Save the Daylight

Daylight Savings Time is like a national sardines game. The "hiders", or responsible people who pay attention to things like schedules, remember to change their clocks and then giggle at the people like me, the "seekers", who obliviously arrive an hour late (or early) to everything until one of the "hiders" gives up the jig and says, "Psst... we all turned our clocks forward/backward for daylight savings, ya dummy!"

And even though it makes me look a fool two times per year, I'm generally in support of it. After all, daylight has done a lot more for me than whales, and I support saving them. I've seen Blackfish.

It seems like at least once a year I google, "Why do we have daylight savings time?" and then I skim through an article that says, "World War I blah blah blah farmers blah blah," and think about how I would rather spend my extra hour doing anything but researching why I have an extra hour.

But I made up a trick this year that makes researching anything more interesting. Basically, just add the word "controversy" to the end of what you're looking up for instant intrigue. For instance, need some recipes? Try googling "Martha Stewart controversy." Kid have to do a Neil Armstrong report? Try "Man on the moon controversy." Need to order a new dresser? Try controversy." It's fun because it turns any boring topic into a conspiracy theory.

With this trick, I finally learned this year why we have daylight savings time. I also learned why people think it's an enormous overstep of government power that's causing people to have heart attacks and why other people think it's a nice way to get the most from each day whilst also boosting the economy. It's like the wearing masks controversy, but with clocks. There's anti-DST's and pro-DST's and then the rest of us who are wondering why we have to fight about everything.

I'll sum it up for you.

Why it exists:

The concept was popularized in Germany during World War I to conserve electricity. I know. I thought Benjamin Franklin made it up, too. Thanks for the faulty history lesson, National Treasure.

The arguments:

"DST is outdated. The energy once saved is now consumed by air conditioners blowing into the evening."

"Sure. If ’outdated‘ means a family-centric tradition made even more enjoyable thanks to the comforts of air conditioning."

"DST is big government overreach. The government doesn't own time."

"But if they left it to the states, we'd never know what time to catch a flight, train, or baseball game."

"There's an increase in traffic accidents right after Spring Forward because everyone is tired."

"There's a decrease in traffic accidents right after Fall Backward because everyone is driving home from work in the daylight."

"Studies show a decrease of productivity in the workplace due to DST."

"Studies show an increase in shopping with more daylight, which is an economy boost."

"DST screws up people's Circadian rhythm and studies show an increase in heart attacks by the Tuesday following Spring Forward."

"Circadian rhythm is altered by electricity more than by DST and heart attacks are shown to decrease by the Tuesday following Fall Backward."

"It's an unnecessary hassle."

"It literally takes five minutes and your phone does it by itself."

Whoo! Sorry for stirring up all that controversy. The argument about heart attacks is weirdly true, by the way. I mean, who wouldn't have a heart attack upon realizing he's an hour late to everything for an entire day.

Anyways, I am sure you are dying to know my take on the topic, so...

I think we should do DST in the fall (more sleep and sunshine) and nix it in the spring because "spring forward" is just a euphemism for "feel tired and cranky for a few days after winter has already sucked out all the bright spots of your soul". Also, nix it altogether in years that I have young children who take naps, forget how to change the clock in my car, or for some reason require a ladder or screwdriver to change the time. I'll just put it on Facebook so everybody knows when it's a go or no go. I call it the, "Daylight Savings Sometimes" platform.

Let me know in the comments if you're a pro-DST, an anti-DST, or a DSS. But keep your comments civil, please. I don't have an extra hour to moderate hateful daylight savings feuds.


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