Why Time Travel Frustrates Me

Time travel. It's something that has been marveled at for years. It's also something that has caused insane amounts of trouble for many people (who, as far as we know, are fictional).

One reason time travel frustrates me is because there are so many ways it can be interpreted. So many rules about it can be changed.

For example, in Harry Potter, if you go into the past, you'll have to make sure that the things you experienced in the present must happen. For example (I'll be using the movie as a non-spoiler way of making an example), in the present, when they went to Hagrid's house, a stone came flying through the window. Now, when they went into the past, they waited to see if the stone would come flying through the window. It didn't, so they had to throw one so that time would continue normally.

They were able to come back to the present by living through that time period again without any trouble.

However, other books, like The Golden Hour, explain time travel a little bit differently.

If you send too many time travelers into the past, what do you think would happen? This book explains that when you're sent back in time, your body takes on a form in antimatter, and everything else is normal matter (I didn't understand what antimatter was, but that's besides the point). When too much antimatter goes back into time, there isn't enough matter to balance it out, and you could experience time jumps because of the unstable atmosphere. So if you meant to go back to Lincoln's time, and too many people went with you, some of you might appear there for a while, but then suddenly get warped back to Ancient Egypt.

Changing the past is another thing that drives me crazy. There are many different ways people see this too.

One idea is that you should imagine the universe as a branch. When you make a decision, the branch splits. The time you experience is the branch you're on, but the choice you didn't choose still exists, but it's on a different branch. There are all kinds of branches just paralleling each other that you're not experiencing. However, if you change the past, you're put onto a different branch, and you won't be able to come back to the present that you know. It changes nothing for those people on the unchanged branch, but it puts on you a different branch and you cannot come back to the original.

Other say that it's like it's all one branch, and when you change the past, it changes for everyone, because that's one stream of time.

One question I have is what happens if you go back and try to talk to yourself? Some say that if you make any physical contact with yourself, you'll cancel each other out. In other words, you'll explode and cease to exist. But can you go back and warn yourself of your impending doom? Or would this go into the "universe is like a branch" theory?

So. That is why time travel frustrates me.

What do you think?

That is all.


  1. Yes! I know exactly what you are talking about! I am, right now, working on a story, and it has time travel... ug. It is SO confusing.
    I think when two people see each other, the would not cease to exist, but it would be hard to convince your past self who you are and how time travel is possible. Time travel is cool, but hard to factor in all the rules and how it works...
    There is SO much irony in this post... I find it funny. Irony that we are both working on "stories" with time travel at the same time, and have a lot of those same questions.
    ~ A. J. Ryan

    1. Convincing your past self would be even harder if you weren't in a dystopian setting, or in an area where people believe things easily.
      I'm not sure if I would call it irony, but it is a pretty special coincidence.


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