Daylight Savings Time: Is it Worth it?

Twice a year, we must remind ourselves to change the clocks and get used to a new schedule.

It’s Daylight Savings Time (DST): an annual obligation to adjust to brighter mornings in the summer or darker evenings in the winter, and more people question its relevance to our modern society.

In its conception, DST was useful for agricultural societies in which farmers utilized brighter mornings to work longer on their harvest and spend less time doing so in the evening.

Consequently, the hours in the winter were changed since the harvest had been completed. Now that we live in an industrialized country, is DST truly necessary?

Throughout the years, some believe that the intent of DST has changed in accordance to our society’s needs.

Now that our populations have grown significantly, technology has caught up with us and DST is only a part of that initial harvesting process. This extra hour could also provide more time for other individual activities.

In addition to being a part of agricultural practices, many of us at The Outlook associate DST with more daylight hours in the summer.

The clocks move one hour forward, providing extra daylight in the evening for different events. This seems to be a more preferred time change. One editor said, “It would be better for there to be more light at night to prolong the day for people who are at work/school all day.”

Unfortunately, the DST schedule for summer does not last, and we must set our clocks back in the wintertime.

This brought up a major issue with DST, as it conflicts with energy conservation efforts. At The Outlook, we promote Monmouth’s efforts to be green and have a positive impact on our environment by conserving energy, so DST affects us in a variety of ways.

One editor said, “Its use is arbitrary… heating, electric, and energy companies are able to absorb higher bills from Daylight Savings.” According to a New York Times article, a study that took place in Indiana found that residential electricity consumption increased by 1 percent overall, and monthly increases as high as 4 percent in the late summer and fall (2014).

With the winter months keeping us in the dark, electric and gas companies force people to pay the price. This continues to negatively impact our environment, with the prolonged use of fossil fuels to light and heat our homes.

Not only does it affect our electrical and heating bills, but it can also give people feelings of sluggishness and lacking the ability to concentrate.

Sometimes, this can develop into an issue that is commonly referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

One editor said, “I dislike that it is dark so early because I struggle to be productive and I want to go to sleep when there is still half of a day.”

In a period of time where jobs, school and other obligations are in the way, DST can be difficult to deal with.

The concept of DST has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the time of year it is in effect.

 Its modern significance is still in question, but the result of DST has common uses for everyone, making it likely to stay in place.

With the changes that occur each year, how can we better prepare ourselves in the future? One editor said, “Most people do not know DST is coming up until a couple of days before.

I think people should be more aware of it so that they can get their personal clock ready for the adjustment.”