Slices of Life
Down with daylight saving time
It happened again last week. We had to reset our clocks because of Daylight Saving Time. I’m not sure if we are saving daylight now. Really though – and I’m trying not to sound cynical here – who cares?
We aren’t changing anything except our clocks when we change our clocks. We aren’t changing the number of hours in a day. We aren’t changing the sunrise or sunset. We aren’t changing how much work we can get done in 24 hours. We’ve been scammed. It’s like a gigantic mind game played on hundreds of millions of people (over a billion if you count Europe, Canada and Australia) over and over, year after year, decade after decade.
Currently over 70 countries employ some type of DST. But it is controversial. The concept of DST was originally created to save energy – first candle energy and later electricity. Benjamin Franklin proposed the idea in 1784 in a satirical essay. Satire. It seems people reading satire and taking it for the truth isn’t a new millennium concept.
Besides, things have changed since we used candles for our reading lamps. Current evening uses of energy involve TVs, computers and smart phones. We don’t use less energy if it gets dark at 5:30 instead of 6:30 p.m. We use about the same.
Changing the clocks twice a year is disruptive – and not just for the clocks. Adjusting our sleep schedules, even by just an hour, messes with our inner clock – or circadian rhythm – which can lead to physical, mental and behavioral distress. Your internal clock is probably more important than any external one. Yet we play tricks on it at least twice a year.
In addition, studies have shown that early evening darkness in the fall and winter months can lead to depression for some people. When are we going to see what’s going on and get off this silly merry-go-round? It’s time for someone to speak up. Here goes:
I like eating dinner when it’s light outside. I don’t like early sunsets – and by early I mean before 5 p.m. I like late summer nights when it doesn’t get dark until after 9 p.m. I don’t mind a little extra darkness in the morning. I like Daylight Savings Time and I don’t want it to end. Ever.
I suggest we abolish DST and make it the new normal. No need to go back no Non-Daylight Savings Time. Let’s keep the dial right where it is and keep it that way 24/7, 365 days a year.
We’ll never have to change our clocks again. We’ll never have to watch the sunset at 4:30 p.m. and eat dinner in the dark. We’ll nurture our circadian rhythms and be better people for it.
We may burn more candles – because they are scented, not for the light they provide. Life will be good. Come on people; let’s do this. Who’s with me?
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright, author and member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.