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Why does time appear to go faster as you get older?

Why does time appear to go faster as you get older?
Chris Land from Cambridgeshire (Age 55+)


3 Responses

  1. There is a whole book on that – called “Why life speeds up as you get older – how memory shapes our past” by Douwe Draaisma. It is very readable, and I highly recommend it. The basis of the illusion (because time doesn’t really speed up) is in memory. You remember a lot more about your youth than your middle age – partly because you experienced a lot more things for the first time as a youth, and partly because your memory was better then.
    The author suggests that you do something new everyday – and this will help slow time down. Personally, I find the illusion rather daunting, and wish it would stop!

  2. Surely it is a matter of relativity. A year to a one year old is a lifetime whereas to someone of 50 a year is only a fiftieth of their lifetime.
    Just remember you only get one life and when you are young it is easy to believe you have all the time in the world. Hit forty and you will realise how wrong you were.

  3. Hi :).
    Our ‘Short Term’ memory naturally deteriorates with advancing age. Our ‘Long Term’ memory’ persists and becomes the more dominant influence in our recall pattern. The reduction in detailled storage of the minutiae of everyday events results in an increasingly blurred concept of the passage of time. The result of this is that in reminisence it seems that more recent days have passed more quickly and uneventfully. Added to that, as we grow older, we may actually do less individually memorable activities which would lay down less ‘mile stones’ with which to gauge the apparent length of the day past. The busier and more mentally concentrated one is on activities, the more will be recalled and hence the longer the previous day will seem to have occupied. A few minutes spent in peaceful recollection each evening will strengthen the permanence of memory too. So maximise your life! Be just as active mentally and physically as you feel comfortable with and discipline yourself to ensure time remains for a daily ’round-up’ of your experiences and your impression of the progression of time will be greater.
    Good Luck

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