It’s official: 2017 appears to be the year of the Fidget:
What is it for? The fidget spinner has been framed as just a toy—but also as a stress-relief tool, a classroom menace, a treatment for ADHD, and a possible salve to smartphone addiction, among other things.
Fidget spinners might or might not be any of those things, but at their core they are something more, and something stranger: the perfect material metaphor for everyday life in early 2017, for good and for ill.
* * *
Toys similar to fidget spinners have been around for years, but over the last month or so the current incarnation has reached fever pitch. As with other cultural trends, like Flappy Bird and Pokémon Go, kids adopted the gadgets first. Since the winter, fidget spinners have invaded classrooms, causing teachers to confiscate them as contraband. They’ve become ubiquitous impulse purchases at mobile-phone shops and bodegas. And as I write this, fidget spinners dominate the Amazon.com bestsellers in toys and games.
Of course, it’s not just a toy, there’s science involved:
And every fad has its killjoys:
So, how do they stand up to past fads? As long as we’re making comparisons, behold, the Pet Rock:
So maybe it’s just because we’re easily distracted, or want to be…we look for a simple spin on things in these times. But fidgets are real, and they are there for you. Isn’t that what a good fad is all about?