What’s The Deal With Fidget Spinners?

Ow. CAMERAMAN: Mike, ya ready? Oh, yeah. The paradox of fidget
spinners might change the way we think about fidgeting. Wait, did I say
“here’s an idea?” [MUSIC PLAYING] Fidgets spinners and
other fidgety devices have been around for a bit, but
only since the end of last year have they been a
bona fide craze. “Forbes” described these
things as the “must have office toy” in December. But by this month,
“The New York Times” has described them as the
“hula hoop of Generation Z,” referencing the worldwide
adolescent craze from the 1950s. Yeah, fair– there
are five spinners here in an office of like 10 people. There’s an entire YouTube
ecosystem around them. In my neighborhood, which has
three middle and high schools, the sidewalks are littered
with fidget spinner packaging. Global sales estimates are
in the tens of millions. The assumed purpose
of the fidget spinner is to help people
particularly students concentrate, to give an
outlet to excess energy caused by stress or anxiety,
particularly that associated with ADHD and autism– something that we’re going
to spend plenty of time on in a few minutes. But many teachers have been
saying actually tool-assisted fidgeting is not an aid to
concentration but a hindrance, that they are a distraction,
with students focused on spinner color, construction,
and skills, rather than classwork. Many schools have
even banned them. REPORTER: That
distraction has prompted his school and many others
to become no spin zones, banning the gadget. What I want to figure
out is how we got here, how the constellation of
meetings around fidgeting and who does it launched
a tool reportedly suited for promoting calm
concentration to sensation status, and how that may
then feedback into how we think about fidgeting. To do that, let’s begin at the
beginning with a brief history of fidgeting. [PIANO PLAYING] Fidgets etymology links it
to a long disused verb– “to fidge,” meaning
move restlessly. But in emotion in the 19th
century, a culture of fidgets, Karen Chase points out
that in popular usage, “fidget” was also and
remains the name of a pie– one with an overabundance
of ingredients. OK, I’m going to
put this down now. Through successive literary
turns, including the character Lady Fidget from William
Wycherley’s “The Country Wife,” Chase says that “fidget”
came to name out of place actions and
people exhibiting an overabundance of motion– someone who schemes,
plots, and plans. “For a long time
then, she writes, fidget remained a fidgety
term, carrying suggestions of variety, restlessness,
impropriety, and surprise, and settling on all manner
of objects and behaviors.” She points to a late
18th century essay by Noah Webster as a possible
source for our current sense of fidget– surreptitious actions taken by
a person who is odd and tense. Someone who flaunts
social norms. I think a lot of
this sense persists. Fidgeting isn’t simply
moving restlessly. To fidget now is
often thought to be inattentive or disrespectful in
private, at dinner, in class, at a meeting, in
public, at the movies, on the train, or
waiting at the DMV. Fidgeting is distracting at
best and alarming at worst. Chase points out that more
than anything, fidgeting is seen as a release valve
for built-up irritation. To onlookers, a fidget
is a value judgment on the situation in which the
fidgeter is seen fidgeting. Like their namesake pie,
fidgeters seemingly just have too much going on. Often they’re stuck
in the situation which inspires their motion, so
they got to do something to cope with it. A student can’t simply
leave a classroom, but neither is every
lesson so gripping it fully occupies every pupil. Fidgeting, as a sign that
one is not fully engaged, is taken as a tiny commentary
on a lesson’s quality. The management of
excess vigor is the foundation of
how fidget toys are marketed and discussed. Whether spinner, cube,
bar, or even slime, people ostensibly
buy these things to help deal with
aspects of their life– classrooms, meetings, quitting
smoking, general distress. Anxiety diagnoses are
at an all time high, so maybe it’s not even people
who are tense but things. Things are tense. It’s also possible that cube
havers, spinner flickers, and slime pokers are interested
in communicating to others that they’re the kind of
person who has worries, whether they do or not. Or maybe they just
like doing tricks. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] I call this one
the hot potato. Hot, hot, hot. [END VIDEO PLAYBACK] Or something else entirely like
looking for a quick ASMR fix. The point being that
by the time anything reaches full- on craze, it
challenges simple explanation. If you use a fidget
spinner or a cube, it doesn’t mean you’re
definitely anxious. But whatever the reason,
to fidget or really to need to fidget is
in some broad view to be eccentric,
preoccupied, or both. And there’s cultural capital to
be had in being or suggesting that you’re either. For corroboration, we
need look no further than the success of
the spinner and Matthew and Mark McLachlan’s fidget
cube Kickstarter, which asked for $15,000 but ended
up raising $6.5 million and inspired a legion of
knockoffs along the way. These triumphs speak two
simultaneous volumes. First, that nervous
energy is ubiquitous. And second, that its cachet
is eminently bankable. It’s also telling
I think that much of the original hubbub
surrounding these gizmos, especially those with price tags
in the neighborhood of $200, began in the tech
sector in Silicon Valley, the legendary home
to well-funded rambunctious geniuses who make flatten
rocks filled with lightning do their bidding but also a
group of people stereotypically associated often through
their command of technology with non neurotypicality. This, I think, is the more quiet
association between fidgeting and fidget spinners. While these things are, yes,
markers of taste or affect, a pastime, or a
toy for some, they are a tool for others,
specifically those with ADHD or who are on the
autism spectrum– two groups of people with
reputations that often precede them and who are
amongst the most well known contemporary
fidgeters besides drummers. One hope is that the
newfound popularity of the spinner at all
helps normalize fidgeting, helps to shed some of its
negative associations. For those on the
autism spectrum, fidget objects provide an outlet
for self stimulatory behavior or “stimming.” Stimming is a way for
those on the spectrum to manage their
anxiety and focus by engaging with predictable
stimuli that blocks out less predictable stimuli
that’s often overwhelming. Video game critic Laura Dayle
writes that the fidget cube specifically feels
purpose-designed to help manage smaller stimming patterns but
that while it normalizes those small patterns, it may serve to
further stigmatize larger ones like rocking or twisting– source. For those with ADHD,
physical activity has been shown to
increase focus. Of course, handheld
fiddly bits aren’t exactly yoga or a dance party. But where anthropologist
Mikka Nielsen has described having
ADHD as existing in a state of temporal
desynchronization, maybe the pleasing
motion of a spinner is a way to recenter oneself
to calibrate as Nielsen says if even momentarily. I haven’t seen any
spinners specific studies, but anecdotal evidence from
friends, advocates, and news reports, some of which
apparently inspired the cube Kickstarter, suggests
that these objects provide non-disruptive physical
output for otherwise stigmatized and even
occasionally self-harming actions. They aren’t a panacea
but potentially a step in a positive direction. This I think is what could
provide a continuation to Karen Chase’s timeline
beyond her stated focus of the 19th century. The role of the non neurotypical
and their physicality can help chart a path beyond
the fidget as pie and fidget as rapscallion, to fidget as
the calming multi-faceted finger dance with objects that we’re
confronted with right now. What we might ask is if these
accessories challenge the idea that a fidget is a socially
burdensome boredom inspired overabundance of energy meant
as a non-verbal complaint. If fidgeting isn’t a release
valve for irritation, then what might it be? Maybe it’s the
self-directed creation of calm, a search
for satisfaction. Oh, maybe the ASMR fix thing
wasn’t so off after all. It may be that the
spinner toy/tool and whatever else aren’t worry
stones or not just so much as their bubble wrap or that
thing were like one cup fits perfectly inside another cup. And this just happens to be
a moment where many of us are seeking such an experience. As the objects we spend
most of our time interacting with move in steps
towards becoming perfectly smooth ingots
of glass and metal it’s possible that the
growing fascination with pens, and flashlights,
notebooks, and these things smack of a desire to be
satisfied by an otherwise diminishing tactility. Scott Stein at CNET
attributes the success of fidgets spinners and
even the Nintendo Switch to just such a desire. Either way fidgeting , has
long had negative connotations through its association
with mental inactivity and a resulting excess energy. But these things
outline a paradox, showing how
fidgeting can also be the exact opposite– an
abundance of mental activity resulting in excess energy. This paradox echoes that foisted
upon the non neurotypical. Those with ADHD
and on the spectrum are often considered
simultaneously deficient and eminently capable,
savant-like even. This drives, I think, the
mystique and therefore broad attraction
to these objects. One is able to be at once bored
and motivated, preoccupied and hyper-focused,
neurotypical and not. The neurotypical can through
certain quiet associations with fidgeting cash
in, so to speak, on the cultural cache of the non
neurotypical– insert “Big Bang Theory” jab– here. And the non
neurotypical with luck can experience at least
some amount of relief at the partial normalization
of their own physicality. And much in the same
way the hula hoop was banned in certain spots due
to fears of moral impropriety. (PROTESTING) Shaking hips? Well, I never! The fidget spinner confronts
the same– a blurry line between honest
wholesome spinning and godforsaken
immoral spinning. Also like the hula
hoop, we may ask what fate awaits the spinner
and its users when it’s no longer dizzyingly popular. Where it has perhaps partially
normalized certain actions and provided a low cost
easily acquired tool for focusing them, is there
a future where once spinners are old and lame? Those who benefit from
and even rely on them replace or compound one
stigma with the next. What do you all think? What is the deal with
fidgets spinners? Let us know in the comments,
and I’ll respond to some of them in next week’s comment
response video. And in this week’s
comment response video, we talk about your thoughts
regarding the Nintendo Aesthetic. If you want to
watch that one, it will be out tomorrow, on Friday. One small bit of news– I’m going to be at VidCon this
year doing a couple PBS Digital Studios events. We’re going to be doing a
PBS Digital Studios “Dungeons and Dragons” Q&A, just basically
exactly what it sounds like. We’re going to play a game
of Dungeons and Dragons and give the audience
the opportunity to play as NPCs for
exactly the amount of time it takes them to ask a question. And we’re also
doing a nerd night, and I’m going to
be a part of that. I don’t know why I’m
doing yet, but I’m going to talk about
something for 20 minutes. I should probably figured out
sooner rather than later, huh? If you would like
to support the show, “Idea Channel” has a patron
thank you so, so much to all of our current patrons. We have a Facebook
NirC and a subreddit. And the Tweet of the week comes
from “double plus goodfull,” who points us towards
a philosopher’s zone episode about the
word “awesome,” and the idea of
awesomeness, which is great. And just in general if you don’t
listen to the philosopher’s zone, I really like it. I listen to it a lot. I think it’s pretty great. And last but
certainly not least, this week’s episode would not
have been possible or good without the very hard work
of these fidgety spinners. I’m just– to be
perfectly honest, I’m shocked the episode
even got finished. They were so busy spinning
things– so distracted. We’re going to ban them. We’re going to ban them here. Morgan! What did I say? [MUSIC PLAYING]

100 thoughts on “What’s The Deal With Fidget Spinners?

  1. I Should probably look deeper into this. I can just agree, that everything is marketable nowadays that gave a slap on the fingers back in the day. Apparently we do not care about handling ourselves, but buy into any escapes.
    How does fidgeting relate to tic disorders?

  2. I have no problem with a few people liking and using fidget spinners. I'm just immensely frustrated with the flock of sheeple following the corporate greed of easy money which becomes this snowball of hype that rolls over the entire globe. I guess it's just the smallness of the world of today, with all the light-speed interconnectedness. But I just can't stand the mass of people jumping on this thing like it had been here never before. I have ADD and I fidget everyday with everything I can find, I never needed corporate designed product for that. The world of today just feels full with wannabe ADD'ers claiming that fidgeting is now cool instead of annoying… considering that those same people contemned me for fidgeting before, makes this whole thing me feel insulted and urged to burn every spinner I get my eyes on.

  3. Fidget spinners are just one example of how people on the autism spectrum and with ADD will become accepted only if neurotypical people can co-opt what they like. Yesterday's stim videos with slime became today's "Oddly Satisfying Compilation". Pencil biting became a cute habit. Fidget spinners became a fashion statement.

  4. The clip on the left @ 5:58 – 6:03 had me LOL for real 🙂

  5. knife guys play with bearing flippers or balisongs for this very reason.

  6. Another non-neurotypical group that can benefit from fidget devices are the high IQ/gifted children. I think that when you look at both ends of the non-neurotypical groups, you can see how the fidgets could be seen as more of a tool and not a toy.

  7. I never heard of these things until last week when I saw one for the first time in U2b. I really could not care less. I used to work in a factory that makes roller bearings. That's a use. These things are useless.

  8. I'm always relieved to read such thought provoking discussions on such a touchy topic like neruodivercity. As much as part of me hates annoying little things (mostly for feeding meme culture,) they seem to bring more good than harm in the end.

  9. So I am an Adult that works in Technology at the Fortune 1 Company aka Walmart. I was as of 5 years ago now diagnosed as Autistic in addition to the ADD diagnosis. Fidgeting is something I've done so naturally I don't realize I'm doing it and for most of my life I've felt required to manage and keep in check these tendencies. Now with my Autism diagnosis I realize the root of my need to fidget (stem) and how for me it helps me deal with stressful situations. Upon this realization I had to weight the level of conformity with societal norms that has to some extent allowed me to be successful in work and social life with the fact that this is such an unnatural path for me that it limits and exhausts me. To give an example a Birthday Part is a largely stressful event as I don't know what to expect going in and there will be lots of small talk demand. On one hand I can enjoy the party and make those around me comfortable but go home drained for days and possibly need to leave early or I can stem (fidget) make people around me uncomfortable but be more comfortable and less stressed and drained at the end of things. There is at the end of the day no win-win so long as everyone I know keep their views that fidgeting/steming is unnatural and something that should make them uncomfortable. At times I want to stem more not because I need to as much as I feel like in a way I can self-advocate in ways others I know can't and if I can buck decades of nero-typical compliance I'm actually doing others a service. That said once you've reached a certain level going backward almost feels like regression on one hand and defiance for defiance sack on the other neither of which in my very logic driven mindset seem like proper paths forward either. I do fear that fidgeting devices are already in adult circles becoming taboo. Heck for years now playing with PlayDo at work is already in that place and now I think more tools I've considered are going to be even more taboo and I've not even had a chance to use them yet. (My parents were supposed to get the Fidget Cube for me for Christmas and the order go messed up.) And now I'm going to stop typing because I realize I'm over sharing another annoying Autistic trait I've been told.

  10. wow I just had no idea this was a popular thing. I always thought it was just one of those random ads on Facebook that doesn't sell and that's all.

  11. I swear I would just give no interest anymore to the ones I know having any of those, only if they're autistic, anxious or stressed like hell. Do we even need this to focus? Naaah we're just being complete idiots. I mean, people seriously need to calm their tits over this wicked tool for a second, they ain't helping at all for the fundamental need of it.
    Meanwhile, as all those spoiled kids on youtube earn bucks thanks to that, how comes that the creator Catherine Hettinger earned none of the royalties (perhaps should you mention her into your next response video) ? I mean, people who created such world-famous inventions should at least go millionaire, if not billionaire. Instead she has to struggle for her month-ends. I'm more sorry for her than all those kids/young adults reunited growing up with a physical or mental disability (for the ones claiming spinning the hell out of it for fun and entertaining a post-disabled audience) and mingling up with the REAL disabled people and the ones who really need it, which is an issue I cannot take unseriously but people are emptying the first idea of an invention to something clickbait-ish and imo turning out of interest (am I the only one who thinks this is wrong). Wowzer
    But yeah, I know I cannot argue about one of the most boring hype ever, it'll be over soon. Good. Cannot wait what we'll have to deal with, next.

    By the way, I'm loving your Nina Hagen Band CD hung to the wall <3

  12. This is called a fad.
    We survived yo-yos, Tamagotchis and Pokemon Go. I give this 2 months before no one remembers what a fidget spinner is.

  13. Currently, the next video that YouTube has queued up for me is "The Most Expensive Fidget Spinners in the World!"

    This migration from utility to status is interesting. Isn't it usually the other way around with consumer goods?

  14. Everything, even barely new or innovative, will get pushback from those on the conservative side of life. Even more if such stuff gets popular. "I don't know what it is, and god forbid should I learn about it or touch such abomination" – without sparing much though about it's utility (trains, cars, radio, phones, TV, video games, VR, spinners…).

    edit: as for now I'm ignoring spinners. Watching this video is the closest I got to them so far.

  15. As someone on the autism spectrum, I was often yelled at by teachers and classmates for constant fidgeting. Playing with pens, tapping, leg shaking, you name it. Fidget spinners offer another (mostly) non-intrusive way to focus the energy. The caveat is that most people use them just because they are popular, thus forcing a lot of schools to ban them. Doing so not only removes a valuable tool for students like myself, but also can highlight their fidgeting once spinners are no longer allowed. Thankfully, quite a few of my teachers and classmates understood my constant fidgeting and uneasiness, but the stigma was always there.

    I feel that if fidget spinners were available when I was in school, I would not have had so much trouble in the classroom. For me, personally, it was not so much the need to be doing something, fidgeting was simply a way for me to focus on something else, rather then all the random sights and sounds around me, as those were often far more distracting for me than any fidgeting I did. Of course, my fidgeting often distracted other students. Honestly, I believe that spinners should be allowed in classrooms, as long as the student genuinely needs them.

  16. I have dyslexia and used to cross stitch in class to fidget. At one point that evolved into crocheting. I can tell you that most of my teachers did not care as I was the only one in class doing it and was still engaged vocally. The only teacher that ever asked me to stop was my professor in my Teaching Students with Disabilities class. I found that to be fine irony.

  17. I'm a bit fidgety myself at times, and do weird things with my fingers like having them walk places or do various gestures (NOT THOSE KIND!), or even doodle just because I have too much energy versus being tired. Thanks to the smartphone I can add blackjack when I'm out. I don't think the spinners would work for me but that cube sounds interesting.

  18. Christ. Is there anything people wont make a big deal out of.

  19. In the past year or two, I have been knitting and crocheting during some of my college courses. I've found that especially in courses outside my major (therefore less interesting to me), keeping my hands busy helps me focus on the lecture and keep my mind from wandering. For obvious reasons, I can't do it in classes with fast-paced notetaking, and I can't work on a knitting project that I have to pay a lot of attention to. The problem that I run into is other people's judgment of me. When they first see me they assume I'm not paying attention. When I try to explain, most people are skeptical at best. Sometimes they assume that I have ADHD (I don't), which has such a negative stigma. I wonder if there are more people like me who may or may not have ADHD but would benefit from having an extra tool to help them focus, if only there wasn't (what feels to me at least) this societal disbelief in unorthodox methods of focusing.

  20. I have pretty bad ADHD. Personally, I use music for my stimulus, but I always listen to the same album in the same order etc. Honestly, I can't stand fidget spinners, because others either don't get the ball bearings checked out and fixed to not make noise, or just get ones that make noise, and they force the irregular stimuli of that godforsaken noise on me, distracting me. I know that this is probably too late to get into the video, but that's my two cents.

  21. "… flattened rocks filled with lightning …"
    I've never heard a better description of integrated circuits.

  22. Fancy words where no fancy words are necessary. References that confuse instead of enlightening.
    Rather a pity, high as the production value is. The points and ideas are good, when they are eventually arrived at.

  23. I have anxiety disorder so I fall in the non-neurotypical camp, but obviously not autistic or ADHD. That being said I have a spinner ring. I found, through trail and error and listening to my therapist telling me to meditate to pull myself out of the anxiety loop as I call it, that having my spinner ring helps me focus on the here and now. I haven't had the chance to play with a fidget box but I have played with a spinner. I found it cool for like 5 seconds but didn't meet my fidget needs. For me it's the action and yes the small ringing sound of my ring spinning that helps center me and stave off attacks.

    I wanted to share my experience first because I thought it would bring a different tone to the conversation. I do think fidgeting gets a bad rep. The research out their points to stimming helping those with autism and ADHD focus and I hope more research is done. Fidgeting gets a bad rep in my opinion, for me it's not because I'm bored it's either as discussed excess energy or a focusing tool, but this is anecdotal based on my experience so take it with a grain of salt. CAN SOMEONE RESEARCH THIS PLEASE?

  24. As someone with ADHD, they don't work for me. They're just too engaging. I find that something more simple, like a ball of tape, works better for me. But if other people want to enjoy them, let them. The backlash against fidget spinners is comparable to the backlash against Pokemon GO at its peak.

  25. I think it may have value but first and foremost i think its a really cool toy that can be enjoyed by all ages, so I hope people dont dismiss them just because people try to justify owning them for some anxiety/scientific/psychological reason

  26. My little cube has helped me calm down from a full panic attack without getting up and pacing or (more dangerously) leaving my apartment and not stop walking until I am too tired to get back. It has also helped focus my thoughts and even calmed down my Tourette's tics. I guess I should mention that I have been diagnosed with depression, ADHD, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, and Tourette's syndrome (and probably something else that I am forgetting). I am 98% sure that I don't land on the Autism spectrum, but some doctors have suspected that I might.
    When I first heard of the cube, I thought it sounded like some hack's attempt to cash in on the struggles of neurodivergent people. Then I got more and more testaments to its usefulness and wanted to try it myself. I was given a mini fidget cube as a gift, and now I never leave my dorm without it. Its ability to distract my overactive or panicked mind is unparalleled.
    I am glad that these tools are popular enough to be available to people like me, especially young children who are still learning how to deal with their differences. HOWEVER, I hate this idea that they are nothing more than a "toy craze" vehemently. Schools are BANNING these life-changing tools because way too many neurotypical asshats are acting like they have the right to distract class by playing with a tool they don't need. It is NOT our differences that make neurodivergent people's lives hard; it's how the neurotypical society treats us and our culture.

  27. I was once in a class being giving a lesson whilst a group of students were talking about there fidget spinners and spinning them

  28. I have a question slightly off topic but still related to this video. I was diagnosed with Asperger's about eight years ago; my brother had been diagnosed in the early '90s. I heard an off-hand comment that Asperger's is no longer in the DSM-5, but I can't be sure of the source. Do you know anything about this, and maybe can you help me clarify what happened / what's going on? I don't know if you've already done a video about the Autism Spectrum, so maybe you could add that to your list of future ideas. Thanks for the great show!

  29. When i first heard about these it was in the context of 'Fidget spinners cure autism'. Note the word choice.

    I think people are upset with these because they're being smacked in the face with hyperbole laden hype. I don't see anyone complaining about the fidget cubes at all.

  30. When I saw the dog balancing a spinner on it's nose, my brain broke a little.

  31. Given what I've seen of the obsession with spinners, it is mostly concentrated to children in elementary, middle and early high school. And, it makes me wonder if it just started with something as simple as one kid seeing another use a spinner and maybe getting a little bit more attention from others because of it, and then going home to beg their parents to get them one, even if they didn't know what it was for or why the other kid had it.

  32. I am always fidgeting with something. I mainly use my wooden spinner in my pocket just as a "somthing" to occupy my hand so that i don't break something and or distract other people. I have niether ADHD or Autism of any sort.

  33. ironic is that people on the autistic spectrum generally hate this trend

  34. So, out of curiosity, did Nintendo try to copyright claim your vid? Because in the past I've seen it happen to others that used the "Switch click."

    Also, Laura K sent me.

  35. My fidget spinner in high school: Kneaded Eraser. I even made cute wizard cats with it too. Not distracting and it encourages creativity. Go buy one at your nearest art store.

  36. My dad and I both fidget like no one's business due to sensory processing disorder. My dad used to get beat by teachers for fidgeting in class with pencils because people didn't understand that he was trying to pay attention. His teachers would slap his hands in front of the class with a ruler or hit him with a switch. A couple of decades later I went to elementary school and things were a lot different. I didn't get beat by teachers but I did get harassed and yelled at by teachers as I get older. I was also bullied relentlessly for having fidgets that were prescribed to me by my occupational therapist to the point my teachers told me to keep the fidgets in my desk at all times so that they wouldn't bully me so bad. The bullying followed me into high school until I had a complete burn out because I tried to stop fidgeting altogether.

    So, considering all that? I'm ecstatic to see young kids have a fun and trendy fidget toy to show off to other kids. I'm really hopeful to see a bigger turn around in how we perceive fidgeting/stimming altogether since everyone does it.

  37. as an educator i would say that there are plenty of children who need fidget-helpers. the problem with the spinners though is their popularity and similarity.
    children who need a fidget-helper should have ones that can vent their over-activeness/stress/fear… without overtaking their concentration. when you have something that has great social implications it will play a part in your 'standing'. moreover, when the gadget is nearly identical to anothers, you lose your personal focus and move it into comparison territory.
    in a personal recommendation i would sugest the cube fidgeter since it differs by your fidgeting with it more than by flashiness, allowing lack of social interest and even imagination when you have time to concentrate on it.
    personal perspective of course

  38. ITs like shaking you legs at your desk, biting you nails or pens.  By physically doing something you can focus mentally.  It puts our ease of being distracted into a physical outlet.  Channeling that energy into fidget spinning, shaking your legs, biting pen…etc

  39. I can't believe the poor quality of the top comments! Check your spelling and grammar.

  40. Great video. As a devil's advocate who works in a school, though, I see a lot of kids using these things and they're definitely a distraction from what they're supposed to be learning (which is ever more demanding), and that makes our jobs harder for sure. The question of sorting the neurotypical kids from the ones who can really benefit from the spinners is really hard, since while "ADHD" and "autism" are useful labels they are also more or less arbitrarily drawn lines in the sand. So I guess the next question is how to understand this phenomenon and draw lines around it so it's as helpful as possible?

  41. Yeup. My husband got a cube to help with his anxiety. He tends to destroy things when he's anxious or frustrated. He got a cube, and it's really helped him stay cool and calm. He's really grateful for it.

  42. I always hated the edge-to-edge touchscreen without any buttons.

  43. FIDGET SPINNERS ARE THE DUMBEST THING KNOWN TO THE HUMAN SPECIES… You've become so lazy that you need a gadget to fidget for you without your interaction. As a lifelong fidgeter being excluded from the action of fidgeting is akin to not doing anything at all, which depletes the purpose of the uncontrollable need to expel the fidgeting itch for lack of a better term. Examples Pens, Handgrips, Rubix cubes, metal rings, knives, hair( self or significant other ) etc…
    My personal favorite is working out in place if the setting allows.

  44. I know I missed my opportunity for the response video already, but I only caught up this weekend with my (Yargh!) content.

    I teach middle school music and drama. Moreover, I work at a school specifically for kids with "non-verbal learning difficulties": various shades and flavors of dyslexia, auditory processing issues, ADHD, socio-emotional stuff, etc. Over the last few years, there's been a huge push in the study of dyslexia to not define/label it as a disability or hindrance, but rather as a potential advantage (The Dyslexic Advantage, by Brock and Fernette Eide). We do this not only to destigmatize these kids' struggle, but also to try reframe their situation as one of unexplored possibility. It is a constant and tireless quest, but one I certainly feel is worth fight for.

    This video perfectly encapsulates what my experience has been with both the spinners and the kids – we have a ton of fidget toys in our classroom, and whenever a student advocates for one, I always tell them "Please use this as the tool it is intended to be. If I see that it is distracting you more than it is focusing you, it will come back and we'll try something else." I'd say I'm up to about a 65% success rate with that. My students (mostly) understand the difference between being handed a tool, and handed a toy.

    I do think this 'reframing' of what it means to fidget is a good thing. Working at this school has made me super aware of that dichotomy that exists is most of my students – that of a restless brain/body, and an incredible, aware and perceptive and mind. We have students literally can't control their physical focus for longer than a few minutes – not because they're malicious children, but that's their non-neuro-typicalness. Those same students come back and show incredible intelligence – the ones I'm thinking of have proven to be incredible drummers, and once they're "in the zone" of a good groove, all their problems melt away, and suddenly they're rock stars. Paradox indeed. It takes a lot of patience and understanding (which many schools don't necessarily have – part of the reason for banning the spinners everywhere), but these efforts to slowly recalibrate what it means to be be non-neurotypical and publicly accommodate it without stigma – well, that's just a win for everybody. 🙂

  45. I don't know how long these things have actually existed, but MtG has long had a card (since at least 2014) called "Tumble Magnet" that accurately depicts a spinner.

  46. I have ADHD, I'm on the Autism spectrum, and I'm a drummer. I'm just a fidgeting trifecta. Plus I have Tourette's Syndrome, which is in some ways just more fidgeting.

  47. I mean to me the whole thing smacks to me as another summer fad, like Pokemon Go

  48. When my stimming literally is selfharm, I'm looking forward to get my spinner

  49. I think fidget spinners are just proof that we live in a Rick Sanchez miniverse.

  50. my question is, given that fidget spinners have become mainstream, how does the devices general presence affect students w/ ADHD & autism. I mean, I know we have some accounts of how the interaction of people with these disorders & the spinners. What I'm refering to is, since these aren't prescribed, anyone can get one. So, what are the effects when Johnny & Jill are playing with their spinners in front of ADam HaDdock & he is forced to participate in a group with them. Does this additional external stimuli hinder him in a way that offsets the benefit of them being available to the general public?

  51. I still don't get why a spinner toy can be considered a non-disruptive fidgeting toy. It's both nausiating and distracting.
    And neither do I get why people buy fidget toys in general. My paper-folding-and-tearing-habit has kept me occupied for many years…

  52. You forgot about the people who get one just because they think they aren't cool without one.

  53. Liked for the "2600: the hackers quarterly". Tshirt. I love reading 2600. It has some Great ideas and articles in it sometimes.

  54. I wanted a fidget spinner my wife thought they were stupid. Now that I've purchased one she says she wants one in pink. Lol.

  55. Everyone who says there are not studies on fidgeting and ADHD either are not able to access educational psychology papers, or are just making excuses for their ignorant beliefs.

    I have ADHD. I spend most of my time fidgeting, and getting distracted easily. This leads a lot of people to think that I am bored, and don't want to talk with them. That's not it at all, I just normally can't focus like a neurotypical person can. I have relied on my phone for years to stimulate my over active brain, having a million thoughts at once is difficult.

    Since the rise of fidget spinners, and me becoming employed with working with neurodivergent teens I've realized that fidgeting, and stimming objects have been around for years. All of my coworkers who have been working with these kids, have tons of objects that are colourful and fun to use. I remember, one of my coworkers leaving one for me to fidget with.

    It was like my world came into focus, I was sitting there with this rainbow tangle toy twisting it in my hand, and I've never felt more at peace. My hope, is for my next university semester next year I am going to purchase a fidget toy. I hope this will make it easier for me to focus in class, as studies have shown for children with ADHD fidgeting is a learning tool not a distraction.

  56. Three words: Kids are bored. As schools pack more and more students in with fewer and fewer teachers, ever less productive learning occurs, leaving students bored and in need of a release for their energy levels, which can reach torturous levels of suppression during school, especially when they are sent home with hours worth of homework because teachers couldn't be bothered to do the schoolwork in CLASS, where it belongs. Without outlets for their energy, children struggle to pay attention to lesson plans that seem like they'd be more at home in the 1930s than 2017, especially when confronted with an ever-increasing selection of well-crafted learning systems in games (take Pokemon for example, which teaches you hundreds of Pokemon without you even REALIZING you're learning them). So, in my opinion, it's just a sad commentary on how bored and unfulfilled most people feel at school or work and the need to release that droning, unending monotony with something, anything, to brighten one's days.

  57. Okay, I stopped the video when you went claiming this stupid thing helps people on the autism spectrum focus. I am on the spectrum myself and let me tell you that having something spin around in my hand is the LEAST helpful thing to me when I have trouble focusing. I need to be able to move my hand in repetitive motions, yes, but having something move inside it? That's the definition of distracting.

  58. I'm a pretty hyper person whenever I fidget, I usually just take a pen a part and reassemble it repeatedly that usally helps me focus


    I doodle but drawing doesn't help me focus and i get distracted

  59. yoyo's bro are basically a fidget spinner so are Pokemon card, digimon and all the other stuff that gets banned at schools

  60. More kids should play with perler beads. It requires focus and at least you have something to show for it when you're done.

  61. is there an episode about ASMR videos? I can't believe they've never made one on that.

  62. I blame AH, they were the first case I saw of the fidget spinner and they have the correct demographicm

  63. I still haven't seen a real fidget spinner ever, I should get out of my cave 😐

  64. the thing they say that "oh,spinners,theyre for people with adhd and autism and blah blah blah"
    has no scientific research to back it up

  65. Having tried a fidget spinner, I don't understand. There's very little sensory feedback and as a toy it's really boring. Can someone explain it to me?

  66. huge fan of the shirt. what chapter puts on the conventions you attend?

  67. Fidget spinners are like pogs and furbies. A fad item that will eventually become abandoned and worthless.

  68. I have ADHD, Am still trying to finger out why whats the point… I bought some mostly to annoy my wife…. lol. They are little fun to mess with but other than that Am still missing the point of them.

  69. As a 1st grader I would "fidget" so much in my chair it would squeak non-stop. This helped me focus but distracted everyone else. I got an air cushion for my chair so it wouldn't squeak and soon every kid wanted one. A child with ADHD might do better with a fidget spinner but he would either distract others or make them jealous. I learned to tap my toes quietly and sit in the back. I think that type of solution wouldn't always work but it's worth a try first.

  70. The bans are just another way neurotypicals ruin everything for us neurodivergents

  71. I guess this device is meant only for learning disabled children, and normal children are just abusing it in the classroom.

  72. Why is everyone so stressed nowadays, especially kids who have no obligations while living with their guardians? Back in the 90s we just daydreamed or tapped a foot. Now all of a sudden the world's population is shaking like a leaf and feel the need to flick or poke something. Write something. Go walking. Lift weights. Jerk off. Anything. I've a cousin with Aspergers and he thinks these spinners are the dumbest invention man has ever made next to the USB Pet Rock.

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