A defence of the Fidget Spinner
“Fidget spinners are useless machines designed to spin with little effort.” Now, that's not me saying that, that gem of a quote comes from the oracle of all information: Wikipedia. Until this very morning I would have had to agree, especially about the whole useless part. My fingers had yet to touch a fidget spinner and my general opinion on them was that they were just another stupid fad that a wave of 10 year-olds had latched onto with their all-too sticky hands.
Now, though? Things have changed. Now, as I sit here with a fidget spinner in my hands, fidget-spinning like the aforementioned 10 year-old minus the stickiness, I truly understand what the fidget spinner is all about.
There’s something innately satisfying about the tactile pointlessness of the whole thing. It’s strangely soothing and I’m not quite sure why. I’ve been spinning it for the last 15 minutes and I don’t intend to stop anytime soon. I need someone to take it away from me. I can’t do this by myself. I’m John Belushi on the set of Blues Brothers and this fidget spinner is my before, between, and after-take drug of choice.
Originally advertised as a toy to help focus people who fidget (hence the name), the fidget spinner was first created all the way back in the early 1990s by a woman named Catherine Hettinger. Unable to hold onto the patent for financial reasons, Hettinger has unfortunately had to watch from the side-lines as her toy has become a global phenomenon.
For those of you who aren’t clued up on playground trends, your typical run-of-the-mill fidget spinner generally consists of a ball bearing in the centre of a three-legged piece of plastic that you can flick and spin to your heart’s content. It looks something like this:
The particular fidget spinner I am currently using is one shaped in the design of Captain America’s shield. It belongs to my boss’s 11 year-old son and apparently retails around AED100. Needless to say I’m being very careful with it. I’d also like to ask my boss's son if he’d be willing to trade it for something I now consider to be less integral to my day-to-day life. Something like my car keys. Or my health insurance.
In spite of being intended to reduce distraction in those who suffer from conditions such as ADHD and Autism, fidget spinners have been banned across multiple schools for actively causing a disruption within the classroom. Just like the Tamagotchi before them, the fidget spinner seems to be yet another childhood trend destined to be shut down by the establishment.
With the arguments surrounding the respective benefits and detriments of the fidget spinner remaining rife, with some even claiming that they pose a serious threat to children’s safety, this writer would like to confirm himself as a member of team pro-fidget spinner.
The scientific data may suggest that fidget spinners have no positive impact on those that do actually suffer from ADHD and Autism but the good church fidget spinner has managed to obtain another convert in this self-confessed fidgeter. They may not be perfect but they do provide an outlet of kinetic energy for those who find themselves easily distracted. They're also great to use under the desk during meetings that you really don't care about.
If you still weren’t sold on my argument about fidget spinners being actually-quite-good-and-not-that-bad then just take a look at this clip of former One Direction member Liam Payne being really good at fidget spinning:
A proud member of the #FidgetGang, it’s important to remember that while you may scoff at Liam Payne's boy-band past, he has recently had a child with Cheryl Cole. So if you consider yourself outright “too-cool” for fidget spinning you are simultaneously stating that you’re cooler than someone who has impregnated a member of Girls Aloud. Which you’re not now, are you?