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In what was my introductory column, I mentioned how ‘each year felt like an eternity’ growing up. It is not so anymore; just like that, 2019 is here. Is it because I have more things to do now that I feel time slipping away from me all Dali-style? Or do we as young children perceive time differently than as when we’re older?
Apparently, acquiring more responsibilities as you age does explain why you might feel time go by faster with the years. Another explanation is what experts call ‘ratio theory’; the older we get, the less proportion each year takes in our lives. It becomes natural then for youngins to regard each year as a very long while.
Luckily, if you would like 2019 to stick around a little longer, there are things that you can do!
Anticipation, as does waiting, has a big role to play in how you perceive time, making it seem to take longer than it actually does. When you’re forced to pay attention to it, as young kids usually are, you might sense time as going slowly. Planning out something to look forward to in the near future will surely help decelerate time.
Alternatively, try your hand at something new! Taking in fresh information creates the illusion of time deferred as newer memories are created.
Interestingly, animals perceive time differently as well. In fact, this has been confirmed by studies and the consensus is that smaller animals with faster metabolic rates, experience time more slowly than us. This means they are able to take in information faster, and therefore, react faster as well. No need to freak out then when a fast moving vehicle nears a pigeon... it’s not as fast for the bird.