Are times changing?

The relevance and history of daylight saving

Michael Fricke

Daylight saving time (DST) is a long standing tradition invented in order to, as the name would imply, save daylight. The very familiar concept is often confusing, and many misunderstand when daylight saving time is active or inactive. Currently, as we approach winter, daylight saving time has ended, which means we have more light in the mornings and less in the evenings. Every year around this time the question arises: why do we still do this? Whether people are for or against daylight saving time, the purpose of its invention stretch beyond having more daylight.
Even though the days are shorter in the winter anyway, daylight saving time aims to squeeze even more daylight out of the day during the summer. If you live near the equator, day and night are nearly the same length (12 hours). But elsewhere on Earth, there is much more daylight in the summer than in the winter. Because of this, many countries near the equator have eliminated daylight saving. Daylight saving time is also said to save a minimal amount of energy as people use less electricity to light their homes. In other words, the extra time those lights are lit while not on DST is spent asleep. Needless to say, both DST and standard time have advantages and disadvantages.
Those who enjoy standard time like the ability to wake up to light in the morning. Some feel that it is easier to wake up and move around when it actually feels like morning and the sun is shining. Early workers especially have the advantage and find it much easier to commute when it isn’t pitch black outside. This advantage also benefits bus drivers and students. Because students are more visible in the morning, they are more likely to be seen by a bus or other traffic. This also benefits smaller children who are scared of the dark, or whose parents are afraid of them walking to the bus stop in the darkness. As a whole, however, many people believe daylight savings should be the norm.
Many teenagers enjoy the extra hours during the summer where they are allowed to stay out later. Teenagers who have to be home by dark now have to stop commuting around 5:30. For teenagers and adults alike, there is more daylight to get things done, which benefits late workers especially. Outdoor workers are especially benefited during DST where their job relies on daylight to get things done. In addition to matter of preference, people tend to be more depressed when DST is not in effect. The lack of DST causes less daylight, making suicides more prominent in the winter months.
Whether you prefer daylight savings or not, the advantages of the extra daylight seem to outweigh the disadvantages. For now, the U.S. continues to participate in DST and shows no signs of abandoning it anytime soon.