By Ryan Amante
Spring forward, fall back. This saying is a common way for people all over the world to remember the rules of daylight saving time. During the spring, many set their clocks an hour ahead, and during the fall, many set them an hour behind. As the year springs forward towards the cold winter months when daylight seems to dwindle, it leaves many wondering whether people should instead fall back to a time before daylight saving time.
Daylight saving time (also known as DST), as a practice, was initiated by Germany in the latter half of World War I as a temporary means of conserving fuel by increasing the amount of daylight hours within the day in order to cut the amount of time artificial light was used. This practice was quickly adopted by neighboring European countries and soon spread to the Western world.
“Despite its problems and controversies, daylight saving time is still well liked by many...”
Today, 70 countries still continue the supposedly temporary practice of daylight saving time including nearly all of Europe, parts of Australia and the United States. Despite the prevalence of daylight saving time in the world, it is the subject of debate on the world stage as some countries are considering abolishing the practice, including the United States. So far, Hawaii and the majority of Arizona do not observe daylight saving time. Additionally, many U.S. territories, such as the Virgin Islands and Guam, have also abandoned this practice.
The biggest and most obvious impact this practice has is that different territories within the same time zone have clocks set to completely different hours, essentially rendering the time zone useless. This can cause immense confusion and the requirement of careful coordination in forming something as simple as a conference call between two different regions. If scaled up to something more impactful such as flight schedules, algorithms on a computer system or release dates for large scale media productions, it is clear how crucial it is that time returns to a standardized state, whether that be through mass adoption or abolishment or daylight saving time.
Source by Sabeena Ramdarie
Many people have to adjust to the change in time while adjusting to the return to a 'normal' daily life.
With the release of the vaccine and the slow return to normalcy, a stark contrast can be found between the lives of Americans last year compared to this year. A big part of this contrast would be how daylight saving time impacted the day-to-day lives of Americans. With more in-person events, people must once again adapt to accounting for the time it takes to travel to a physical location as opposed to clicking a link. This means that, once again, many Americans are waking up in relative darkness so that they may attend work or school on time.
Americans return home to darkness as the skies dim at around four in the afternoon as opposed to their later summer times. This is different from the majority of last year, since most stayed home for important events, diminishing the effects of daylight saving time and the altered amount of light it brought. Furthermore, due to the fact that people were at home on their devices while using their homes’ electricity, the intended effect of daylight saving time was lost as the time of day had virtually no impact on electricity consumption.
“...it is clear how crucial it is that time returns to a standardized state, whether that be through mass adoption or abolishment or daylight saving time...”
Despite its problems and controversies, daylight saving time is still well liked by many. Some praise it for helping reduce energy consumption while others simply appreciate the extra sleep it brings.
“I personally like daylight saving time because of the extra hour of sleep we gain. It also helps me feel like I have more time in a day, making getting work done easier. I assume it would help many people have a better sleeping pattern and productivity rising globally,” said sophomore Abhiveer Singh.
“I don’t believe anything should be changed about daylight saving. Having it on all the calendars to help for when daylight saving approaches. Fix the time on your clock accordingly,” said sophomore Nicholas Prada.