Recently I found this app called “How Many Saturdays?” on my internets phone. It was on the front page of the app store and the name caught my attention. Looking at the description I see it was an app that would tell you how many Saturdays you have left to live, based on your current age and assuming you would live to 80, I believe.
It was an experiment to make people think about the passage of time.
Here is their own description from the app store:
Standard units of time like seconds, hours, days, months, and years chop up time into chunks that seem sensible.
But here’s an experiment: What if you were to measure the time of your life in other, very different units? Does life feel shorter? Longer? More absurd? More precious?
Now’s the time to find out.
Enter your birthdate—then confront the not-so-grim reaper as you find out just how much you have (left) to live for.
How many cat lifetimes until you die? How many blue moons? How much space junk has fallen to earth since you were born, and how many breaths have you taken?
Far more than a mere lifespan calculator, this illustrated journey explores the metrics, mileposts, and meaning of life’s span. Carpe diem!
I thought this was an interesting idea and downloaded it. It is free and all, so I figure there can’t be any harm. Later that day I sit down to eat my lunch at work and I popped open the app for the first time. I start seeing particular stats about how many things will happen in my lifetime, like Presidential Elections which was 12 I think, and lightning strikes. This was particularly interesting as that number was a rather large one, many millions if not more but it was counting down at what looked several per second.
Seeing this and other facts really struck a chord with me. I suddenly wasn’t very hungry and found myself just staring out towards the window. A co-worker at a desk near me asked me if I was okay as I looked like I was contemplate life itself. I explained that actually, I was doing exactly that. I went over and showed them the app and explained it. They thought it was morbidly interesting.
I didn’t finish my lunch and didn’t eat much the rest of the day. But, I am glad it made me feel this way. It is good to look at life from new perspectives especially in an unplanned way that catches one off guard. I try to live my life working towards the things I want to accomplish and this is just a solid reminder that life is important and we should live it in a manner that shows that importance. Good job Exploratorium, good job.