I Hate Daylight Saving Time, and So Should You

I Hate Daylight Saving Time, and So Should You

Over the last few years, Daylight Saving Time has become an increasingly controversial issue, especially in the United States. There are dead bills sitting in Congress proposing the change be imposed year-round just to put an end to the constant debates over whether moving the clocks forward and backwards is useful or not. People have argued for decades about the benefits it provides, if any. The truth is, daylight saving time does nothing but add unnecessary complexity to our time zones, and carries with it far too many adverse effects. As such, we need to stop using it and just go back to standard time permanently.

But before I ruthlessly destroy the common arguments people make in favor of daylight saving time (DST), what is it, and what is it supposed to do? The first modern idea of DST was proposed by an entomologist from New Zealand named George Hudson. His 1895 letter suggested a two-hour time change so that he could spend longer studying insects. I’d say you have to be pretty self-centered if you expect your entire country to change their clocks just so you have more time to look at bugs. DST was first used in the United States during World War I with the Standard Time Act of 1918, with the intention of saving energy so that it could be directed towards war efforts. The change added an extra daylight hour to the end of the day, meaning people wouldn’t need to consume energy with streetlights and home lighting as much. The change was deemed useful enough to be continued into the present day.

A common American myth is that DST was started to benefit farmers, which is false. In fact, the time change is actually harmful to farmers who work tirelessly to contribute to the food supply of the country, and in 1919, crowds of farmers protested the time change due to how it disrupted their work. This is because farm work is dictated by the sun, and not a clock. Livestock only know when the sun comes up, meaning that regardless of what the time really is, they’re taken care of whenever the sun rises. One could argue that it shouldn’t be that big of a deal, and they can just wait until the sunrise, but an interview of farmers shows that most prefer to get their work done as early as possible, which makes an earlier sunrise more beneficial. It’s also just wiser and makes sure chores can be done before the peak temperatures of the day. So if you appreciate the work that farmers do, or if you appreciate food, then standard time all the time is the time for you.

Then there are some misguided people who think we should have daylight saving time be permanent. These people probably don’t realize the implications that this would have. Towards the colder months of the year, sunrise gets later and later, and with the time change, this slight realignment becomes even worse. If we had Daylight Saving Time on the day shortly after the winter solstice, sunrise wouldn’t be until 8:23. We would be getting to school in the dark, and the sun would still be rising during first period which, from a safety perspective, isn’t ideal whatsoever. And I don’t know about you, but it’s super unmotivating to try and wake up when it’s still pitch black outside. If the sun isn’t getting up, then neither should I, hence standard time should stay year-round.                      

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Now you might be thinking, “All these reasons to hate daylight saving time don’t really affect me, so why should I care?” But in fact, daylight saving time can affect your health, sometimes more seriously than just being a little tired after the time changes. Circadian rhythm is the natural cycle of the body that repeats every 24 hours, roughly helping us know when to sleep. Changing the clock forward and backward disrupts that, leading to many people feeling super tired on the day of the change. In turn, this leads to a decline in productivity, leading to the estimated $1.7 billion in lost opportunity cost every year. Not only that, but there is reason to believe that the change in circadian rhythm leads to a spike in heart attacks, increasing the risk of having one by as much as 10 percent. At best DST is a minor inconvenience, but at worst we’re talking about people’s money, and sometimes their lives.

In conclusion, daylight saving time is simply a waste of time and money, and just a huge inconvenience. No matter how you feel about whether we should have daylight saving time permanent or just do without it forever, I think everyone can agree that the time change is a big inconvenience. Taking the ten or so minutes twice a year to make sure all of your clocks are correct, the throwing off of our sleep schedules, and the seemingly constant changes in when the sun sets are all reasons we’re all so divided over this issue. But if you’re still not convinced that daylight saving time is a waste of time and resources, then have fun biking to school in the dark.

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