You’ve probably seen this three-bladed thing on your social media or other media outlets you subscribe. Yes, this small toy has been trending for the last two months. It is a fidget spinner, and it’s driving many people crazy lately.
A basic fidget spinner consists of a bearing in the center of a design made from any of various materials including plastic, copper, stainless steel, titanium, and brass. It has a stable middle and a disc with two or three paddles that can be spun, like a ceiling fan. The result is supposed to be relaxing and satisfying. It’s not difficult to find this toy in Indonesia—there are many street vendors selling these toys with low price.
Actually, the reason why this toy is incredibly popular is kind of blurry. But here are some things that we know about fidget spinner:
It’s appealing (for some people)
Despite of its original function to relieve stress, today many people buy fidget spinners just because it’s popular. The market answers this with more fidget spinners with different colors and patterns. Recently, there are also spinners with light-up LED version.
Since it’s very popular, there are actually people who created fidget spinner tricks and hacks.
It helps kid with ADHD
The toy has been marketed as a stress-reliever toy for those who have trouble with focusing or fidgeting, by acting as a release mechanism for nervous energy or psychological stress, as well as improving their concentration. According to Elaine Taylor-Klaus, the co-founder of ImpactADHD, a coaching service for children with attention disorders and their parents, promoting fidgeting is a common method for managing attention regulation.
A fidget spinner allows some people (not all people) with ADHD to focus their attention on what they want to focus on, because there’s a background motion that’s occupying that need. However it does not mean that a doctor will always prescribe a fidget. A psychologist could list fidget spinners among the recommendations made at the end of an evaluation.
It could serve as a ritual
Rituals can offer comforting predictability, familiarity and structure that may be relatively absent in real life. Repetitive motions such as handwriting, tapping your pen, squeezing a ball, or the spinning motion of a fidget spinner can be comforting mini-rituals.
Many schools banned the toy
The toy is incredibly popular among school-age children, and they often bring the spinners to their class. Many schools ban fidget spinners because the toys themselves have become a distraction among students. There is also a story that a school in Shepparton, Australia banned them after a wayward spinner injured a boy’s eye.
It is unreasonable that many schools banned the toy. Spinners are visually distracting, especially the ones with LED lights. It also can make some noise, so it’s not an ideal fidget for the classroom.
It could be cheaper than other toys
A fidget spinner costs around as cheap as Rp35,000 ($3) to around Rp300,000 ($20). Well, compared to a new Lego collection or action figures, fidget spinners are definitely cheaper option.
Until now, there is actually no concrete reason as why these toys have so many fans in the world. Maybe it’s because that spinning the toy can be a mindless activity to help the user pass the time and kill their anxiety. Maybe it’s because it comes in various designs. Or maybe it’s about the fact that it’s cheap and harmless. What do you think?