(Non)Freedom of Saving Time
By Jeremy Gulley
We all like to think of ourselves as free people, able to make choices for ourselves – we want to see ourselves as masters of our own lives. In fact, our country is bound up in ideas of freedom, liberty, and the right to choose for ourselves what is best.
Yet, despite all of the debates, discussions, wars and demonstrations on liberty – here I sit on Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. knowing full well that it’s actually 5:30 a.m.
Free? Not so much. I don’t even have the right to choose what time it is, apparently. Yesterday at this time it was 5:30 but today it’s 6:30 and the only thing I did was go to sleep – at 12:30 a.m. which tomorrow will be 1:30 a.m. which means that the sleep I get will be directly proportional to my inability to accurately keep time.
Tonight we should have more daylight during the hours that we are supposed to be awake, yet I will still find it difficult to believe that when 8 p.m. comes around that I’ve really been given a gift, knowing full well that it’s actually 7 p.m. and that the amount of day I’ve lived hasn’t been changed – or has it?
Also,” Daylight Saving Time”? Where and how has any daylight been saved? Shouldn’t we call it “Daylight Manipulation Time”, or “Random Shift of Daylight by Arbitrary Means Time”, or – better yet “Daylight We’re Doing This To Make You Know We Still Have Control and Your Time is Not Your Own Time”? That would be more appropriate, I think. We aren’t really saving any daylight, are we?
I lost an hour somewhere, yet not long ago we were given an extra day, February 29. That means that I was given 24 more hours, which means that I’m still ahead, unless we take into consideration the previous leap days, daylight time changes, and – oh, man – domestic and international travel in which I’ve both lost and gained time in increments from one to twenty-six hours.
But that doesn’t change the fact that, today, I am being bullied into changing my clock whether I like it or not. Here I sit at 6:30 a.m., knowing that all I have to do is get up and walk into my kitchen, where, because it doesn’t update automatically, the clock on my stove still says 5:30 a.m. I can time travel simply by walking into another room of my house. But then, unless I want to stay in my kitchen for the rest of my life, I’ll have to go back to the inequality of world governed by automatically updated clocks.
Freedom? Our time is one of the things we should have control over, yet we certainly don’t. For me, though, this year – I’ve had enough. I’m not changing – I’ll adjust and translate my time to everyone else’s, but if you ask me the time and I say 5:45, you’d better make sure to clarify – “your time or mine?”
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