When you think trend or latest fad, you expect the vocabulary to include words like ‘augmented reality’, ‘mobile download’ and the name of some software developing company. Last year Pokémon Go ticked all those boxes, peaking at 28 million daily users. The latest trend though surprisingly, is a plastic toy. Remember those?
Think tiny ceiling fan spinning on your finger. Yes, that really is just about as good a description as you’ll find anywhere online. Fidgets were originally created to help kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder by giving them a stimulating background motion, which would enable them to focus better on a primary task. Although the debate continues as to the educational value of this new fidget toy, what is clear is that these spinners have exploded across the globe with retailers struggling to keep up with the growing demand for the toy, which just spins and spins and spins. We’re talking minutes here.
It’s always a bit of a mystery understanding what makes something popular, especially when it can be likened to a ‘spinning top’ from yesteryear. Part of the appeal is that you can do some tricks with them, they come in a large variety of styles and colours and there are thousands of YouTube videos about them.
What fidget spinners do have in common though with most past trends is that kids love them and adults, well, can find them a little irritating (especially teachers). As with any good trend worth its name, they have also given rise to the eternal question, which all trends must past through, “Are they good for you?” Here’s our spin on it (sorry we couldn’t resist).
We just can’t picture Jesus saying, “Thou shalt not fidget!” but maybe he would have used it as an opportunity to comment on the times parable style.
What good is it to have many spinners, in all kinds of colours and shapes, and yet still want one more?
Once a girl didn’t like who she was so she bought a spinner because everyone had them and they seemed happy. So she bought a spinner but still felt the same in the end.
Once a boy bought many spinners and kept them in his cupboard whilst his friends didn’t have even one. He couldn’t understand why nobody played with him.
Okay, so we’ll stretch it no more but as with any trend, it gives opportunity to teach about stewardship, materialism and identity in sneaky ways.
(How about you send us your creative ‘spinners’ parable. We may just post it.)
It’s likely that fidget spinners will go the way of most trends, like Pokémon Go, which now only has 5 million daily users. We still think that’s a lot of users by the way but it rates low on the global economy of trending. We do think it’ll last beyond Father’s day though, so if you know of a doodler, pen-switcher, leg-tapper Dad, we’re sure he would love a fidget spinner, although he would never own up to it.
You do know you can get a Batman Spinner.