Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey is walking on sunshine.
A bill he co-sponsored that would make daylight saving time permanent year round, which is currently observed from March through November, was passed by the Senate on Tuesday. Coined the Sunshine Protection Act, the legislation now heads to the House for debate.
We're walking on sunshine. pic.twitter.com/ZFeDGJqGQn— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) March 15, 2022
Markey was so thrilled he even re-upped a playlist he curated last year designed to rally support around the measure.
It features such hits as The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun,” Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up The Sun,” and — you guessed it — Scooter Lee’s “Walking On Sunshine.”
If you're happy that the Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act today, then you might enjoy my playlist. https://t.co/fggETKjmmx— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) March 15, 2022
Everyone else? If social media is any indication, the reaction is decidedly mixed. Memes popped up in rapid succession over the news, with users quick to air their opinion on the issue.
And like most topics debated online, the stances shared were hardly lukewarm or neutral.
A reminder that #DaylightSavingTime is this Sunday. 😒 pic.twitter.com/FCteaLhDRk— Eskimo Libertarian (@EskimoLiberty) March 11, 2022
Most are familiar with the common woes associated with turning the clocks twice in the year: feeling disoriented, like the concept of time has all but evaporated, and a sense of exhaustion that is hard to shake.
“I love the week after switching to daylight saving,” tweeted one person. “Time has no meaning. My clocks all run sideways.”
me, when someone tries to explain Daylight Savings pic.twitter.com/akeR4WeGiH— an english human 😊 (@English_Channel) March 13, 2022
Happy daylight savings pic.twitter.com/x2XzG4islM— B-Fox (@Foxhimself) March 13, 2022
I love the week after switching to daylight saving. I wake up at 4:30 a.m. Breakfast is at 6, lunch is at 6:13, dinner is in the 18th century. Time has no meaning. My clocks all run sideways.— Phil Plait (@BadAstronomer) March 15, 2022
Many parents also pointed out that their children do not operate on a schedule in accordance to the time that shows up on their clocks.
“JUST PICK ONE AND BE DONE WITH IT, I DON’T CARE WHICH ONE, WE ARE ALREADY LATE FOR SCHOOL,” tweeted one mom in exasperation.
Daylight Saving time sucks….especially if you have small kids with consistent body clocks.— Craig Melvin (@craigmelvin) March 13, 2022
thrilled about this, not because I am pro- or anti-daylight saving time, but because in my deepest mom self I am screaming JUST PICK ONE. JUST PICK ONE AND BE DONE WITH IT, I DON’T CARE WHICH ONE, WE ARE ALREADY LATE FOR SCHOOL https://t.co/OAYla7nw50— Kathryn VanArendonk (@kvanaren) March 15, 2022
Yet it remains a conversation starter so rife for discourse that some avoid talking about it entirely.
One Michigan-based meteorologist likened discussing the subject to messing with “Jeopardy” or “The Wheel of Fortune” on television.
Things I’ve learned in TV:— Chris Easlick (@CEaslickWNEM) March 16, 2022
Don’t mess with Jeopardy
Don’t mess with Wheel of Fortune
Don’t talk about Daylight Saving Time
Don’t mess with Jeopardy
Some, including Markey, praised the bipartisan nature that propelled the bill forward in a relatively unexpected fashion. Proponents on both sides of the aisle have been pushing to make daylight saving time permanent for years now.
The “best thing about this Sunshine Protection Act,” tweeted one person, “is seeing our government all finally agree on something.”
Today, the Senate voted to make Daylight Saving Time permanent. That means no more switching clocks and more daylight hours to spend outside after school and work. Now I call on my colleagues in the House of Representatives to lighten up and pass the Sunshine Protection Act. pic.twitter.com/jvReuQggCm— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) March 15, 2022
It’s kind of weird that Daylight Saving / Standard time is the one issue that never got polarized. Like, if we treated it like every other issue in America, one of them would be “liberal time” and the other would be “conservative time” and we’d just fight about it forever— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) March 16, 2022
Okay but the best thing about this Sunshine Protection Act is seeing our government all finally agree on something (and also… not having to switch our clocks and sleep behavior twice a year anymore yesssss)— Jessica Ballinger (@BallingerMom) March 15, 2022
But not everyone was so quick to jump on board with idea and offer up praise to lawmakers for working together.
A number of people rattled off other issues, they argued, are more pressing to be addressed — from education to housing to child care.
So... y'all can't pass bills for education, housing, child care or the child tax credit but you can unanimously vote for the Sunshine Protection Act? Do I have that correct?— mickie (@momstheuniverse) March 15, 2022
I'm not a professional, but the Sunshine Protection Act seems like the least of our concerns. pic.twitter.com/o0Vdxu5QB4— koko (@Dakokoh) March 15, 2022
I'm happy enough with the idea of not having to mess with my clock twice a year, but the Sunshine Protection Act just gives me these vibes. pic.twitter.com/scnaAE7OGC— Lia Denailo ⛓️ (@LiaDenailo) March 15, 2022
“Friends, constituents, patriots, citizens, I’m pleased to announce that the sun is finally safe from the clutches of the wretched creatures of the night,” said comedian Vinny Thomas in a video he uploaded to Twitter.
“Many of you might be wondering, ‘Why was this a priority instead of child care or the minimum wage?’ Well, it’s hard to care for a child who’s been eaten by vampires,” he continued. “It’s hard to earn a minimum wage when you’re hiding in the forest, from all manner of demons.”
We have passed the sunshine protection act!! pic.twitter.com/4CIQHGs6VB— Vinny Thomas (@vinn_ayy) March 15, 2022
And, some pointed out, it is not the first time that the topic of changing the clocks appears to have eclipsed some of the more weighty issues on the agenda of legislators in the news cycle — drawing a comparison to a storyline from HBO’s “Veep.”
“I can’t believe the Daylight saving time bit from VEEP is no longer satire,” one person wrote.
going door to door asking people if they remember that jonah shut down congress over daylight saving in veep— sophy ziss (@sophyish) March 15, 2022
I can’t believe the Daylight saving time bit from VEEP is no longer satire😂 https://t.co/nsstdSUESi pic.twitter.com/lqBUVgIRJM— Austin Franklin (@austinfrankln) March 15, 2022
Many also noted the legislation only goes so far as to solve the problem of shorter and gloomier winter days, particularly in northern states.
People questioned whether the trade-off of waking up in the darkness later in the morning is really that much better than the alternative.
From the people who brought you “plunged into 4pm darkness” comes “WAKING UP INTO 9 AM DARKNESS.”— Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously) March 15, 2022
#BREAKING: The US Senate unanimously passed the “Sunshine Protection Act” which would make Daylight Saving Time permanent.— Ben Simmoneau (@bensimmoneau) March 15, 2022
Earliest sunset in Boston: 5:11p
Latest sunrise in Boston: 8:13a
It still needs approval of US House and @POTUS. #WCVB pic.twitter.com/W3Sap5WAeR
One person suggested (likely with a touch of Internet humor) that if the Sunshine Protection Act is enacted, the effects of the change would be noticeable on the presidential map — dividing the north from the south.
the 2024 presidential map after the Sunshine Protection Act goes into effect pic.twitter.com/An8uugW95x— m@ 🥑🛹 (@tidyvers) March 16, 2022
But some are just fans of the darkness (and Cher).
Everyone is so excited for the sunshine protection act.— Lindsay Marie (@LindsayMarie_x0) March 15, 2022
Me, meanwhile... pic.twitter.com/VGfFZQh80g
Me reading about this sunshine protection act pic.twitter.com/s7p1CUWHCh— ✨ (@heyjaeee) March 15, 2022
Several went even further, contending that it should be Standard Time — observed from November through March — that we should stick to year-round instead.
“Waking before sunrise is unnatural and unhealthy,” one person tweeted.
Bad idea.— Sam Wang (@SamWangPhD) March 16, 2022
Read down into the depths of this article. Neuroscientists and other biologists who study circadian rhythms agree that permanent Daylight Savings is a bad idea.
If any time had to be made permanent, it should be Standard Time.https://t.co/1R45sASUNs
Great to not change the clocks 2x a year, but can the House change the Sunshine Protection Act to stay on Standard Time instead? Waking before sunrise is unnatural and unhealthy. https://t.co/Mihxbjhnoq— Mama Kin (@LittleMamaKin) March 15, 2022
I cannot explain to you how much I hate, hate, HATE the "Sunshine Protection Act". Why are we not staying on standard year round? That's what makes sense. Daylight Savings is garbage.— Teresa Markos (@teresamarkos) March 15, 2022
And others were adamant they could not care at all.
As a shift worker, I do not care what you do with time. Daylight saving or not, it is all meaningless to me— ☇ indsay (@lh0ch) March 15, 2022
I opted out of Daylight Saving Time years ago and just use CryptoHours. Government can't touch me.— Seth Masket (@smotus) March 15, 2022
Some, meanwhile, took the time to offer up their own solutions to tackle and end the debate once and for all.
They ranged from the fairly simple to the more complex.
How about this as a Daylight Saving Time compromise: We shift standard time a half hour ahead and never talk about this again. pic.twitter.com/U2yLEtLrId— jay svoboda (@jaysvoboda) March 16, 2022
So glad to hear Congress is finally replacing daylight saving time with my common-sense system https://t.co/UI0IWibtak pic.twitter.com/m0zUKjC4hu— Randall Munroe (@xkcd) March 15, 2022
Matthew Gertz, a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, issued a stark warning: “We’ll live to regret this.”
The experiment of tinkering with time was tried once before in the 1970s and deemed a mistake not long after.
Everyone thought this was a great idea in the 70s then we tried it and people hated it. https://t.co/gWJlrZyjBM— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) March 15, 2022
But if we were to make daylight saving time year-round, some asked, what would happen next?
Only time will tell.
When the Sunshine Protection Act is signed into law pic.twitter.com/crX1lcgnWC— Sabrina (@ItzSabrinaM) March 15, 2022
If the Daylight Saving Time thing happens will just start calling it ... Time?— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) March 16, 2022
Shannon Larson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.