Tirade of fury over Daylight Savings Time suddenly dominated our Twitter and Facebook feeds early this week
“Spring forward, fall back” always seemed to us a twice-a-year minor annoyance at most, made easier by the fact that most of us now use devices to tell time that reset themselves when there’s a change.
Yet this year, many people we follow, and follow us seemed genuinely angry they were getting an hour “stolen” from them last weekend. We know this is totally anecdotal, but it was definitely a louder chorus than anytime before. By far.
Even a publication as mild-mannered as Reader’s Digest called people in states that don’t do Daylight Savings Time “lucky ducks”. And health.com blames Daylight Savings Time for making it more difficult for couples to conceive, as well as causing heart attacks and strokes.
Why? There’s a lot more going on these days that’s a lot more infuriating. Is it that this is on top of all that? Or is it that people have come to expect so many conveniences, their patience for even minor inconveniences is a lot less?
We see Daylight Savings Time as a happy trade-off.
Yes, you get “robbed” of an hour early in the year, but that’s what eventually makes possible the sultry summer evenings we all cherish so much.
Then, late in the year, you’ll be “gifted” an hour of extra sleep, party time, etc., the trade-off being immediately afterwards, it’ll start getting dark at an ungodly hour.
So it kind of balances out, no?
Apparently not. Because seems a huge hoard of people are suddenly clamoring for the U.S. to either stick with Standard Time or switch to Daylight Savings Time forever. And in fact, the only time since World War II Daylight Savings Time briefly went year-round in the mid-70’s, to save energy during the fuel crisis back then.
The President was more good-natured than most (apparently it’s one of the only things he’s not angry or upset about) Tweeting:
Since we live about as far East in our time zone as you can get without going into the next time zone (and tend to work in the late afternoon and at night), we’d be all for having Daylight Savings Time only. Where we are, already in the summer it gets light out starting at around 5 A.M., and in the winter it starts getting dark before 4.
But we can imagine someone living on the Western edge of their time zone wouldn’t exactly be thrilled with the sun not coming up until 8:30 or 9 in the wintertime, especially if they have kids. Arizona, and Hawaii don’t join in on Daylight Savings Time, and it doesn’t seem to hurt them much. Arizona, in effect, is always on Mountain Standard Time, but because it’s always the same and all the other states around it change, it shuttles from sharing a time zone with Colorado, to sharing one with California. Hawaii is by far the closest U.S. state to the equator, so tinkering with the time zone to fit with the season doesn’t make much sense since it’s getting sun summer or winter.
Or the U.S. could take the approach of China, and have one single time zone for the whole country that never changes. It’s set to the country’s capital, Beijing. China can manage that partly because most of its population centers are on the East Coast. Also because its single party can do wherever it wants. So the U.S. would probably have to become an authoritarian state in order for that to happen. But “one time: Trump Time” might end up being a very appealing notion.