'Most people assume time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbley-wobbley, timey-wimey, STUFF.'-David Tennant as The Doctor.
A lot of people don't think time is real. They think time is just an idea made up by man to explain things and to live off of.
'The clock is a conspiracy and a crime against humanity, and I would not own one, except I miss appointments without it.'-Story People.
'Time' explains things happening in a certain order and all the stuff with the sun and the Earth rotating. The concept of that stuff being 'time' is man made, but maybe it is real...
Man made up the whole hours and minutes and seconds thing and how long those are but they do work. That system fits into the interval of the sun going up and going down and the moon and such, but really you could use anything. For instance you could have something called a...whatever, which could be three seconds normal time, which fits however many times into a...something, which could fit however many times into the sun going up and down interval. So since you could use anything, some people could argue that time does not exist.
If you think about it, however, the sun does go up and down at certain times and moves across the sky at a set pace and that could be a 'day', and it does take 365 of those 'days' for the Earth to make a rotation around the sun. All that 'fits' and is natural, so, to some people, that could be 'time' and it could be considered real.
On another hand (and I don't know how many I have here), all that is completely natural and maybe the concept of time is just applied to it. Really, the sun does not move at all (except for its obvious movement on the milky way arm around the center of the galaxy) and the Earth just goes around it. The moon is spinning while circling around the Earth which is spinning while making circles around the sun which is just sitting (floating?) there watching it all go by. Maybe there is no such thing as day and night because the Earth is just a big ball spinning in little circles and rotating around a giant ball of gas. So time in this physical sense could just be made up.
However, that is just thinking of time in a physical sense. In a more abstract sense you've got the ideas of past, present, future, cause and effect, and even time travel. Some people think like this: 'Something already happened, something's happening, and something's going to happen.' This is their conception of time. Certainly there are things that you did that you are not doing now, past, things that you think or know will happen, future, and most certainly there are things you are doing at this moment.
Could it be possible that directly after something happens, a moment passes, it is obliterated? Gone? It doesn't exist anymore? Could the idea of past just be something constructed by the mind to help our perception of reality move along? It's just in our minds? Memory? If time travel was achieved and you went back in time would you vanish? Would there be nothing? The future could be completely non-existent because it has not happened yet and is nowhere except in the minds of people. People are just trying to take something that hasn't happened yet and imagine it as the present, or trying to take something from memory that has already happened and remember it as the present. If this is true and the present is the only thing that exists, then is everything, everywhere, constantly acting on whims? Impulses even though minds can plan their next actions through several 'present' moments? If this is true than time could not exist because there would only ever be one moment in existence. A giant, collective moment in which everything happens then is gone, repeating over and over.
However, time could be more like a giant, netty ball with strands all over the place, shifting and moving. Maybe every strand is a moment and connects to multiple places in time and the cause to effect concept could either be entirely possible or entirely not possible. If it's not, and it probably isn't, then it is all entirely strands, shifting from place to place and there is no present or past or future and everyone is simply in it somewhere. In this case time travel would be quite possible, if achieved, and you would simply move along the strands to different places. Time would be quite real and would be like a giant, confusing, changing, three-dimensional graph with the title Time across the top. If the strands are always moving and changing then every action and decision you make alters your course and alters the strands and causes chain reactions to other strands. If this is true then you Control Time!!
Time travel would be easier with the giant ball, sorting and following, but what if the idea of only the present existing were true? If all the past and future really are is memory and expectation, then in order to time travel could a time machine be made that used the memory of people to construct a reality and possibly alter memory? Is it possible to even break the possible barrier between past, present, and future? 'Time' really just could be a conspiracy to keep people confused and always in and/or questioning reality.
A quote from Scott Adams about reality reads: 'Time and motion are just illusions created by your inability to perceive everything at once. Everything that is possible exists as a path; you simply choose the path you wish to perceive. The only things you can't change are the experiences you've already perceived.'
Maybe we all have different perceptions of the same thing. Perhaps each of our individual realities, if that is true, are constructed by time or by our own minds. Perhaps time is so non-existent it is the most tangible thing there is. People are obsessed with time. It is everywhere and is in and connected to and entangled with so much of what we do it might only be possible that time is real. Perhaps it truly defines us and defines everything. Perhaps time is reality and maybe all time really is is one thing following another. This thing happens so this thing happens next. Events following each other in a certain order. If this were true then is everything time? Would this be cause to effect or is it that it simply is? Maybe time is a giant, confusing, mostly non-existent, tangible, shifting, transparent, curving, solid mass of everything, everywhere kind of conspiracy rooted deep in our minds to convince us we even exist and to keep us thinking everything happens in a real, measurable, knowledgeable way so we can remain wrapped up in our own reality and our own state of being with cause to effect.
To sum up most of this: Time may or may not be real and people are selfish.
Side note: As I have hinted in this long drone there are countless branches that go off of this such as the mind, the space time continuum, perception, reality, particles, logic, infinity, paradoxes, matter, quantum mechanics, Life, The Universe, And Everything :), etc.
Related things to read/watch: His Dark Materials, Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, and Doctor Who.