Fidget Spinners, Harmless Fad Or Dangerous Toy?

Fidget Spinners

It is so trendy that even Kendall Jenner dove into the world, so much so that even news organizations use them as clickbait to push advertising content.

Fidget spinners! From famous e-sports celebrities to maybe your own siblings, fidget spinners have evolved to be one of the underage of today’s favourite pastimes and might have even crept up to the older demographics.

800x-1However, as any trend would be, fidget spinners seems to be losing their ‘trendy-ness’ according to recent Google Trends findings. Moreover, Joel Anderson, CEO of Five Below when asked in an interview about the company’s fidget spinner sales said, “Normally, when these trends emerge, they’re worth a quarter or two”.

From custom designed fidget spinners on Etsy to spinners with Bluetooth speakers on the China e-markets, it spins to popularity since the first quarter of the year with a slow spiral down the trend.

From acrobatic yo-yo-like tricks popular on Youtube to outrageous custom ball bearing spinners that spins to over 9000rpm or blinged-out spinners that cost thousands and all it does is spin.

Yes, it spins. A triangular shaped toy with a ball bearing in the middle which allows it to spin.

Many are curious on the creator of this creation, however even the purported inventor, Catherine Hettinger denies it being hers.

Patents on such of toy design has not yet been confirmed yet. The internet concurred that it rose to popularity after the Kickstarter campaign on 2016 of a fidget toy called Fidget Cube which was one of the biggest crowdfunding projects on the platform.

However, the Fidget Cube is intended to provide an easy way to occupy one’s hands and other senses, particularly for self-soothing according to Antsy Labs, the inventor not as advertised like the fidget spinners do.

Seems shady doesn’t it?

Aren’t we all talking about the controversy behind the real benefits of these spinners or the backlash of the toy due to some of these spinners being dangerous as per incidents reported worldwide?

It is justified for all those that oppose the dangerously outrageous spinner designs which might cause incidents as the thing is a toy; a toy is intended for kids, thus the concern.

In contrast, the self-claimed benefits of it being nerve calming and lowering anxiety and stress levels seem to be a case over-marketing.

In addition, experts after experts that have been interviewed throughout the world have been debunking these claims of beneficial properties.

Plus, as it has been ravaging the schools all over, the views on them are negatively inclined. Does it help students to focus or to distract?

As always, more researches and studies on the matter are gravely needed.

To all the sheeples that are inclined to this craze, let us clear the air with the scientific significance of such contraptions. Fidget contraptions have been around for centuries.

From the Chinese Baoding balls to the Greek Kompoloi beads, some civilizations do have such things that purported similar functions and merits as the fidget toys or spinner of today.

We also have to remember, as fidget spinners are quite recent, scientific researches on them are rare or have only been initiated by experts.

This is why it has not been recommended by doctors or experts as being universal or proven. Even traditional fidget ‘toys’ like the Baoding balls, are considered as pseudoscience in terms of their scientific findings by experts and recommended only as an alternative.

Plus, it is not the experts that suggest that this toy is a benefit of somewhat, it was the general consensus that it was given, the promotional marketing that goes behind it and the media.

Furthering the theory, fuelled by the biggest market by age group in the world, the craze is logical by reason.

Closing this insight, findings from 2016 by Dr. Katherine Isbister and Dr. Michael Karlesky shows a more historical and biological perspective on this so-called toy.

They concurred that fidget spinners are reflective of a human need to self-soothe.  In their research titled “Understanding Fidget Widgets: Exploring the Design Space of Embodied Self-Regulation”, it proposed that we are hard-hard wired for self-regulation enacted through tangible, tactile sensory experiences.

In short, fidget spinners and ‘toys’ similarly are robustly “worry widgets”.

As our dominant tool of experience moved towards touch screens and keyboards, this has caused us to literally reach out for a more tactile experiences like the fidget spinner is.

These tools are prescribed to individuals with autism and severe cases of disorders in order to help them. If you think it helps you in any way, then go ahead.

As the name describes itself, it is a ‘fidget’ spinner. To fidget; whatever the intentions maybe, period. So why do you fidget?

As always: Stay sharp, eagle eye sharp.

Written by Azfar








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