Have you ever calculated how old you are in dog years? Or figured out what your age would be if you lived on Mars?
I know I have. Who hasn’t?
The formulas are simple enough. Humans live on average seven times longer than a dog so all you need to do is multiply your age by seven. And since Mars takes about twice the number of days to rotate around the sun all you you need to do is divide your age by two.
But have you ever figured out the difference in the feeling of time between the older and younger you?
We all have this sense that time is speeding up as we get older. I was reminded of this recently when the prospect of a 45 minute car trip brought my son to tears. 45 minutes of course doesn’t feel long to me NOW but I remember how it once felt substantially longer.
So how does 45 minutes at the age of eight compare to my experience at the age of thirty-five or perhaps more importantly what will 45 minutes feel like to me when I’m eighty?
In this post I want to show how you can simply and accurately compare your experience of time with those of a different age.
Why We Feel Time is Speeding Up
While there are a number of reasonable explanations for why time feels to be accelerating there’s only one that is any sense measurable.
Time speed-up is not entirely subjective. The feeling is a result of adding moments to our lives. Just as printing more money devalues the dollar so adding new experiences decreases the feeling of time. Each moment, as a ratio of your life, is literally becoming less than the one before. See my post Why We Feel Time is Speeding Up for more on this.
This rate of change is the same for every one. And because it’s the same, it’s possible to compare the feeling of speed between any two ages. Here’s how.
Comparing the Older Person to the Younger
So you want to know what 45 minutes at the age of 8 feels like to 35 year old or what 45 minutes at the age of 35 feels like to an 80 year old.
Use this formula when you want to know what the younger person experience would feel like to the older person.
Divid the older persons age by the younger persons age.
Multiply the given period of time by the answer to step 1
The equation looks like this: Time(Older Persons Age / Younger Persons Age).
What does 45 minutes at the age of 8 feel like to a 35 year old?
Answer:45 x (35/8) = A 35 year old would need to wait 197 minutes to experience what 45 minutes feels like to an 8 year old.
What does 45 minutes at the age of 35 feels like to an 80 year old? Answer: 45 x (80/35) = An 80 year old would need to wait 102 minutes to experience what 45 minutes feels like to a 35 year old.
Comparing the Younger Person to the Older
Now you want to know the reverse. What does the older persons experience of time feel like to the younger person.
Divide the older persons age by the younger persons age.
Divide the period of time by the answer to step 1.
The equation looks like this: Time / (Older Persons Age / Younger Persons Age).
What does 45 minutes at the age of 35 feels like to an 8 year old. 45 / (35/8) = Answer: An 8 year old would need to wait for 10 minutes to experience what 45 minutes feels like to a 35 year old.
What does 45 minutes at the age of 80 feels like to a 35 year old. 45 / (80/35) = Answer: A 35 year old would need to wait 20 minutes to experience what 45 minutes feels like to 80 year old.
It’s interesting and fun to compare our experience of time with others. What’s not so fun, however, is finding out how much experience you might have left. I’ll tackle what this theory says about our future in my next post If Time is Speeding Up How Much Time Do We Have Left