Maybe I’m just obsessed with the concept of reality being based on one’s perception, but it really seems like time is passing quicker. I feel like most mundane daily conversations that I have usually end with some aggravated rant about how I feel cheated by time. It’s already March. We’ve had Spring Break. It’ll be summer soon. Then, before we know it, it’ll be summer again.
This phenomenon is something I’ve discussed with many of my peers, young and old alike. The young agree with me, and the old attest to it getting more noticeable as the years go by. What then is changing “as the years go by”? Technology.
It is my belief that we’ve actually been time traveling as a society with the help of technological advances and increased convenience.
When you think about it, antiquated processes (like walking, heating your food over an open flame, building a fire for said flame, written correspondence, researching in the library, etc.) take much more time than the current replacements. Jets fling you thousands of miles. Stoves allow you to have a flame with the turn of a knob. Email is instant. JStor is a lifesaver. We are getting the results with a fraction of the time.
This is causing time compression. Because we’re able to accomplish so much with our time, it’s distorting our perception of the passage of time.
Input of information is also a factor in all of this, I think. Today’s average tech-savvy individual receives much more information being plugged into the Internet in the day to day world than people of past generations would have ever imagined possible in their lifetimes. We’re all thinking and seeing and doing so much… but it doesn’t feel strange to us because that’s just how things are now. We still have the same sense of time, but with a different feeling. We’ve been time traveling for years.