The passage of time has a way of playing tricks on us. Things that happened a long time ago might seem recent, while a recent event could seem like a long time ago.

For instance, I swear Christmas comes around every two or three months. No sooner are you finished removing pine needles from behind the sofa when you’re in the store again shopping for Christmas gifts. I always think: “We just did this, didn’t we? No way it’s been a year. There’s still a partially eaten gingerbread house sitting in the dining room.”

Yet other things, such as your summer vacation, might as well of happened 30 years ago. “Where did we even go? Did I at least have fun?”

Two examples of this time warp phenomenon took place this week. First there was the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the second was the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.

I was amazed to realize that 9/11 took place 16 years ago. Sixteen years. A lot happens in 16 years. My two sons went from a kindergartener and second-grader to a college student and a college grad.

Sixteen years is the time span between the 1964 Beatles hit “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and 1980 Queen hit “Another One Bites the Dust.”

Sixteen years is also the time span between the end of “Seinfeld” (1998) and the premier in 2014 of “How to Get Away with Murder.”

A lot of time has passed since 9/11 yet in some ways it feels as if it happened maybe sometime last year. No matter how many years, how many decades, pass for a lot of us 9/11 will always feel like a thing that happened only a year or two ago.

Contrast this to the mind boggling realization that iPhones have only been around 10 years.

The iPhone seems like it has always been here. Didn’t Richard Nixon tweet from the Oval Office on his iPhone that he was resigning the presidency.

Who would be upset if a certain tweeter-in-chief did that today?

When my sons were born, I had the same experience as with iPhones. It was impossible to recall what life felt like before I had kids. Along with smart phones and children, HD TV has a similar effect.

Watch something on a standard definition television today and you feel as if you must be living back in the colonial era.

The iPhone and smartphones in general changed everything. Honestly, it’s only a phone in name. These are now tiny, wireless computers that we occasionally hold to our ear and talk into. And they keep becoming more advanced.

The new iPhone Roman Numeral X was introduced this week. It offers many exciting new features such as an edge to edge screen and wireless recharging.

Maybe the wireless recharging is not that exciting. After all, my electric toothbrush has had wireless recharging for years. And to reiterate, it’s a toothbrush.

Still, the iPhone Roman Numeral X does have something called animojis. Unlike boring old emojis, an animoji has the potential of being even more annoying, if you ever use it.

Remember how the current iPhones can add fireworks or balloons to a text message? You forgot, didn’t you? That’s because no one thinks to add special effects when texting. It’s hard enough to text and pay attention to the road.

The other big new thing with the iPhone Roman Numeral X is facial recognition software for security. You simply stare at your iPhone screen to unlock it. That’s right, you might never be able to unlock your iPhone again.

Then you’ll remember what life was like before iPhones were invented.

Lee lives in Medway. Email him at