Just getting into the whole bottle-flipping craze? Well that’s done. That’s so 2016. The world is a completely different place, and that is in no way an exaggeration. Bottle-flipping is dead, or at least being steadily eclipsed by the new fad that kids can’t get enough of: fidget spinners.
What are they?
Fidget spinners are little gadgets, smaller than your palm, with two or three prongs with circles in them, along with a circular pad in the middle where you hold the device with your finger and thumb. Then you twirl it.
Are they popular?
What am I, a wizard? Some things can’t be explained rationally. Remember Chumbawamba?
But really, what do kids do with them?
Mostly, they just spin them while they hold them. That’s it. Somehow that’s enough. Yet my anniversary present of a Forever 21 gift card wasn’t.
As the kids get more comfortable with the gadgets, they spin the things on the ground and other surfaces, including their face. And there are already innumerable trick-shot videos littering YouTube involving fidget spinners because that’s how Generation Z communicates with each other apparently.
The kids also hold the dumb things by your ear so you can hear the soft whirring, which has led to several discussions in our household about boundaries, what may or may not interest me, and how under the right circumstances, I will kill.
How much do they cost?
From a couple of bucks to more than a couple hundred.
Wait, what? A couple hundred dollars?
I know, right?! And you thought women’s yoga pants were expensive.
Unlike yoga pants, though, it doesn’t seem like the premium-priced, yet virtually identical fidget spinners have yet to catch on with the masses. We can all just hope that Lululemon doesn’t get into the fidget-spinner business anytime soon.
Do they have any legitimate uses?
Strangely, yes. Or at least, allegedly, yes. Manufacturers claim that the gadgets aren’t just fun to play with, but also help people with ADHD, anxiety, autism and various other conditions that start with “A.”
I’m personally skeptical about those claims, but I was skeptical that J-Law could pull off that haircut, but a few months post-cut, and I have to admit, it’s not the end of the world.
Additionally, Forbes magazine named fidget spinners the office toy of the year for 2017. I’m not sure why Forbes is ranking which toys are best for the office. Seems like ranking which avocados are best for the bedroom.
But I suppose that the point is that it’s possible that even well-meaning adults can mess with the gadgets, and have fun, too. Is twirling a gadget that much different from hitting a tiny white ball with a 7-iron?
Is there a weird hardcore subculture of fidget spinners?
Sure, why wouldn’t there be? There’s a whole subreddit about it. The super fidget spinner nerds have very strong opinions about which fidget spinners are the best and why you’re incorrect and why “The Big Bang Theory” is the best show ever.
Is the fidget spinner less annoying than previous fads?
Actually, yes. At the end of the day, this fad isn’t bad. The clanking and banging of bottle-flipping is distracting. The crafting of colorful rubber-band bracelets with the rainbow loom was all right, although a bit spendy and created trails of mini rubber bands and unused rubber-band bracelets everywhere.
The fidget spinner is small, cheap and relatively quiet. Boys and girls seem to be interested in it (boys more so), and when kids are playing it, they’re not looking at their phone or iPad.
Would I prefer that my kids join a reading club that they participate in between innings of their all-star baseball games? Sure. But if fidget spinners keep them off their devices, and off the streets, then so be it. And even if the kids do hit the streets, they won’t notice the crack dealers and riffraff, because their heads will be buried as they look down at the spinning gadget in their hands.
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