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Fidget spinners: a healthy addiction

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Silly bandz, Pokémon Go, Harambe; these are all fads that have come and gone. Meet the newest edition: Fidget Spinners.

The fidget spinner was first invented by a chemical engineer named Catherine Hettinger in 1993. It was named the “must-have office toy of 2017” by Forbes; now it’s invading the homes of families across the globe. This is the usual progression of a short-lived fad. Freshman Camdyn Cote believes that it will be out of style before the next school-year.

“They’re just so weird; they’re like the fidget cube. There’s literally no point to it,” said Cote. “But the fact that I can [spin it] and it stays spinning, I don’t know. I just think they’re cool.”

The fidget spinner was originally designed to aid individuals who have trouble with focusing or fidgeting (such as those with ADHD, autism or anxiety). Basic fidget spinners consist of a two or three pronged design with a bearing in its center circular pad. An individual can hold the center pad while the toy spins. Freshman Kyianna Procino, having ADHD herself, finds that the fidget spinner does serve its targeted purpose.

“Usually I just zone off, so [I use it] as I’m writing,” said Procino. “I do my work at the same time and it makes me pay attention more.”

English teacher Heather Tremblay, has a lot of students in her classes with ADHD. Some diagnosed and really severe, others potentially undiagnosed but have the habits of someone with ADHD. Tremblay bought fidget spinners for two of her students who have trouble focusing.

“I was just trying to find as many productive ways to help them manage with that need as I possibly could,” said Tremblay. “I thought that [the fidget spinner] would be less distracting than some of their normal behaviors in the classroom.”

Though this toy prevents some students from being distracted, English teacher Veronica Foster points out that the gadget is less distracting than phones, but more distracting than nothing for most students.

“I can’t really think of a student [whose] engagement has improved because of the fidget spinner,” said Foster. “I’ve definitely taken some this year, for the class period–just because it’s hard for them to hear me over [the fidget spinner].”

Even though the toy is meant for the use of a single person, it has proven to distract other people as well.

“There’s this kid in my class [who] has one,” said Cote. “It’s really obnoxious and loud–it’s like mine, so I don’t use it in school–but this kid spins his and I’m like ‘stop! I need to work.’”

As with all fads, some people have a negative view on this toy. Cote mentioned that her friend—who is completely against the fidget spinner—will still grab it and use it. Cote also points out that there is a fidget spinner app.


“I have it [the app], but at the same time it’s like ‘why do you even need this?’” Cote said.

It can safely be said that the invention of the fidget spinner is one of the more useful fads of this century, since it has mental-health benefits. We have yet to see what the future holds in store for them; who knows? Maybe the evolution of this gadget will take a turn.

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The student news site of Biddeford High School in Biddeford, Maine
Fidget spinners: a healthy addiction