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Is time really going faster or do we just imagine it?

Updated on March 28, 2013
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Reflections about time

I recently heard that most young people can no longer tell the time when they are shown an analogue clock. I was shocked! How could they possibly be so dumb? But then I learned that the kids of today are growing up with digital watches and apparently, that is all they know. It seems that old-fashioned watches are a thing of the past, at least for the younger generation. No wonder I am getting blank stares when I'm asked what time it is and I reply: "It's quarter to 5", which of course sounds totally different from the "4:45" they know. Thank God I have grown up "multi-timely" and I can understand the time whether it's in quarters, in minutes, in 24 hour increments, in am or in pm. But I guess this quality also makes me an old fossil - somebody who doesn’t keep up with the modern times. For the older crowd, an analogue Rolex, IWC or Breitling is still the sign of ultimate sophistication. After all, what would James Bond look like with a digital plastic watch made in China?


What is time anyway?

To my knowledge, time is the only common measuring system that we share worldwide. It doesn’t matter who and where you are, a day always has 24 hours and an hour sixty minutes. Amazing that mankind could agree on something.

Although a minute always has 60 seconds, a minute can feel like a flash or an eternity. Time is relative, it always depends on the circumstances and the person involved.

  • For a kid, time doesn't go fast enough
  • For a manager, time is money
  • For a dying person, time is running out
  • For an inventor, time is of essence
  • For a busy person, time is simply running away
  • For a bored person, time is endless
  • For lovers, time is precious
  • For a prisoner, time is like an eternity

When I lay awake at night, a minute feels like an hour. However when I snuggle up in bed in the morning, an hour feels like a minute. A 15 minute coffe break passes like a flash but the last 15 minutes at work seem to last forever, especially before the weekend.

My 94 year old father was upset when he had to spend a whole hour waiting at the doctor’s office. At first I couldn't understand what that fuss was all about. After all, old people always have plenty of time. Don’t they? And then it all of a sudden hit me: To a person who is running out of time an hour is precious, not something that you want to waste waiting.

And then there are always the people who complain that time is going faster and faster. Is it, because they are getting older or busier? No wonder somebody invented the saying “life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes”.

Older people sometimes feel that they should have done things earlier but they can't get back the time.  As children we can't wait to grow up and we want time to go faster.
Older people sometimes feel that they should have done things earlier but they can't get back the time. As children we can't wait to grow up and we want time to go faster. | Source
You can't slow down time by rushing. People who rush are often stressed and miss the moment!
You can't slow down time by rushing. People who rush are often stressed and miss the moment! | Source
It is up to each individual what we make of our time. Most people strive for wealth, so that they can have more time to relax. Therefore it's not the money, that makes us happy but the time for recreation.
It is up to each individual what we make of our time. Most people strive for wealth, so that they can have more time to relax. Therefore it's not the money, that makes us happy but the time for recreation. | Source

How can we make more time

Maybe we could slow down the whole process by relaxing more and rushing less. Maybe we should just switch off all our modern gadgets that keep us busy around the clock and make some "ME" time? Maybe we should stop and smell the roses?

Time is merely a perception or a guideline. Depending on how we use it, it can either be stressful or relaxing.

Time is valuable, but although time is money, money can't buy time.

Wealthy or successful people often complain that they lack time. They rush around all day long in order to accumulate as much wealth as possible "for their retirement". They don't live the moment and they don't seem to enjoy their wealth. Their goal is retirement - or quality time! Therefore, logically speaking, it's not wealth that makes us happy, it's quality time! In this materialistic world we live in, we often tend to forget that.

It is individually up to each one of us what we make of our time. Whether we like it or not, our time is limited and sooner or later we will run out. We cannot bring back things from the past or slow-down the future. That's why we should live the moment!

So next time, before you say that you don't have time for that cup of coffee with a friend or a 10 minute phone call with your mother, think again. You might never get that opportunity again!


End of life poll:

What would you do If you knew that you only had 7 days left:

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What is time: A philosophical perspective

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    • novascotiamiss profile imageAUTHOR

      Novascotiamiss 

      5 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      healthwealthmusic: Thanks for your precious time to read this and to leave your kind comment. Yes, you're absolutely right, the only way to stop time is to relax and do something for yourself. Unfortunately most people don't realize this and accelerate time by rushing and multitasking.

    • healthwealthmusic profile image

      Ruth R. Martin 

      5 years ago from Everywhere Online ~ Fingerlakes ~ Upstate New York

      Well worth the few minutes it took to read this :) Thanks for the reminders - I am making sure my children learn how to read time, and not just digital time! When life seems to be rushing by too fast, I like to take some time out to relax and do something fun or quiet - it really seems to make a difference :)

    • novascotiamiss profile imageAUTHOR

      Novascotiamiss 

      6 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      Invincible. As long as you can keep a happy equilibrium then there's nothing wrong with time seeming to run away. It means that you are not bored and there's nothing worse than boredom.

    • The Invincible profile image

      Hitesh Bubbar 

      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I loved this piece... Time for me just seems to be running away.. I guess I should just take some out to 'smell the roses', as u quoted... :)

    • CrazedNovelist profile image

      AE Williams 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      :) Not at all. Writing is never a waste, just a good way of expressing your feelings.

    • novascotiamiss profile imageAUTHOR

      Novascotiamiss 

      7 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      CrazedNovelist: Thanks for taking time to read my hub. Glad you loved it. At least if wasn't a waste of time.

    • novascotiamiss profile imageAUTHOR

      Novascotiamiss 

      7 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      Taleb, you're right, time can bring money (that is if you are saving). But time can also take money (inflation, devaluation etc.). And also people who have more time, spend more money (shopping etc.). I guess only time will tell...

    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 

      7 years ago

      I agree with you that money can't buy time, but I think time can bring the money.

    • CrazedNovelist profile image

      AE Williams 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Cute post. :) Really love your interpretation of time :P

    • novascotiamiss profile imageAUTHOR

      Novascotiamiss 

      7 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      Taleb80: Last year when I wrote a travel article I all of a sudden started realizing that people who have a lot of money usually don't have much time and people who have a lot of time don't have much money (I belong to the second category). So many things on the bucket list but nobody to pay for them... That's when I realized that money can't buy time and vice versa.

    • novascotiamiss profile imageAUTHOR

      Novascotiamiss 

      7 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      Pamela99: I also feel that time is going faster and faster but that seems to be happening to everybody. I see it as a good sign that I'm always busy and never bored. There's nothing worse than boredom, then time really seems to crawl.

    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 

      7 years ago

      This sentence is wise "Time is valuable, but although time is money, money can't buy time."

      Thank you for this nice hub.

      I voted Useful.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I have found time seems to go faster with each year I grow older. I like you interesting hub and it's perspective on time.

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