Group Sense of Time

When you’re a six-year-old waiting for a friend to arrive for a play date, an hour can feel like an eternity. (“How many minutes now?”)

When your friend has arrived, two hours can fly by in an instant.

It’s universally agreed that our sense of time is influenced by our mental state; it’s interesting when your sense of time is out-of-sync with someone else’s. (For example, me and my six-year-old this morning.) The idea that two people have completely different senses of how long a span of time feels is fascinating.

What’s more fascinating is when our sense of time syncs up within a group. When 15 minutes feels the same for me as it does for you, we are connected in a deep way.

There has been much recent research about choirs tendency to sync heartbeats and brain waves when singing together; I think those are both related to a choir, when deeply connected, feeling time in the same way.

If we’re going to emote together, we need to be this deeply connected; when we can get our audience to experience real time in the same way as we do, we have truly reached them.

Practicing this deep level of engagement should be near the top of our list as we begin a new school year – can we be uniformly engaged to the point where our minds literally tick together?