To Spring Forward & Stay: That is the Question

To Spring Forward & Stay: That is the Question

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is now upon us as we will be “springing forward” this month. This past Sunday, we changed, again. If you are reading this, you may be a little “off” due to the time change. I hear most people complain about losing an hour of sleep as we re-set our clocks forward one hour. True, we still have the same number of hours in the day, but I do feel somewhat cheated in sleep time as well. Heck, my dog can’t figure it out either. The poor guy is sleeping in late and wondering why he is getting his food early. I’m sure some of you have pets that keep you on a strict schedule. My dog Brian, is the dog bell for my morning wake-up and quitting time (his feeding time) in the evening. Just when everyone settles in with the time change, it is time to change again!

What do you think about not having to change your clocks in Florida, ever again? The vote for the Sunshine Protection Act in Florida right now is just Déjà vu to me. I grew up in central Indiana. We didn’t change time, although parts of our state did. Now, that can be confusing, especially if you are doing business or catching a flight. So, in 2005 the state decided enough was enough and Indiana started daylight saving time in 2006. Although Indiana is centrally located, the state chose Eastern Standard Time. Well, the majority did. There are still approximately 12 counties that observe Central Standard Time. So, did anything really change, except for the time?

If you talk to people in Arizona, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico they just can’t wrap their heads around why the rest of us move our clocks back and forth an hour. DST really doesn’t make sense, especially in areas close to the equator. There isn’t a noticeable difference in daylight. According to History.com, only about one-quarter of the world’s population observes DST.

The debate about saving summer sunlight has been going on since the early 1900s. The idea, according to History.com, originated in the UK. However, it wasn’t until after World War I that Germany, being the first country, decided to implement daylight saving time. Soon after Germany’s time change, the United Kingdom followed suit.

Daylight Savings time in FloridaWill Florida benefit from not changing the clocks? Since I grew up in a state where we didn’t change, and then we did, I have probably heard almost every argument, pro & con about DST. Some claim that daylight saving time will reduce energy consumption. However, studies done by the University of California after Indiana introduced DST actually showed an increase in electricity usage as well as traffic accidents and pedestrian fatalities.

Another reason for having DST was to help the farmers by giving them extra daylight hours in the summer. This does not work. My Father’s family were large farmers in Indiana. They owned and farmed over 200 acres. Farmers work by the sun, not the clock. So, large farms that have hourly employees actually had to wait an hour longer for workers to show up. And since you cannot work in the dark, workers went home and worked less time than before DST. As a result, feeding schedules and deliveries were off an hour as well.

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 Many argue that switching from DST to winter time is past its use and should be retired. People are tired. We work more hours, answer more emails, and text messages at all hours of the day, regardless of what time it is. It is a known fact that moving the clock back and forth disrupts sleeping patterns of an already tired population. Plus, children have a hard time adjusting to the time change, which makes getting them up and ready for school even more challenging.

Keeping the same time all year would mean in the spring and summer, we would get one extra hour of sunlight after the workday. Many have said that would promote more tourism and allow for more outdoor activities in the evenings. Plus, it would save energy. The statement about saving energy is yet to be seen. As more people come home from work during the summer months, we would probably turn down our A/C because we are now home and active. That would actually increase energy usage like it did in other states. Tourism increase, maybe. I know that I may be more inclined to catch an additional sunset at a beach bar if I had the extra daylight to make it out to the beach. Outdoor cafes, as well as shops that are accessed by pedestrians, may benefit financially from additional sunlight hours too.

Do you want more daylight in Florida?The biggest negative for not falling back is that for half of the year, Florida will be out of sync with the Eastern Standard Time Zone. Remembering that time difference can be challenging when making business calls and scheduling meetings with people from both sides of the US. I have had a few freak-out moments when I thought I’d missed my connecting flight(s) when I lived in Indiana and we didn’t change time. However, you can get acclimated and I guess the rest of the US will as well.

The Sunshine Protection Act now has to pass on to Gov. Rick Scott’s office for his signature. But that’s not the end of it. Since Florida wants to remain on DST, the federal government must vote to allow the state to remain in daylight saving time. The federal law basically says that a state can decide not to implement DST and remain on standard time. However, the law does not address a state that wants to keep DST.

What do you think? I just want one time. After living in a state that didn’t change time, but then went to DST, I can honestly tell you it is better with just one.

Sandy Williams is a licensed Broker Associate with EXP Realty and sells in the Sarasota area. With over 22 years of experience, Sandy and her team have sold over 2,100 homes. Nationally recognized. Sandy is originally from the Midwest but calls Lakewood Ranch her home.

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock

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2018-03-12