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poisonedantidote's avatar

How would it affect the world if it became mandatory to be a 24 hour a day society?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21539 points ) April 22nd, 2012

I was just wondering how it would affect the world if everything had to be 24/7. Gas stations mostly tend to be open 24 hours a day, and thus they need to employ people (a good thing), but they also have to offset their staffing costs by giving shitty wages (a bad thing).

How would it affect our economy, our technology, our culture and everything else if the world was somehow forced to go 24/7?

In other words, you sleep 6 to 10 hours a day/rotation, but when you are awake, be it 3pm or 3am, everything is open and going on.

At 3pm you could go to the cinema, the grocery store, off to work in an office, school, or anything else, and at 3am it is just the same.

What kind of problems and benefits would there be to such a scenario?

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14 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It’s almost that way right now. There are grocery stores and gas stations open all night. Restaurants, TV, is all 24/7.

So, I don’t think it would change that much.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

It would be great for insomniacs

Coloma's avatar

The world is already damn near 24/7 and I disagree. I like the Buddhist philosophy that says 6 hours a day is ALL the work we should do to keep balanced. Of course certain situations such as law enforcement and airports, etc. need to maintain 24 hour functionality, but otherwise, no.
I think our work “ethic” is out of control and people suffer for it. I’d like to see a reduction in work hours rather than an increase.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@marinelife I’m aware of sayings like “NY, the city that never sleeps”, but there are plenty of places that are hardly awake.

wundayatta's avatar

The skies would turn green at random times of day or night. The rivers would run a sodden orange. Skyscrapers would bend and flow and change position when people weren’t looking, which would be rare, since people would be looking most of the time.

But imagine if a building could move if no one was looking at it? Imagine if they could jump whole blocks and transform shape. New buildings would appear crammed between old ones, and pushing the older ones to the side. People wouldn’t know where to find their work. They wouldn’t know when they were supposed to be there.

Politicians would meet full time, all day and all night and despite that, would accomplish even less than they do now, if that is imaginable. Donald Trump would have his own cable channel devoted entirely to hair and bulbous women. Saturday Night Live would not longer be on Saturday Night, not would it be live (30 Rock having moved and no one can find it).

Yep. All that. And more. If 24/7 became mandatory.

You asked.

I answered.

rebbel's avatar

In a few years we’d all go nuts.
One example (with big impications): we wouldn’t get enough sleep because 24/7 there would be traffic traffice noise on the road, one of your neighbors would decide to DIH in the middle of the night, tele-marketeers would call you with the question if you want to switch insurance company at 4 AM, etc.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m curious, before I answer, about how you think it would be “mandatory” to have a 24/7 society. And how far that would extend. Do you suppose that elementary schools would “have to” have night sessions? That athletic events would be routinely staged after midnight? That any mom-and-pop diner or grocery would be “required” to offer round the clock service? That legislatures would keep office hours to suit those on that schedule? That airports everywhere would always be open and flying traffic?

For those who live outside of urban areas (and away from the freeway or tollway roads), they roll up the sidewalks at dusk, and in some parts of the world – regardless of any legislation I can imagine to try to impose other rules – they always will.

Bluefreedom's avatar

A lot of people would be a lot more tired than they already are. Sleep deprivation could end up becoming an epidemic and then the unethical pharmaceutical companies would have to engineer a drug to counteract this and make billions of dollars on top of the billions they’re already making by bilking the general public like they’ve been doing since…...forever.

Thammuz's avatar

Here in Italy it would mean lots of people working for nothing. People here tend to sleep at night, even here in Milan, which is as close as Italy gets to a modern metropolis.

roundsquare's avatar

Seems useless to me. We get so much from home now that there isn’t much that needs to be open 24/7. We’re moving more towards a world where things come automatically to us (i.e. with little need for human intervention) and away from a world where we go some place to have someone do something for us.

anartist's avatar

Most people do respond to daily light cycles. Not too many vampire types out there [although I am often one] and businesses forced to offer night hours would suffer economic hardship.

Even Bergmann’s vargtimmen or Hour of the Wolf [4 am] during which most births and deaths occur, reflect the low level of human energy usually found at the darkest hour before dawn.

jerv's avatar

As a former Navy man whose work schedule generally involved getting less than six hours a day oss and never more than two at a time while underway, and as someone who has worked second-shift and swing-shift in the civilian world, it’s very inconvenient to have everything closed/unavailable just because normal people are asleep or something during my time off.

So I have to say that it really wouldn’t be a big change in my eyes since there are already millions of people that have schedules like I used to.

CWOTUS's avatar

I agree with @jerv that there are millions – maybe even “hundreds of millions” isn’t out of line – who currently operate on schedules like the one proposed.

But there are billions who don’t.

mazingerz88's avatar

Eventually there’s going to be a great war for possession of the country. Between the night people and the day people. Think about it.

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