‘Set the clock ahead one hour and win the war!’
―United Cigar Stores Company
If you image search ‘saving daylight posters’ in a search engine, you’ll find a nice assortment of US government war propaganda posters from 110 years ago; posters that drummed up support for the current daylight savings time program.
Unless you live in Arizona, you are quite familiar with adjusting your clocks back and forward an hour every year. It’s a national hangover from WWI, and it’s no surprise once you are familiar with government programs, it never went away.
In California, there was an effort this past year to sunset this bygone idea, but not enought courage was mustered to get rid of it. So, remains, it does.
Well, I thought it would be a fun experiment to try and ignore the time change last November. I never liked the feeling of the first week on both ends of the time change, I didn’t have 9-to-5 responsibilities, so I thought, why not!
In sum, my time-change experiment was easy to pull off, and pretty unremarkable.
I have two phones, and set their times to mountain time (I’m in Berkeley, CA).
My rice maker and my car are the only other clocks in my life, so I convinced my wife to keep them ‘off’ an hour to accomdate me.
My servers are set to GMT, and I set my computers to mountain time, just like my phones.
With that, I was set to live in my delusional world for the next couple months. Here are some of my observations.
When I was dealing with scheduling with others, it never was an issue remembering that the rest of the country was K hour(s) off. I simply never had an issue adjusting time, or making mental notes that I had to be there, or grab a call, one hour off.
I suppose this aspect just about prevented me from delving into my time-change experiment. But for some reason, there was zero issue with dealing with others.
Perhaps I’m just used to dealing with east-coast time quite often as is, so it’s not a stretch to treat everyone as if they are on some-coast time.
When I asked for the time, or observed clocks that were ‘off,’ this actually raised a bit of stress at those moments. For example, say I was without my phone, and I asked my wife for the time. Inevitably, after realizing what time it was in ‘my’ time, I would feel late. This little phenomenon started on day-one of my experiment, and never quelled in any way over the months.
For some reason, whether it be experiment related or not, my time-to-rise in the morning became on the late side.
Not being a morning person, 8am always felt like a good time to get up. And 9am felt super late. In short, my waking time has crept into the daylight saving time realm slowly over the months.
Not unlike some of those propaganda posters, getting up at 9am, even in ‘my’ time, makes me feel like an absolute bum, but anything earlier I am a useless zombie.
This corner of my experiment is a tad overdetermined, so I’ll just admit that my waking time is at least a little off for one reason or another due at least in part because of my experiment.
The only meal that comes with any regularity is my dinner — the other meals are just me grazing the food caches, really. I wanted to make sure, unlike my getting-up time, that I didn’t let eating my last main meal begin to creep into later and later hours.
So, to hedge, I went the other direction and made sure I was eating around 4pm ‘my’ time. I suppose this will make for a new tradition for when I now eat, but it works for me, though this is indeed a side-effect of my experiment.
With that, there’s truly no other areas that were affected from the experiment. I haven’t noticed any negatives nor profound positives beyond the forementioned.
Why do it all?
If the time change was 6mo. of the year, I’m certain I would never have tried to keep my time constant. But, since it’s just from part of Nov. through Mar., I knew it wouldn’t be that disruptive. And I was correct: this experiment was pretty benign and unless I have some major life-changes as it pertains to work, I’ll be doing it again in Fall 2023.
I don’t count on the time change being done away with any time soon; it would have happened long ago if there was the willpower to do it. However, it probably should be gutted from our national tradition. It’s stupid, it’s a hangover from 110 years ago, and it’s an accepting nod to systematic crap that hasn’t been garbage collected. Basically, it needs to go away.