How Time flies!

In his book “Future Shock” (1970), Alvin Toffler , as a Futurist, orchestrated the effects , on various segments of society, of “too much change in too short a period of time”. Here is a sample;

Older people are more likely to react strongly against any further  acceleration of change.There is a solid mathematical basis for the observation that age often correlates with conservatism; time passes more swiftly for the old.

When a fifty-year-old father tells his fifteen-year-old son that he will have to wait two years before he can have a car of his own, that interval of 730 days represents a mere 4 percent of his father’s  lifetime to date. It represents over 13 percent of the boy’s lifetime. It is hardly strange that to the boy the delay seems three to four times longer than to the father. Similarly,  two hours in the life of a four-year-old may be the felt equivalent of twelve hours in the life of her twenty four-year-old mother.. Asking the child to wait two hours for a piece of candy may be the equivalent of asking the mother to wait fourteen hours for a cup of coffee.

There may be a biological basis as well, for such differences in subjective responses to time.” With advancing age,”  writes psychologist John Cohen of the University of Manchester,” the calendar years seem progressively to shrink. In retrospect every year seems shorter than the year just completed, possibly as a result of the gradual slowing down of metabolic processes.”  In relation to the slowdown of their own biological rhythms, the world would appear to be moving faster to older people, even if it were not.

Whatever the reasons,the acceleration of change that has the effect of crowding more situations into the experiential channel in a given interval is magnified in the perception of the older person.As the rate of change in society speeds up, more and more older people feel the difference keenly.They, too, become dropouts, withdrawing into a private environment, cutting off as many contacts as possible with the fast-moving outside world and, finally, vegetating until death. We may never solve the psychological problems of the aged until we find the means-through biochemistry or re-education- to alter their time sense, or to provide structured enclaves* for them in which the pace of life is controlled, and even,perhaps, regulated according to a “sliding scale” calendar that reflects their own subjective perception of time.

*Was he predicting S3?




Shri Balasubrahmanyam N

Owner Resident

39, Soundaryam

Covai S3 Retirement Community

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