Sunday, June 27, 2010

Length of Days

Has everyone ever wondered why days seem so much longer when you're a kid and so much shorter as an adult?

Do you think it's because as a child, you've only lived a limited number of days so each day is a larger percent of your overall life (A 5 year old child has lived 1825 days, so a day is 1/1825, while an 18 year old college student has lived 6570 days, so a day is 1/6570 a much smaller percentage) and thus it feels shorter?

Or maybe because as a child, you are easily excitable and look forward to so many small little things because you're present hedonistic (i.e. you look forward to ice cream tonight, playdate tomorrow morning, going to the park tomorrow afternoon), and as we know, if you watch the clock for class to end the clock seems to go 1/100th the speed it was going when you're not watching it. As an adult, you look forward to bigger achievements (i.e. graduating high school, concert in a month, finals in a few weeks, bigger events) so we aren't constantly watching the clock so time seems to go faster.

Similarly as children we consciously want time to go faster while as an adult you don't want it to. As a kid you WANT to grow up, you WANT to be big so you can go on the big rides at the amusement park, etc while as an adult you DON'T want to get wrinkles and you DON'T want to make that presentation for work tomorrow (so you don't look at the clock). And using the same principle as above, when you're consciously looking at the clock, time goes slower (because you aren't distracted enough?)

What are your thoughts on the matter?

UPDATE: I actually found this :


  1. Ah, could be. I also advocate's theory, which is the same as yours. It explains why immortality would be CRAZY NOT-AWESOME! :P Also, some of it's based on how much you think about the time passing, I believe; or rather, how much time you spend not doing interesting things. If you spent your college freshman year staying indoors and avoiding human contact (aah, why do so many ppl do this??), or if you spent it filled with a billion clubs and classes, the latter would seem to pass much faster.

    So you can either have fun and feel like time is passing quickly (though maybe if you have enough new experiences, it won't seem like that), or you can be bored to death all the time but not feel like you're losing time. Lol, the second one is like death anyway. :P

    Also, how is your internship going? At least you have one of those; I'm the super most unproductive person: no job (nobody wants me), no internship, not doing much. Therefore! I am translating the Divine Comedy to try to learn Italian (though I might end up learning a dialect), and will attempt to be able to do a front flip (and backflip??) by the end of the summer.

  2. All valid points, but consider that children have tons of fun and are constantly doing things yet they still feel like time is going by slowly.

    My internship is funny I keep making a fool of myself. But that's the learning process, is it not?

    Show me the backflip when we get back!

  3. Right, like Vivian said, time seems to pass faster when you're doing a million things all at once, but like the NPR article suggests, when you look back at those memories, it's filled with so many "novel experiences" and you can imagine the time you spent being rather slow.