Saturday, November 6, 2010

Old Habits Die Hard

Time change at the end of Daylight Saving TimeImage via Wikipedia
Tonight's switch on Daylight Saving Time had me thinking about how this is such an ingrained part of our lives. 
It's a habit: Spring Forward, Fall Back. Something we all just know and do. And why not, this concept is as old as our democracy. Although its practice is just as about as confounding as democracy. 
This last spring, BusinessWeek debated the efficacy of the idea. Some say it is a power saver. Others just a drain. 
Even if we wanted to get rid of it, would it be good and possible to do? Sure we always have that inevitable problem in the immediate week making the adjustment, but most people seem to get by ok. 
Studies show that our brains become hardwired for habits. This too, is a double-edged sword as good habits can reinforce behavior, but they can also lead to bad behavior because we can't give up what we are used to.
Just to feel smarter, take a look at old Benjamin Franklin's reasoning for DST. Fascinating! 
Related articles