To Time Travel or Not to Time Travel

The past few years have seen a resurgence in time travel movies, and even though half of them aren’t good, they have greatly influenced public discussion. I have found myself many a time pondering if I would like to time travel if given the opportunity. There are different methods of time travel, and many people believe one is superior to the other. Due to the lack of time (haha, get it?) only two methods of time travel will be discussed in this essay. The two methods are free range time travel and looped time travel. Although time travel is a fun activity one can enjoy over the weekend, its potential consequences should make anyone think twice about it.

Free range time travel (F.R.T.T.) means that you can move backwards and forwards in time without restriction, hence free range in the name. Although F.R.T.T. seems like the most obvious way of time travel, there are some severe consequences of it. For example, in the movie Terminator 2: Judgement Day, F.R.T.T. is used to murder several people. If we invent F.R.T.T., we must prohibit anyone from sending killing machines into the past. If people are murdered in the past, it will drastically affect the future and will create temporal paradoxes (which are not good). Another downside of F.R.T.T. is that if you go into the past by 30 years to watch Terminator, you could return to your time machine and find it has been broken. Now you need to wait 30 years so that you can file a complaint against the time machine company. You may be thinking, is there anyway to prevent these tragedies at a 100% success rate? And the answer is yes: the closed loop time travel system!

Looped time travel seems to be the best solution to all of the issues presented by F.R.T.T., but what exactly is it? In looped time travel an individual wakes up inside of the same day, every day, for as long as it takes for them to realize a valuable lesson. In the closed loop time travel system there can be no forced aging and no murder (when you wake up the next day, everyone will be alive). There are some issues with this method of time travel and they go as follows: there is no way to guarantee when a time loop is about to happen, and once someone is in a time loop…they could be stuck in it forever. Upon viewing Groundhog Day, it becomes apparent that no one is expecting a time loop, and the main character becomes stuck in the loop for quite some time. Feelings of isolation may be overwhelming, and lead to some emotional disturbances. After all of these issues become apparent, it is no surprise if someone begins wondering whether or not time travel is even worth it? 

In the end, the answer to the previous question is no. Time travel is an extremely difficult process and experiment that can have detrimental effects on your physical and mental health. Our society has always been obsessed with time travel because we think it will somehow right the wrongs we have committed. I plead with you to forgo such idealized worlds. If one cannot make mistakes, they cannot grow—there is no other way around it. Instead of rejecting flaws and past mistakes, we should learn to accept them, and in doing so, create a culture that allows for forgiveness. We must learn to stop blaming ourselves for past mistakes because all that will do is lead to new ones. In times of worry remember this: to err is human, to forgive is divine. 

Miranda Connolly

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