Why does time fly when you’re having fun? This is one of those universal questions that has always been asked right? Well here is what I think. Time is a perception so our bodies must be doing something to change it. (yes i know you physicist out there are going so say time is actually not a perception, but in fact a measurement of space that is effected by gravity and speed) Yadda Yadda… well this is what I think anyway.
There are 2 main reasons time flies by.
- #1 Fun
- #2 Aging
My thoughts on why time flies by when you are having fun are that when you have fun you release endorphins. Endorphins allow you to relax and not measure every little thing. This would hold up if you were to compare times perception when you are working or waiting for water to boil as an example. When you are working you are not having “much” fun and so you are perceiving reality on a painfully slow and boring pace.
So when you are happy things go by faster, when you are not so happy things go by slow right? So what happens when you are afraid? Time nearly stands still. You hear people from car wrecks and those who have escaped tragedy say that “It was as if time stood still, everything was moving so slowly”. That would be consistent with our theory then right?
So in summation when you are having fun things go by fast, when you are waiting for water to boil things go by slow, and when you are afraid or in shock time slows to nearly a halt.
But why? Why does time perception change? Well what benefit does perceptual warping of time have on our existence as a species?
The Benefits of Perceptual Time Warping
When humans feel endangered, slowing down time allows us to react faster and more accurate. If perception is reality then we are really slowing down time so that we may better preserve our life, and pass genes down to future generations. Do you want time to fly by when a tiger is chasing you through the jungle? Or do you want it slow down to a snail’s pace, so that you have a bit more time to think about every move you make?
So when does time stop? Time stops when we are at the ultimate end of the spectrum, when we can no longer effectively make decisions. Why can’t people remember the time before and after a car crash or crippling disaster? The person may be totally awake, screaming, yelling, kicking, and biting, but often times not recall anything. Just a thought.
What about Aging? Why does time fly for those who are older? Are they having super duper fun?
I think time flies because it’s just another day. Your brain has no reason to store the memories of every time you brushed your teeth, every drive to work, every drive home, every meat loaf dinner, and every time you take a shower. I’m not advocating against those things, I’m all for hygiene and working hard, but these “mundane things” are the culprit.
Do you remember summer vacation as a child? Didn’t it seem to last forever, and what about Halloween and Thanksgiving those were pretty magical right? As a kid you are in awe of everything, things are new, and your body crams info into your developing brain as fast as it can shovel it in. This is why “kids” are such sponges. They can learn things much easier than the rest of us, it is because they have no preconceived anything. They don’t block things out like us adults, just because we’ve seen it all. (sorta)
Whenever LSD was ok’d for testing during the 50’s and 60’s there was a group at a Harvard doing a study, and one of the things they noted was that the heightened level of awareness that persons perceived on the drug was most partially the result of the drugs ability to shut down our minds filters. Those persons also felt an extension of time. Imagine a child standing on the side of a road as a large truck passes. If this is the first time the child has seen, heard, and felt a vehicle pass then the child will be “in shock” and “overstimulated”. An adult on the other hand will most likely not even notice the vehicle passing. His mind has filtered it out, and for good reason. We don’t need to be overwhelmed with emotions every time a car passes by, we wouldn’t get anything done right?
So the more you can enjoy life, and look at things as if you are seeing them for the first time, the longer your life will ultimately seem.
So that pretty much sums up my opinion on why time flies when you’re having fun, if you have any comments please post them below.