We talked about this a bit earlier this year when summer time/daylight saving time started. Oddly, not observing it made me more aware of it than I had ever been in my life. For instance, I had never been aware of just how overlong it is in the rest of the US and the UK. I had never before thought about what a silly term ‘standard time’ is when it is only a small fraction of the year.
I had also always thought of Arizona as being in mountain time. It obviously technically is, but due to our time matching the Pacific coast states far more of the year than not, the term felt increasingly pointless as the year passed and the realization sunk in that we spend very little of the year sharing a time zone in a meaningful way with New Mexico and Utah. There is a much greater chance that we wouldn’t experience change of time zone if we visited California and Nevada.
I would really recommend giving it up to the states that share a similar latitude with Arizona. It seems frankly ridiculous that places like Key West, Houston and Los Angeles change the time along with states where it makes more sense like Pennsylvania and Ohio. Basically, I think it would make a lot of sense for all the states that are the most southern or second or even third most southern, depending on their size, to stop changing the time with the rest of the country. Not changing in Arizona has made complete sense. The sunrise and sunset are at very reasonable times year round, and as such, the disruption would not have been worth it at all.
I also realize how pointless it is if you go far enough north. Looking back, I didn’t feel I got much out of it in the UK. I think they should stop as well, but simply because the time differences get so extreme there that changing one hour makes no positive difference to lifestyle. You still only get a few hours of daylight in the winter. Most people go to work and come home in the dark by the deepest part of winter and there is no changing that. In the summer, it is light extremely early and extremely late no matter what. I don’t see any benefit there either, just disruption.
Despite living in a place without it, it did still affect us in a few ways because we have relatives in GMT 0 and GMT -6, so of course, they observe it. More than that, we both work remotely and the vast majority of our co-workers and clients live in places that observe it. Most of Chris’s colleagues are on the East Coast and Midwest, while my clients are usually in Europe, South America or another US state. It meant that all of Chris’s weekly meetings will likely shift next week with standard time resuming.
That said, even though a certain amount of accommodation is necessary, it didn’t feel much different than the kind of time zone accommodation we already had to do with friends, family and colleagues around the world. We had always been very conscious of the fact that summer time happens different weeks of the year in the UK than the US, for instance, and naturally, that it’s not ok to call everyone we know at just any time in our day. I think it would still work reasonably well if all the more southerly states stopped doing it. If anything, the minor amount of thought we’ve had to put into it has been well worth not pointlessly doing it ourselves when there is virtually no benefit to doing it in Arizona.
Kudos to Arizona for deciding to be different on this count. It is definitely a plus point we have enjoyed.