be done, things to fix, kids to watch, animals to care for etc.,etc. Time goes by slowly as a child, but as an adult, the more stuff you have to cram in a day the less you have to do the next and the years fly by right before your very eyes and you are so busy you don't even have time to enjoy them.

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