This week will be especially hard for those with an 8 a.m. to make it to class. This past Sunday billions of people set their clocks forward an hour in light of daylight saving. So if it was one thing a few million people had in common this past Sunday dawn, it was that they were pissed off they lost an hour of sleep.
Setting our clocks back in the fall instills a sense of simplistic joy in our day-to-day routines. We wake up feeling refreshed and an hour more rested. When we set our clocks back, the following day’s tasks don’t feel as daunting. Cher never sung a song about turning time forward, you feel me? Therefore, We savor that extra hour of restful bliss brought upon us in the fall.
But we’re all too familiar with how much the springtime clock change messes our shit up. When turning the clocks forward we are dealing with a whole new ball game. Waking up the day after the spring forward time shift is reminiscent of what people feel like waking up in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. “Wait, no. This can’t be. 8 a.m. already?! Must go back to bed.” These phrases fill heads everywhere.
So, why the hell do we do this? In school we are told from a young age we partake in the time change on behalf of farmers, a concept that isn’t necessarily true. Daylight saving began in The US sometime around 1908 but was ceased shortly after implementation, until 1942 when Franklin D. Roosevelt administered the year-round savings time. The proposal of the clock change was hopefully going to conserve energy usage.
Today, the time change is controversial. Turning the clocks back or forward has come to show that the time change doesn’t even really conserve much energy. Seeing as the intention of the change proves to be a flop, many people find it to be nothing more but a royal pain in the ass. And although there isn’t much room for denying that losing an hour of sleep isn’t much more than wretched, daylight savings time may be a necessary evil.
The clocks being turned forward are praised in a positive light for few things. Those seeking the upsides in the time change reference longer hours of daylight, which means nice, long summer days. However, what many fail to bring up during the time change is the idea that the clocks being moved forward actually may increase productivity amongst the masses.
According to “Daylight Saving Time: Why Does it Exist (It’s not for farming),” an article by The New York Times, it is suggested that the extra hour encourages people to go out and spend money, which in turn helps the economy.
A pretty simple idea; however, it never occurred to me that this could be a benefit of daylight saving time. I probably never considered the idea simply because like most college students, my nightlife doesn’t even start until 10 p.m. But the extra hour of daylight definitely encourages others to get there and spend more money. After a long work day, people are more easily motivated by the daylight still burning to go grocery shopping, hit a restaurant or blow some cash at the mall.
This principle got me thinking. Maybe DST is more than just a nuisance. Maybe daylight saving is a metaphorical motivator. The extra hour of daylight is encouraging those around us to hold out another hour from throwing in the towel for the day. It isn’t too late to go to the gym or hit up the mall.
I know it’s in our nature to bitch and moan; however, instead of complaining about the hour of sleep you are shorted, get out there and enjoy the extra hour you have by being productive. Seize the daylight.
Ali Schultz studies journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @AliSchultzzz.