Time Changes, But it Doesn’t

I was particularly drawn to the part of our reading discussing Time, because it forced me to think about the different ways in which people experience it. While we may experience time individually, and 10 minutes may feel longer to you than it does to me, I thought it was interesting how N&G discussed the social processes that shape our individual experiences. They comment on how each person’s experiences in the passing of time depend on the “material resources” involved, and most notably how these resources effect our time use vs. how other people use our time. In this way, time is relative, depending on what you’re doing and the way in which you are spending it.

It caused me to reflect about time in class, where an hour and a half in accounting and an hour and a half watching a movie may be numerically the same amount of time, Accounting feels 3 times as long because it is not as appealing. This relates to N&G’s musings on a person’s “free time” and the time you spend on someone else’s clock. Being forced to do charts and account ledgers in accounting feels like it is taking longer because that is not what I would rather be doing at that time, but what my accounting teacher would rather me be doing. Free time goes faster because within it, I get to choose what I want to do. These ideas are intriguing because that made me think about how other people can have control and power over other people’s time. Also, the idea that someone else could change the way you experience something that seems so sure and concrete as time is kind of impressive. Depending on the circumstances and the person involved, time changes, but it doesn’t actually. The things that changes is how we perceive it.

2 Responses to Time Changes, But it Doesn’t

  1. burkekm January 27, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

    I too enjoyed the chapter on time and how it makes you realize how relative time actually is. As you presented in this post, it seems like the more interested you are in what you’re doing, the faster time goes by. And with that logic, it seems the better your life is the sooner it comes to an end. So, if you have a miserable life it seems to drag on. Although both a miserable person and someone with an exceptionally “good” life may both die at the age of 80, one would have felt “Finally!” and the other feeling “Where did my whole life go?” What a cruel joke on humanity.

  2. Prof VZ February 7, 2016 at 9:25 pm #

    Very sad: “more interested you are in what you’re doing, the faster time goes by. And with that logic, it seems the better your life is the sooner it comes to an end”! I think lives feel full when they are full of experience, not when they are full of an excruciating sand-through-the-hourglass mentality of slowness and waiting. But perhaps the ‘mindfulness’ movement currently afoot is about slowing down, reflecting, and really collecting what is most important. it’s kind of like hitting the pause button on a fulfilled life.

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