I grew up in Saskatchewan, Canada. Twice a year, I had to do mental gymnastics to figure out when my favorite TV shows, generally broadcast from other parts of Canada and the US, would be on. Why? Because of Daylight Saving Time. Fast-forward to adulthood, when I moved to the US with my family, and I became part of the biannual clock shift. I hated it then, and I still hate it now. The extra hour of sleep in the fall isn’t worth losing an hour of sleep in the spring, as we will all do on March 8th of this year. That is, unless you’re smart enough to live somewhere that doesn’t observe DST. I say we stop the madness and end Daylight Saving Time once and for all!
WHY, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THIS WORLD, DO WE DO THIS???
In case you don’t know, DST was invented in the 1800s, but not fully implemented until World War 2. This is probably because Benjamin Franklin actually wrote a satire piece for a Paris newspaper about the idea in the late 1700s, and we valued his opinion up until we decided we didn’t like France anymore. That’s right – one of history’s greatest thinkers first proposed the idea as a JOKE, and WE TOOK HIM SERIOUSLY.
Though Franklin is often blamed…I mean…credited with creating DST, a New Zealand entomologist is actually the one who came up with this crap…I mean…with the clock shift. You know what he wanted to do with it? LOOK AT BUGS MORE. I’m serious! Now, I like bugs as much as anyone, which is to say, not that much. But to come up with an entirely new clock system to look at them? That, ahem, bugs me.
BuT dAyLiGhT sAvInGs Is GoOd FoR uS!
Let’s get the “good” points about DST out of the way. It was originally created to save energy – more daylight in the summer evenings means people using less energy on lights. So “they” say. Supporters of DST also point out that it’s nice for people to have more light during the evenings in the summer months. More sunlight means more people out being active. Yes. Everyone is so active these days with our outdoor Netflix and on-the-go Fortnite**.
**Author’s note: Okay, so I looked it up, and apparently, you can play Fortnite on a phone, thereby making it “on-the-go”. Whatevs. I stand by my joke. Down with DST.
But there are a lot of bad points, ones that are pretty significant. Studies show that car crashes increase around both clock shifts. Rates of suicide go up, heart attacks increase, and people are more likely to injure themselves at work. All of those things are bad. Why would we want more of them? Some advocates in favor of the clock shift say that those rates normalize as everyone adjusts. But if you’re the unlucky person who gets hurt because of the time change, that pretty much means nothing to you.
How do we (daylight) save(ings) ourselves?
I think we should just stay on DST year round. We’d get to enjoy the longer days in the summer and not have to deal with losing sleep in the winter/spring. This is just one idea, though. One website, standardtime.com wants us to have only TWO time zones in the US, just two hours apart, with abolishment of the clock shift. Though this would make things simpler, it would mean wildly different sunrise and sunset times across the country. Imagine living in Texas, one of the west-most places in the proposed new eastern time zone. You might not see sunrise until WAY late in the morning at certain parts of the year!
Another idea is to go to one, worldwide time. That’s right. Some nutcase thinks we should have the EXACT same time all across the globe. Again, though that’s a simple solution, it sounds like complete and utter anarchy. Can you imagine trying to conduct business with someone overseas when you see sunlight and feel perfectly able to converse, forgetting that they are probably asleep? Can you imagine the fight that would break out as different countries try to vie for having the “real” daylight hours?
Here comes the sun, do-do-do-do
Growing up, I never imagined I’d be as passionate about something as mundane-seeming as changing the clocks. But then again, I never imagined we’d get our toothbrushes through the mail, but here we are. Times change, pun intended! (Pun always intended.) But enough about my opinion…what do you think of my opinion? Kidding! In all seriousness, I’d love to hear what you think. Should we keep doing the twice-yearly clock dance, or give it up for good? Is ending Daylight Saving Time madness or genius? (It’s genius.)