For those who weren’t aware, Daylight Saving Time begins in the United States at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 10. That means everybody in the US has to remember to set their clocks ahead an hour before they go to bed Saturday night … assuming they have somewhere they need to be.
Daylight Saving Time (yes, lots of people say “Savings”) was first proposed by a New Zealand entomologist named George Vernon Hudson. It was first implemented in the United States during World War I as a way to save energy during a time of oil and coal rationing.
It happens whether you like it or not, but people tend to be strongly pro or con. We’ve asked two of our marketing guys, Tyler Reed and David Baker, to explain the reasons they love or hate Daylight Saving Time. Which one do you agree with? Or do you even care?
I LOVE Daylight Saving Time!
by Tyler Reed
This weekend, most American citizens (with the exception of Arizona and Hawaii) will experience a shift in the time continuum that will usher in the best eight months of the year. Sometime after falling asleep on Saturday but before waking up on Sunday, an hour of our precious year will vanish into thin air, only to magically return to bless us with an extra hour of sleep during the first week of November.
Between that time we will enjoy an eight month stretch that includes extended BBQ’s with family and friends, late night golf outings, boating, biking and any other activity that is typically enjoyed when there is sunlight. Kids will play football and basketball at the local parks until 9:30 at night because it is still light enough outside to see the ball!
I love Daylight Saving Time because I love the daylight. Winter time is so drab. During the dog days of winter I arrive to work as the sun is rising and by the time I exit the building, the sun is already setting into the night sky. By the time I arrive home there is no daylight left. I practically need a flashlight (not to mention a coat) just to go get the mail. I don’t know about you, but that’s depressing to me. Daylight Saving Time is a representation of seasonal change. And though the Gregorian calendar might disagree, every year Daylight Saving Time feels like we have emerged from a long winter to welcome the arrival of spring.
Now, I realize Monday morning will be a little rougher than Monday’s already seem (especially for those with young children). But as you drive home from work on Tuesday and realize that when you get home you can actually go outside, play with your kids in the yard, take your dog for a walk without your reflective vest on, go for a bike ride, or do anything else you enjoy OUTSIDE, that’s when it hits you. That’s when we start to realize that we’ve “turned the corner”. Before we know it, all of our evenings will be filled with visits to the pool or hikes in the mountains or family fun at the park. That’s when we realize that for only two short days of behaving like a zombie while our bodies adjust, we get eight months of evening bliss.
I HATE Daylight Saving Time!
by David Baker
I have just one rule: Don’t mess with the sun. Luckily, I’ve spent much of my life in the three enlightened states that opt out of this Daylight Saving nonsense. I was born in Arizona, where we have plenty of daylight during the summer months (I assure you) and don’t want any more (thank you very much). I grew up in Hawaii, which is close enough to the equator to make the difference in day length much less pronounced than it is in places further north or south. Plus, the local kama’ainas are so laid back, you’d never convince them to get up an hour early on any given day. I also spent time in Indiana, which (when I was there) only observed DST in various counties.
Unfortunately, since I moved out of the Midwest, Indiana bowed to the national nitwittery and instituted Daylight Saving Time statewide. This gave researchers a great excuse to test the much-hyped idea that DST saves energy—one of the main reasons its proponents offer for keeping this archaic program around. In fact, one of the reasons Benjamin Franklin advocated for the plan’s adoption was to “save candles.” Not quite, though: research in Indiana has “found that daylight time led to a 1 percent overall rise in residential electricity use, costing the state an extra $9 million.” Similar studies in other states showed either no savings or negative savings as a result of DST. Other studies have proven that Daylight Saving Time increases the incidence of industrial accidents and even the risk of heart attack. In other words, DST can actually kill you. If it saved just one life … shouldn’t we abolish Daylight Saving Time?
But for me, it’s more personal. I just don’t like messing with the sun. When my kids were small, they had trouble getting to sleep during the summer when the sky was still bright outside. When I was in graduate school in Utah, DST messed with my study schedule as well as my sleep habits. I could explain this by pointing out that Daylight Saving Time jacks up my circadian clock, interfering with the daily diurnal rhythms that help regulate health and wellness. But that’s getting too high and mighty. When it all comes down to it, I hate Daylight Saving Time because I don’t like messing with the sun.