STUDENT LIFE: Fidgety Spinners…Helpful or Distracting?


By Osasere Imade

We are now deep into June 2017, and the latest “toy” that is sweeping the nation are these fidgety toy spinners. They have been around for a long time now, but recently they have become a trendy item that every child must have. Whether adults or kids are using them, they are said to help students with anxiety and any troubles they might have in focusing on their work. Those opposed to them say that the toys could be causing more harm than benefit. Whether you agree or disagree with the use of these new gadgets, remember that there are always two sides to everything.

These fidget toys are meant to be used to calm any stressful situation which may occur during class. Using a fidget spinner can provide a fun way to keep your fingers busy, your mind focused, and your body relaxed. From personal experience when I have gotten the chance to try out the fidget spinner, I can say that they are fun to play with and are relaxing. However, students who buy these (or borrow them from friends) can spin them, drop them on the floor, and pass them to their friends during class time which can draw negative attention to them. We may not know how long these spinners’ popularity will last, but we know now that almost everyone has one, and so they are going to be here for a while.

One of the reasons people buy these fidget spinners is because they want to deal with their anxiety. The toy is supposed to take away that nervous tension or bored energy and direct it into spinning the toy.  According to ‘LiveScience’, they are: “marketed as aids for individuals with anxiety, autism, and ADHD.” Although they can help with anxiety, spinners are mainly used for entertainment or to relieve boredom, and many people may not know that. They can even help teens to not be on their phones all the time.
If you are still wondering why the spinners seem addicting, I think the reason is simple. The straightforward design–which is three rotating circles attached to a center pad–means that while you spin it and move the pad it creates a relaxed and satisfying feeling. Although most people get over that feeling after a few seconds, people who suffer from anxiety are motivated to use it all day because it helps them to relax.

The number one reason that people are finding the spinners displeasing is because of how distracting they can be for students, especially while in school. From experience I have seen teachers say “Put the spinners away!” because it it true that they were distracted by it.
It can be a classroom menace, but students who are able to spin quietly while their teachers are talking do exist. Students who cannot do that, tend to play with or do tricks with the spinner. That can cause the teacher to believe that the student is not paying attention, and most of the time they are right. Not only can spinners be a distraction, but many people believe that the fidget spinners are just toys and do not really help people to relax.
Ever since the popularity of the spinners increased,  many YouTubers have been performing (and then broadcasting) odd experiments with them, which encourages people to believe that spinners are only meant for fun, or if misused, might even be dangerous.

No matter whether you believe that the fidget spinner is a useful tool or a stupid idea these spinners are everywhere and you will have to get used to them . . . at least until the next big street fad appears.  Try buying one to see for yourself what all the fuss is about.

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