image There literally is something called Swatch Internet Time. The Swatch company devised a method where literal time was measured in ".beat" increments (yes, with the period). You can see the current internet time here with a conversion chart for your own locale.

However this article deals with how time is perceived on the internet.

Anyone who has used the internet understands that time appears to move much faster online.

Is this true?

I say yes.

A phrase I use often that has a lot of truth to it is "Nobody can remember what they did on the internet last week."

Think about that for a moment. Without looking at your e-mail, browser history, chat logs or anything of reference – what can you remember that you did online last week?

Chances are high you won’t remember much.

But you can remember things you did last week that didn’t involve the computer at all – and probably quite a few of them.

Why is this?

It’s because in the real world you do things a lot slower. And the more time you spend doing something the more it’s likely to "stick" in your head for a while.

On the internet, not only do you do things faster but also more of them.

Real life and internet is analogous to television show and television commercials as far as the mind’s eye is concerned. You will remember the show, but you won’t remember the commercials even though there are more of them.

If one were to put it in literal figures…

A relatively accurate perception of internet time is real time x 3.

There are 52 weeks in a year. In internet time that’s 156 weeks (52 x 3). Digging down further, that’s 21 days in a week, 72 hours a day (roughly).

If you apply this math to real-life events you get a very good indication of how the internet perceives time.

Microsoft Windows XP was released October 2001, exactly 6.97 years ago as of this writing.

In internet time: Windows XP was launched almost 21 years ago.

Mac OS X v10.0 "Cheetah" was released in March 2001, exactly 7.56 years ago as of this writing.

In internet time: Mac OS X was released just over 22 years ago.

Microsoft Windows Vista, released January 2006
Literal: Close to 2 years old.
Internet: Just over 5 years old.

Mac OS X Leopard, released October 2007
Literal: Just under a year old.
Internet: Almost 3 years old.

Ubuntu, initially released October 2004
Literal: Almost 4 years old.
Internet: Almost 12 years old.

When you step back and take a look at the literal figures for age, you think "Wow. Some of that stuff, literally speaking, isn’t that old."

That’s right.

However the internet perceives things as old very quickly.

In real life, anything computer related over the age of one year (generally speaking) is considered "old".

But remember that on the internet, one real year is over in only 122 days.