Daylight Saving Time: Fall Back vs. Technology Fail


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Is sticking to an analogue clock best for Daylight Savings Time? Image by Oatsy40

Daylight Savings Time comes to an end at 2:00 AM on November 4, 2012 – that means it is the dreaded time to turn the clocks back.

While the extra hour of sleep after we Fall Back is a happy thought for many, the thought of darker evenings is depressing – and when it affects our lives through technology, it can be even worse.

Spring Forward, Fall Back: Why Have Daylight Savings Time?

The first Sunday in November was set as the date to end Daylight Savings Time by the Energy Policy Act 2005, but the origins of the seasonal time change go all the way back to 1895.

George Hudson thought of the idea of Daylight Savings Time after finding the value in daylight for his shift-work job and his love of insects.

The United States tried Daylight Savings Time in 1918, but it was not successful. It was not until the Second World War that DST became popular as the country attempted to save energy – DST made it possible to gain an extra hour of daylight during the evenings of the summer months, which meant homes were using less electricity and people were saving money on their bills.

Technical Problems with Daylight Savings Time

When Daylight Savings Time was first introduced, everyone used analog clocks and watches, so they didn’t worry about whether the clocks had turned back properly or not. If you set your clock back, it was set – if you didn’t, it wasn’t. Now, however, we’re more dependent on technology, and that can be a problem for those who have early obligations on that first Sunday morning.

Original computers required a manual time change as well, but when Microsoft introduced Windows 95, they included an option for the computer to automatically turn the clock back for the end of DST. However, Windows Vista and 7 turn the clocks back automatically without a warning, which can be a problem for those who do not live in an area that follows DST, such as Arizona.

Smartphones, such as the iPhone, and cell-phones in general, are supposed to turn back automatically. Unfortunately, they do not always do what they’re supposed to do, which results in, “Is this the right time? Am I late?” moments as the user runs all over the house comparing clocks. In order to avoid the stress, and avoid getting up too early or too late, it can be easier to ignore the auto-updated clocks, and just depend on manually-changed timepieces for the accurate time.

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