Benjamin Franklin

Spring Forward? Hardly.


I think of it more like a trudge. Or a slog.

Standing at the edge of the calendar’s most excruciating week – the seven days following Daylight Saving (no “s”) Time – I can’t help but wonder if it’s even worth the hassle.

The seeds of this tortuous ritual were planted in 1784 by a well-meaning Benjamin Franklin who, at the age of 78, penned a discourse on the thrift of natural vs. artificial lighting. He was serving as an American delegate in Paris at the time, and his essay included several humorous regulations to consider.

More than two centuries later, nations around the world use a variation of his concept to “conserve energy and more fully enjoy the benefits of daylight.”

And I think it’s a load of crap.

Let’s face it, the name is really a misnomer. Since we’re actually not SAVING one single footcandle of daylight, a more accurate name would be Daylight SHIFTING Time — but that’s hardly conducive to the energy-saving mantra that the U.S. government wants to convey.

What we ARE doing is snatching 60 precious minutes from a sacred weekend while confusing our bodies, minds, children and pets, along with certain clocks, phones and computers.

Several recent studies have called into question the actual energy-saving benefits of DST, especially if you factor in the increased use of air conditioning in the evenings (particularly in southern climates).

And we ought to consider the added health concerns of sleep deprivation, heart risks and overall surliness that accompany the sudden shift of schedules.

Guess I’m really just opposed to anything that messes with my daily routine. Thus, my insurgence will be on public display in the form of massive yawns, increased irritability and a general strung-out persona.

But this year, I’ve also decided to take a more positive, productive step by creating a calendar to count down to November 6. That’s the date, of course, when we revert back to STANDARD time.