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  • Writer's pictureChristopher McHale

Hi Daylight Saving Time 2024: Navigating Time Changes in the US

Ah, Daylight Saving Time (DST), humanity's semi-annual temporal tango, where we collectively agree to shift the hands of time in a futile attempt to outsmart the sun.

It crushes me every year. I have dozens of conversations about it and literally no one likes it. In fact, everyone hates it. So why do we do it?

The logic seems almost mythical: by moving the clock forward an hour, we somehow gain more daylight in the evening, as if we've tricked the cosmos itself into granting us more time. More time! Who doesn't want more time?

It's a practice that sweeps across the United States, with most regions springing forward with enthusiasm, albeit often bleary-eyed and caffeine-fueled. Yet, in a defiant stand against the march of time, some areas hold their ground. Let's celebrate those states.

Arizona (save for the Navajo Nation, who march to the beat of their own timepiece), Hawaii, and various U.S. territories including American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands opt out, maintaining a steady rhythm while the rest of the country oscillates.

I say every place should be more like Hawaii. (That has nothing to do with DST.)

This modern DST ritual, which now feels as American as dysfunctional politics, was formalized with the Uniform Time Act of 1966. The act was an attempt to bring some semblance of uniformity to the time-shifting chaos that had taken hold, with localities setting their clocks with little regard for their neighbors. Now, despite its widespread adoption, DST remains a topic of hot debate and sleepy confusion.

And intense dislike. Yet somehow we don't do anything about it.

Is it a boon to our evenings, stretching the daylight just a bit further for after-work leisure? Or is it a relic of past energy-saving strategies, now merely a biannual disruption of our circadian rhythms?

Arizona stands out in its refusal to participate, citing the lack of need for an extra hour of daylight when you're already blessed (or cursed, depending on one's tolerance for heat) with an abundance of sunshine. Meanwhile, the Navajo Nation within Arizona springs forward and falls back, creating a timekeeping patchwork quilt in the desert.

So, as we "spring forward" or steadfastly refuse, let's raise our coffee cups to this curious cultural phenomenon. A twice-yearly reminder that, despite our best efforts, time and tide wait for no one—not even for those of us armed with smartphones and an extra shot of espresso.



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