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Time perception: I hear many say time feels like it's going faster as you age, but for me, it feels slower

As you age, do you feel time is going faster or slower?


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Kev Kev

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Oct 25, 2012
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I imagine most people are going to say faster, and I believe you! However, for me, it feels slower. Anyone else? And why?

I had a 5 years ago memory pop up on my Facebook and I was floored that it was only 5 years ago. I've had this sensation for about 10 years now (since I was about 24), so the feeling is nothing new. However, I was still blown away at how much slower time feels now, and the effect seems to get stronger every year! I'm almost alarmed by it, like there is something wrong with me. The memory that was from 5 years ago, legit feels like ages ago, like I've lived multiple lifetimes since then (ok so that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea).

I've come up with all kinds of mixed results on google, as to why time goes faster for some and slower for others. Overwhelmingly, people claim it goes faster, but there are a few other out there like me who claim slower.

Which is it for you? What do you think the reasons are for each?
 

Kev Kev

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Oct 25, 2012
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Do you have kids? That makes a huge difference.
No. No kids, never married. Never committed to one single career. Moved around like crazy over the last decade. Multiple jobs. There's been very little consistency in my life, and yeah I think that has something to do with it. But still, the effect is strong! Like, how can 5 years ago legit feel like 10-15 years ago? It's like my time perception is all fucked up and that feels like half a lifetime ago. It's bizarre, especially considering how many people say faster (even those in a similar situation as me).
 
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INC

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Jan 8, 2018
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I'd say keep going from place to place, country to country, why not? Most would love to be able to do this, if they could relive their lives
 
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NeoGiffer

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I_D

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As you grow older, a year is proportionally less of your life.
When you're five years old, a year is a massive section of your entire existence. When you're fifty, it's a small enough amount that you probably wouldn't notice if it vanished from your memory.
That's why time feels to move faster, to me, anyway.


If you move around a lot and do all sorts of things, though, then you're essentially creating constant reference points in your mind. The higher the number of reference points, the more packed your life appears, which could make time appear to move more slowly, as it seems like you're getting more things accomplished.
 

Amory

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way faster. depressingly fast, tbh.

too much of our lives is dedicated to work. especially now with this fucking pandemic that never ends. I feel like all I've done for the last year is work, and now I don't even leave my house to do it.
 

Kev Kev

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Oct 25, 2012
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If you move around a lot and do all sorts of things, though, then you're essentially creating constant reference points in your mind. The higher the number of reference points, the more packed your life appears, which could make time appear to move more slowly, as it seems like you're getting more things accomplished.
makes sense. ive been crazy busy and done and seen a lot of shit over the last 10 years. thats the best explanation i can come up with myself... still tho, almost everyone says time feels faster, even if they are as busy or more busy and have moved a lot. i never hear other poeple say slower, like myself...
 
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Kev Kev

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I think a big part of what makes time (seem) go by fast is routine and monotony. If you are avoiding that then you wont' fall into the rut so many adults fall into.
yeah, agreed. this seems to be the best explanation i can come up with as well. i just never encounter other people who say slower lol. im interested to talk to others that agree with me, and try to find commonalities.
 

I_D

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makes sense. ive been crazy busy and done and seen a lot of shit over the last 10 years. thats the best explanation i can come up with myself... still tho, almost everyone says time feels faster, even if they are as busy or more busy and have moved a lot. i never hear other poeple say slower, like myself...

The level of engagement probably makes a difference too, and the type of new experiences.

I have a core group of friends, for example, so a lot of our occasions tend to blend together in my memory. I could see how having distinctly different groups of friends may help separate the occasions.
Then you add partying into the mix, and that is bound to affect memory and perception.

There's a lot of variables, to be sure.

I am a bit envious that time seems to move more slowly for you. That seems, at least to me, to be preferable to the constant reminders that something I thought was two years ago way actually ten years ago.
 
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Arkam

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Jan 21, 2012
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Perception of Time is relative so the longer you live the "faster" it feels. As I approach 40 days feel like they go by so fast. I remember when a single 1 hour college class felt like forever. These days fiscal years seem like a few weeks max.

Can only imagine what it will be like when I am 60.
 

Goro Majima

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I think a big part of what makes time (seem) go by fast is routine and monotony. If you are avoiding that then you wont' fall into the rut so many adults fall into.

I’m fairly certain that this is what causes time to slow down. Learning new things and discovering novel experiences create more concrete memories than the “noise” of the daily routine where your brain filters most of it as “irrelevant”.

Supposedly keeping a journal and reading back over your days to help form stronger memories helps too.
 
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Dark Star

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Faster.

When I was kid, a summer vacation felt like forever, but it was only like 3 months. When you're 8 years old, 3 months IS a long time in comparison to your overall life experience. The older you get, that experience gets compounded. Especially if you work a boring job and do repetitive tasks every day. Your brain just throws most of that memory away, and you only remember the key highlights of your week/month/year (birthdays, holidays, special events, etc)

As an adult? 3 months goes by real quick. My schedule/life isn't even that exciting or busy, but life does seem to move quickly these days. Especially with social media and constant access to the internet. Information overload. When I was a kid, I would spend all day outside playing with friends, making my own fun, and it really did feel like a long time. Try isolating yourself in a cabin in the woods for a week. Your perception of time will slow to a crawl in comparison to living in a big city.
 
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Mar 6, 2016
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the daily grind of 9-5 makes time go faster too. Something you didnt do as a kid/teenager or young adult if you went college.
 
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JimmyRustler

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Slower. I do not sleep a lot, yet I do the same things all the time. Time should move faster.... but it doesn‘t.
 
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ipukespiders

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When I first started elementary school I though summer vacation was taking "a year off from school" but it was barely more than 2 months. You would get to see some of your friends that you hadn't seen "since last year". No, it was really since the end of June.
 

Mistershine.

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My nan said that days singular would drag on and seem to last forever but days plural went by like a stampede.
 
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NahaNago

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For me it definitely feels faster. Each day just seems to just disappear and I'm left feeling did you even accomplish anything that day. Youtube and some games just make the day simply disappear for me so I've pretty much unistalled those games and I'm trying to lessen the time I watch youtube.
 
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Termite

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It's because when you're young each day is a far greater percentage of your life to that point, and things are constantly changing in your life to mark the time. New friends, new class, summer holidays, etc.

When you're 6, a year takes forever. You're almost not the same person at the end of it. Each day just stretches out endlessly.

At 37, I look back at stuff that happened a year ago and feel like it was yesterday. I just thought that I hadn't invited my friend snorkeling for a couple of months, only to find it has been 11 months. Couldn't believe it. Year after year, nothing change any more.
 
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Sidney Prescott

Unconfirmed Member
Faster, for sure.

I still feel like a teenager, but I'm 25. I literally look at games like Call of Duty 4 and can't believe they came out in 2007. It doesn't feel real.
 
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Nester99

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I have two kids under 2 and am over 40.

The days are long but the months move like lightning.

Life is moving so fast now it’s frustrating to think I am pst the halfway point. 2020 went by in a heartbeat. I am going to wake up and be 60.

Actively planning retirement so I can try and live a life before it’s gone.

At 20 and 30 I thought it was endless. Now I can visualize the end.


Don’t waste time, you actually do t have as much as you think.
 

Svengoolie007

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I feel like it's related to the number of memories we have. The more special and interesting things you do, the more time will feel like it's going slow. Like you've done so many things since that 5 year memory that it seems like it should be further off.

There's also a paradox there because when you're having fun, time feels like it's passing by faster. Likewise, when you're sitting around or you're working a shitty job, time crawls.

And yet if that's all you ever do, like most of us over the past year, you don't have fun memories, suddenly a year passes and you think it was the fastest year ever.
 

Fbh

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For me it's definitely going faster.

I think a part of it is that it's all too easy to fall into a "work, eat, sleep" routine for at least 5 days a week. I don't dislike my job but from Monday through Friday I do little more than get up, go to work, get home, cook and eat, maybe watch a show, read a book or play a game and then it's sleep and back to work .
In the winter it's even worse because it's dark when I leave in the morning and dark when I get back.
 
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Ikutachi

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The flow of time is always cruel...
Its speed seems different for
each person, but no one can
change it...
A thing that doesn't change with
time is a memory of younger days...
In order to come back here again,
play the Minuet of Forest.
 
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Kev Kev

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Oct 25, 2012
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Slower. I do not sleep a lot, yet I do the same things all the time. Time should move faster.... but it doesn‘t.
whats your day job like? do you love what you do? single? married? kids? depressed? still enjoying your everyday life?

lol sorry for the 20 questions, im just trying to find commonalities. its rare to find someone else who feels things are getting slower.
 

Ten_Fold

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Man working 40 hours a week, managing your relationship, while finding time to travel, work on your side hustles to become your main one takes ALOT of time. So time moves soo fast for me. When I was a kid I was bored at school so time seemed soo slow.
 
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Kev Kev

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Man working 40 hours a week, managing your relationship, while finding time to travel, work on your side hustles to become your main one takes ALOT of time. So time moves soo fast for me. When I was a kid I was bored at school so time seemed soo slow.
That’s the thing tho, I’ve been insanely busy as well, yet I feel time moves slower every year. What gives?
 
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Fictive

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Imagine you’ve lived 100 years, what’s 10 years more to you then? 100 years more if you lived 1000 years? It’s all relative, of course. .
 
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Kev Kev

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Imagine you’ve lived 100 years, what’s 10 years more to you then? 100 years more if you lived 1000 years? It’s all relative, of course. .
Yeah I get it, but that applies for people with fast time perception, mine is slooooowww.
 

Outlier

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If you're just living repeat day2day life of basic work eat sleep, then time will feel like it's passing you by, If you live your life like a kid, it will feel slower.

Keep your brain learning something fresh, so it can get off of auto-pilot, and time won't pass you by.
 
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eMPOK

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LIfe is like a giant toilet. When you're born you're furtherest from the vortex event horizon that is the drain, thusly each day seems slower and time feels like forever. As you get older however, you slowly circulate around the drain, growing in speed until you hit the center aka death and you're flushed away forever.
 
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MaestroMike

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hel!a fast since I'm working so dam much and I don't even have kids/wife/gf now I understand why some people chase big as$ paydays so they don't have to work so much and can retire early. my minds been stuck in like the 1990s to early 2010s for like a decade haha
 
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JimmyRustler

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whats your day job like? do you love what you do? single? married? kids? depressed? still enjoying your everyday life?

lol sorry for the 20 questions, im just trying to find commonalities. its rare to find someone else who feels things are getting slower.
Job... Same shit every day (office). Single, no kids. No despression. That (as well as time speeding up again) came when I got myself a girl last year and after that failed it took me quite a while to get my life in order again. It's even better now though than it was before before though.

I love my life. I actually love it so much that I trained myself to sleep less (4 hours per night) to get more of it at some point. Up to 6 hours again now though but would not even want to sleep more. Sleeping is just wasted time.

What led me to this point would be very hard to narrow down mate. I think it has a lot to do with being contempt at you job (no worries about future) and current state of life (just enjoying that you are healthy and alive, no constantly striving to achieve more
), having no obligations whatsoever and actually only doing the stuff you want to.
 
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Karmic Raze

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It seems to be a mix of the two for me. For some reason time passes quickly, but when I look back at what’s happened in my life recently and over the last few years it seems to be a lifetime ago just as you stated, OP. It’s very weird for me. I don’t know... I guess I’ve just changed a lot as a person since then.
 
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GeorgPrime

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Jan 9, 2020
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I imagine most people are going to say faster, and I believe you! However, for me, it feels slower. Anyone else? And why?

I had a 5 years ago memory pop up on my Facebook and I was floored that it was only 5 years ago. I've had this sensation for about 10 years now (since I was about 24), so the feeling is nothing new. However, I was still blown away at how much slower time feels now, and the effect seems to get stronger every year! I'm almost alarmed by it, like there is something wrong with me. The memory that was from 5 years ago, legit feels like ages ago, like I've lived multiple lifetimes since then (ok so that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea).

I've come up with all kinds of mixed results on google, as to why time goes faster for some and slower for others. Overwhelmingly, people claim it goes faster, but there are a few other out there like me who claim slower.

Which is it for you? What do you think the reasons are for each?

Same as always.

as soon as i start gaming time is running away xD
 
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danowat

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I wish I could slow it down a bit, I feel like I blink and a week has gone by, as it stands, based on average life expectancy, I have about 25% of my life life, and that's a scary thought.
 
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GymWolf

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I have this strange thing where every day when i check the clock it's always 11:11, this thing is starting to creep me out...

Other than that, time feels faster for me compared to when i was young.
 
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UnNamed

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That's why time seem to flow slower when you are in vacation, more time to spend to live new things, new places, new people, everything is new again.
 
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