Another round of turning our clocks forward has reminded me of how ridiculous this timekeeping tradition is
After reminding myself for days to turn all of my clocks forward one hour this past Saturday night and subsequently losing an hour of sleep on Sunday, I once again was reminded of the inconvenience of daylight savings time. The biannual tradition of having to essentially artificially fast forward or rewind time is such an annoyance and upon further research, there is absolutely no reason why we should even observe it.
Contrary to popular belief, daylight savings time was not created so that people could enjoy more realistic daylight hours in terms of the relationship between the sun’s position and the time. Benjamin Franklin actually encouraged the idea of DST because he was tired of being awakened by the sunlight at six o’clock in the morning in the fall and winter.
Because of this, he wrote an essay stating the government could save a lot of money and resources if they conducted work and business with the sun and its natural light rather than using candles for light during the late afternoon, early morning and night hours.
In addition to this, DST was not created to benefit farmers either. According to History.com, “American farmers did not lobby for daylight saving to have more time to work in the fields; in fact, the agriculture industry was deeply opposed to the time switch when it was first implemented on March 31, 1918, as a wartime measure.”
This change in the observing of time actually was an incredible inconvenience for the agricultural industry as the schedule of farmers and other rural workers was dictated by the sun and not the hours. Farmers and rural communities were heavily opposed to DST as it completely interfered with their routines of work.
The origins of DST have been misunderstood for decades and because of this, some people, whether they mind the time change or not, feel that it is necessary to our society. Observing this time change that has been artificially invented by humans and has nothing to do with the real measurement of time according to the sun’s positioning in the sky, in reality, does nothing. It’s pointless, especially in today’s modern world where agriculture has developed immensely, there is no reason why we can’t end it.
Currently, only two U.S. states, Hawaii and Arizona, do not observe DST. However, according to CNN, roughly 70 countries worldwide do not observe DST in any way, including some larger nations like Japan and China.
Because of DST, people also lose sleep and the time change can affect both our moods and productivity. It is not natural for people to have to adjust to a one hour time change in such a rapid fashion.
An index from Chmura Economics and Analytics released in 2013 shows that on average people lose 40 minutes of sleep the night of the time change and because of this, productivity for the next few days decreases to the point where an average of $434 million is lost in productivity in the U.S. alone.
An additional way that DST has a negative effect on people and society is that the change in time actually causes more car accidents. According to the Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention, simply keeping DST year-round would decrease deaths from traffic accidents and end up saving up to 366 people every year.
Not only is DST bad for our health and our society in general, but there are no positives to it — it is pointless. The unnatural change in time provides nothing but stress and problems. Although time is manmade, it is also a measurement of the sun and moon in accordance with the earth’s rotation. Changing an hour overnight is not creating an accurate measurement of time and does little to nothing for people and businesses. DST needs to go, and soon, as it is one of the most unnecessary and ridiculous practices in the modern world.