Try to Imagine A Life Without Timekeeping

18 December 2015

What a Life Without Timekeeping Would Look Like

Hello Aluxer, I have a little time on my hands – you’ll get that pun later on – and decided to create a post on the illusion of time and what a life without timekeeping would be like!

There are of course obvious reasons why keeping track of how the time passes universally for everyone such as synchronization between events, planning, scheduling, documentation and everything else, but as we’ve discovered in life, there’s almost nothing that comes only with upsides.

Today I plan to explore one of the darker sides of this linearization and what a life without timekeeping would possibly look like.

As beings we are already born with a biological clock, the same clock that drives migrations, mating seasons, hibernation in animals and more. It’s evolution’s way of telling living things how to behave in order to survive and procreate.

The thing is, you can not escape time, and spacetime continuum is something we’re growing to understand in recent history. As humans most of our progress has been based on documentation, on keeping track of events but that comes with a slight downside.

Nature looks at time differently than we humans do, birds are not late, fish don’t care about the coming weekends and no animal cares what happened in the 19th century, because they schedule their lives based on primal desires such as mating or the ups and down in temperature.

Try to Imagine A Life Without Timekeeping image 1 alux

For them, time is circular: after day comes night, after Cold comes Hot and so on, no matter what label you put on it.

We’re are the only ones -we know of- that look at time in a linear manner. We look at each hour, we grasp every second and because of that man alone suffers from a paralyzing fear that none other animals endure: The fear of time running out!

Try to Imagine A Life Without Timekeeping image 2 alux

Let’s dive deeper into this and see how we see time based on different environments and social pressure.

If you’ve been alive for a while you might have experienced moments where time flies by or isn’t passing fast enough. Need more info on this? Remember when you were back in school in a boring class and time simply wouldn’t pass quick enough? What about when you were hanging out with your friends as a child, didn’t time seem to speed up?

In reality, time passes the same way in both cases, the difference comes from the social pressure causing time anxiety, pushing us to acknowledge the limitations of time.

When you were in school or when you are at work, you remember the time and date because your livelihood is measured in said increments, but when we are on holiday we tend to forget what day of the week it is and roughly keep track of the months passing by.

That’s the difference!

Try to Imagine A Life Without Timekeeping image 3 v2 alux


From a scientific point of view every living thing works based on their own biological clocks. As humans we’ve made a choice, we are actively trading temporary unhappiness for the possibility of getting more done in a shorter time span and that’s a trade we choose everyday.

Next time when you’re reflecting whether or not you are happy, just look at how fast time is passing by and based on it you could get a sense of it.

This post was sparked by a book titled The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom.