Spring forward: Why?

Sydney Hembrough, Staff Writer

Let’s face it, daylight savings has us all sorts of messed up. It doesn’t seem like much, but an hour can make a huge impact on your body clock and schedule. Waking up gets a little harder, and going to sleep seems impossible when it is daylight well into the late evening. When the clocks spring forward, many people question why we even have daylight saving time. Upon research, I found the answer quite astonishing.

As you may know, not all countries have daylight saving time laws, meaning that some people just live their lives without the stress of turning their clocks back and forth. This can be due to many factors with one being the closer you are to the equator, the more hours of sunlight you receive. To add to the confusion even more, each country has different days they advance their clocks. Latitudes play a big role in when daylight savings goes into effect.

Contrary to popular belief, America didn’t implement daylight saving time to annoy us all and cause us to lose sleep. There are many benefits to what is known as “Summer Time.” It was originally created to make better use of daylight by giving us more hours of sunlight during the day. It has since proven to be better for the environment by conserving energy, A study done in New Zealand revealed that energy usage decreases by a significant 3.5% when daylight saving time begins.

According to Web Exhibits, the idea of daylight saving time started in Benjamin Franklin’s essay titled “An Economical Project.” His idea caught the interest of his fellow inventors of the oil lamp. A British builder named William Willett proposed the idea of advancing the clocks by 20 minutes each Sunday in April. After lobbying for the implementation of daylight saving, an act was finally passed on May 17, 1916. America followed suit in 1925, shortly after World War I, with several laws pertaining to Summer Time.

Although 1916 seems like a long time ago, it is barely over a century from today, meaning our great grandparents lived in a time without it. This topic still seems to raise the eyebrows of many who believe it is useless and causes more harm than help. But, like anything else in the world, there are going to be pros and cons to everything. It is a matter of weighing the two to determine if it is “worth the cost.”