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Why Fun Feels Fast — And How We Can Control Time

Why Fun Feels Fast — And How We Can Control Time

Aroosa Khan
By Aroosa Khan on June 8, 2023

Time. It ticks, it tocks — around the clock.

It’s our most precious resource and it’s not renewable. It’s slipping away from us even now.

Whether time is a tangible reality of the physical world or merely an subjective construct of the human mind is heavily debated in philosophy and quantum physics.

Time has fascinated humanity for millenia. And for the religious, the concept of eternity holds profound significance.

While most people have watches and phones to tell what time it is, it turns out we experience time much more subjectively than we realize…

For example, if you’re given a task to complete at school or work, you don’t rely on the clock to tell you how long it will take. You seem to already intuitively “know” how long it will take. Maybe 20 minutes, maybe 2 hours — maybe even 2 weeks. The point is, you just know.

Why Fun Feels Fast

We call this our time perception. It’s the subjective experience and interpretation of the passage of time. It involves how we perceive, process, and make sense of the duration, sequence, and rhythm of events in our daily lives.

Time perception is influenced by various factors, including our cognitive processes, attention, memory, emotions, and external stimuli. It plays a crucial role in shaping our understanding of reality and impacts our ability to plan, remember, and engage with the world around us.

Our perception of time differs from our other senses because we don’t directly sense it but rather perceive it. Unlike our sensory organs responsible for sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell, there is no singular organ dedicated to encoding time.

And what’s interesting is that this ability to accurately perceive the passage of time is something those with ADHD struggle with — referred to as “time-blindness”.

But what if — for the benefit of our lives — we could control the passage of time?

In a unique example, let’s consider some interesting places that use our perception of time against us. One such space is the casino.

Ever noticed that Casinos don’t have clocks, or windows?

Instead, they feature vibrant, attention-grabbing carpets and soothing scents that aim to reduce anxiety. The background music seamlessly blends together with a consistent tempo and minimal lyrics, making it difficult to notice the changing songs. Every aspect of a casino, including colors, scents, and sounds, is strategically designed to create an environment where the sense of time becomes elusive. This deliberate manipulation aims to captivate customers and create a space where the passage of time fades away from consciousness.

The result? You end up staying way longer, and spending more time (and money of course!)

So this begs the question, can you manipulate time in a favorable way?

Fun Feels Fast

Have you ever found yourself at the end of a day, turning to your travel companions and exclaiming, “Can you believe we were doing ‘xyz’ just this morning?” It’s astonishing how long the day feels in retrospect.

It’s likely that the day felt remarkably long due to the extensive processing of the novel environment you experienced, with its unfamiliar smells, sights, and people. This memory might have created a sense of elongated time compared to a typical day at work or school.

Time compression or that ‘fast-forward button’ happens when we are highly engaged or immersed in an activity, such as playing a video game or enjoying our time with others.

When it draaaaaaagggggsssss…

Admittedly, it can be challenging to endure the entirety of each day’s 86,400 seconds, whether it’s due to factors like chronic pain, depression, a monotonous job, or a relentless and repetitive schedule.

There likely have been moments where you wish there was a fast-forward button on time — a remote you could press to skip the boring parts and get on with the fun stuff.

Or maybe you’re on the other side of the spectrum, where everything around you is going way too fast. The days seem to fly by, you seem to always be under pressure from the clock, your to-do list is an ever-growing mountain, and you wish you could just stop time and take a breather.

The Flow State

“Flow”, a concept popularized by Csikszentmihalyi of Claremont Graduate University, refers to a state of deep immersion in an activity where external distractions fade away. Whether it occurs during sports, work, or engaging in a creative project, a notable aspect of the flow experience is the altered perception of time. Typically, individuals in a state of flow feel that time is passing faster than usual, as they become fully absorbed and intensely focused on the task at hand.

How The Crown can help manipulate time

Our signature Crown introduces a fascinating aspect to the realm of BCI technology — it can allow individuals to potentially exert control over their perception of time by helping you enter the flow state.

For example, during tasks that require extended periods of concentration, the Crown can help individuals enter a state of deep focus and reduce distractions. This heightened focus may lead to a more efficient use of time, allowing individuals to accomplish tasks more quickly and effectively.

Moreover, the Crown can aid in combating the sense of time dragging or feeling overwhelmed by time constraints. By providing real-time feedback on brainwave patterns associated with relaxation or flow states, the device can assist in managing stress and improving time perception. This can result in a more balanced and fulfilling work experience, contributing to a healthier perception of time throughout the workday.

By leveraging the power of brain-computer interfaces, the Crown device enables users to access deep focus states and enhance their time perception. This groundbreaking capability has the potential to revolutionize how we experience and interact with the passage of time, providing new avenues for productivity, creativity, and personal growth.

This exemplifies the ever-expanding frontiers of BCI technology, offering exciting possibilities for shaping our temporal experience.

So how does it work?

At its core, the Crown is equipped with an electroencephalogram (EEG) that detects and records the electrical activity of the user’s brain. This EEG data is then processed and analyzed to extract valuable insights about the user’s cognitive state and focus levels.

The Crown’s sophisticated algorithms and machine learning capabilities allow it to decode and interpret the brain signals, providing real-time feedback and insights to the user.

By leveraging this technology, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their own cognitive patterns and learn to optimize their focus and attention — improving how they spend their time.

Time in a clinical sense

If adjustments in time perception can help address the impulsivity associated with ADHD and addiction or alleviate the sense of sluggishness and boredom experienced during depressive episodes, it could significantly enhance the manageability of symptoms.

So there you have it…

The deeper our comprehension of time perception, the greater our ability to exert control in our lives. If we consider the notion that perception shapes our reality, we effectively possess the capability to lengthen or shorten our days.

It’s no time machine, but it’s something.


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