I don’t plan on writing too much today, but I did have to comment on the first “spring forward” I’ve been through in twenty years. I had completely forgotten that this was a thing until I happened to see a mention of it online yesterday and realized that I was going to be losing an hour of sleep. Needless to say, I was not pleased.
Yes, I know it’s all the rage to complain about Daylight Saving Time. I’m not going to try to weight the advantages versus the disadvantages here and formulate a compelling argument either for or against it. Some say that the energy savings that are supposed to be a product of DST are largely imaginary. Others say that springing forward might even be dangerous to a sleep-deprived nation behind the wheel. Then again, there are numerous convincing arguments that the extra evening daylight is beneficial. The difficulty is that few of these arguments are mutually exclusive, so it comes down to tallying the pluses and minuses, and since different people are going to assign different values to these pluses and minuses, it is impossible to come to a definitive and universal assessment.
Instead, what I wanted to say in my brief note today is that, while DST may seem like a fact of life for the vast majority of Americans (excepting those stalwart souls in Arizona, Hawaii, and some US territories), it’s actually quite easy to get used to living without it. As I mentioned above, I lived without DST for the past two decades in Korea, and I can’t say it bothered me all that much—the biggest inconvenience was having to remember when the time difference between Korea and New York was 13 hours and when it was 14 hours. Yes, it gets dark early in the winter, and there are many days when I wake up before the sun, but this is something you get used to. Not once in the past two decades did I think, “Man, I really wish I could just arbitrarily set the clock one hour forward. That would make my life so much better.” Every time I heard friends and family complain about DST in the States, though, I was thankful that I didn’t have to deal with it.
I’ll adjust to the new time soon enough, but that doesn’t make it any less silly. I don’t hold out any hope that things are going to change any time soon, though. Eliminating DST would take an act of Congress, and as we all know inertia is one of the most powerful forces in government. So I’ll grin and bear it for now, comforted by the fact that I will eventually get this hour back—and that I won’t have to deal with this silliness next year.