Technology 'makes time pass faster'

20th Nov 15 | Lifestyle

Can't believe it's almost Christmas? You can blame how quickly time is passing on technology!

Technology 'makes time pass faster'

Ever catch yourself muttering about how fast the time is passing or complaining there just aren't enough hours in the day? Researchers now say technology could be affecting our internal 'pacemakers', meaning we perceive time as moving more quickly than it actually is.

A new study claims gadgets like smartphones and tablets mean our brains are processing information faster, tricking us into thinking time is ticking quicker than it used to.

"I've found some indication that interacting with technology and technocentric societies has increased some type of pacemaker within us," James Cook University researcher Dr Aoife McLoughlin explained to ScienceAlert.

"While it might help us to work faster, it also makes us feel more pressured by time."

To investigate her theory, Dr McLoughlin studied two groups of people - one which used tech regularly and one which very rarely came into contact with gadgets - and quizzed them on how they perceived the passage of time.

Those more reliant on technology overestimated how quickly time was passing and also felt more stressed, as they were constantly running against the clock.

Interestingly, those who were given a technology-based advert to read also thought time was ticking faster than those who read a completely unrelated excerpt from a novel.

This means even the mere suggestion of tech could have an impact.

"It's almost as though we're trying to emulate the technology and be speedier and more efficient," the researcher continued.

"It seems like there's something about technology itself that primes us to increase that pacemaker inside of us that measures the passing of time."

So maybe you should listen to that friendly advice from the less technology obsessed generation that went before us and switch off and take a deep breath.

"What I'm arguing is that there is a genuine quantifiable cognitive basis for this advice, rather than it simply being about taking a step back," Dr McLoughlin said. "It's a scientific reason to stop and smell the roses."

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