Another time change is upon us this weekend, something it seems as if we did only yesterday — yet here we are once again.
Of course, the shift to Daylight Saving Time and back happens only twice per year, but I’m thinking we should end this madness once and for all. It’s time that we sprang forward, without having to worry about falling back — I mean ever.
The biggest obvious hassle is continually having to change clocks in your home (alarm clocks, microwave oven clocks, those on electronic devices such as DVD players), vehicle clocks and wristwatches.
At least computers have the decency to change their own time because they have been programmed to do so — which is kind of scary in a way.
This is a ritual that I personally hate, not only because of having to reset dials in and of itself, but due to the extra labor required by a strange system I use to make sure I am not late for any appointed rounds. To accomplish this, I play mind games with myself, such as making sure the alarm clock is always five minutes fast.
It’s just a little psychological and visual thing to make me think I’m running behind, when in reality I have that extra five minutes to work with instead. Even though I’m fully aware of this in my mind, I still react mostly to those big red letters flashing on the clock face.
(When it comes right down to it, I’m pretty easy to fool on stuff like this.)
I do the same thing with my SUV — where the clock is set 20 minutes ahead of real time. Again, it’s just a little psychological cushion.
Meanwhile, the TV clock is running about two minutes ahead, so if I am looking at the dial showing 8:01 p.m. and thinking that I missed the start of a program I wanted to watch at 8 p.m., I’m pleasantly surprised to find it’s only 7:59.
So with me, the drudgery involves not only just resetting all these time pieces back and forth two times every year, but also remembering how far ahead each should be adjusted under my weird formula of staggered settings.
Another thing I detest about going back and forth between Daylight Saving Time and Eastern Standard Time is that it is just another form of control mandated by the powers that be — big government and big business.
Being forced to reprogram clocks as a result of an electrical outage is one thing, but I resent it when mandated by The System.
I secretly rebel against that in my own little way, relying on something the great writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau said: Most men “lead lives of quiet desperation.”
My act of mini-rebellion involves refusing to alter my wristwatch, which reflects Daylight Saving Time 365 days a year. Only this time around, about three months ago, that watch stopped altogether because the battery got used up — so much for my efforts to strike back.
I realize that I have been exploring the time-change issue from a totally selfish point of view today, but when all things are considered, maintaining the same time on a year-round basis would be good for society as a whole.
And if I had my druthers, I would choose staying on Daylight Saving Time forever.
I’m not the only one who thinks this way. My stance on the matter concurs with a legislative movement now under way in Florida aimed at making that state the first in the nation to adopt year-round Daylight Saving Time.
Normally, Republicans and Democrats are at each other’s throats in the Sunshine State just as much as they are anywhere else, but there’s overwhelming bipartisan support by Florida lawmakers on the issue of permanent DST.
Naturally, this would pay dividends in a state such as Florida where the tourism industry stands to benefit by people being able to spend more evenings at the beach, for example.
Yet there are the usual detractors whenever proposals for permanent Daylight Saving Time emerge, such as the fact that children would be forced to go to school in the dark. My solution for this would be supplying students with fluorescent clothing so they will glow and be readily visible at bus stops and the like.
Or school schedules could simply be changed to later start and dismissal times.
For a year-round time system to work, everyone must be on the same page, or clock face, so to speak, since if only a few states here and there adopted the permanent Daylight Saving Time format much confusion would result.
I fully support a federal mandate to bring this about, and even with any down sides, at least this plan makes more sense than regularly being required to change the time back and forth.
The point is, we should control time as much as we can instead of the other way around.
Tom Joyce is a staff writer for The Mount Airy News. He may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.