Eloise Viera

The Big Smoke Next Gen: In Defense of the Fidget Spinner

What does the next generation think of today’s issues? The Big Smoke’s Next Gen program publishes students mentored by TBS writers. Today, Eloise, 9, defends the oft-criticized fidget spinner.

 

Student: Eloise Viera, 9 years old

MentorLoretta Barnard

 

We all know what fidget spinners are, right? Well, if not, they’re little three-sided gadgets that spin and balance on your finger. I have two fidget spinners. I like them because their spinning calms me and almost everyone at school has one. I think other kids like them because each one is different and provides a unique experience; besides, it’s really fun to see how fast and how long they can spin.

You do not need any special skills to use a fidget spinner, but it can be tricky to balance it on your finger. Although it might seem silly to spend your time repeatedly doing this, it might actually have positive benefits. Manufacturers say that fidget spinners aren’t only used for the pleasure of spinning them; they can also be used for helping people with anxiety, autism, and other conditions. How, you ask? It is believed that fidget spinners allow the person’s focus to rest on the spinning, training the mind to concentrate on the task in front of them. This hasn’t been scientifically proven, so we need more studies on this matter. However, some parents claim that fidget spinners help calm down their children who have ADHD. Everyone is different, so I think it’s worth giving fidget spinners a shot.

 

It is believed that fidget spinners allow the person’s focus to rest on the spinning, training the mind to concentrate on the task in front of them. This hasn’t been scientifically proven, so we need more studies on this matter. However, some parents claim that fidget spinners help calm down their children who have ADHD.

 

It’s widely reported that the fidget spinner was designed by an American woman named Catherine Hettinger who was actually a chemical engineer. Did you know that although she may have created the fidget spinner, she didn’t get paid for them because she allowed her patent to lapse? And although the fidget spinner craze suddenly started in 2017, fidget spinners are not new. They were actually invented in the 1990s.

The original design of the fidget spinner consisted of four round points with round bearings. The middle was normally a circular pad that your fingers gripped and the outside spun around it. Now they can be many different shapes and can be made out of various things, such as aluminium, stainless steel, and plastic. Fidget spinners don’t always weigh the same. They can be heavy or light, depending on the material used to make them. They can cost just one dollar all the way up to hundreds of dollars, as some of them are encrusted with diamonds and precious metals.

The sale of fidget spinners increased by 100% from February 1 to July 1 in 2017. With the popularity of fidget spinners increasing so quickly, schools soon discovered kids and teens selling and trading them, so now many schools across the world are now banning fidget spinners. As well as stopping kids from selling and trading them, schools are banning them because fidget spinner toys can be dangerous. There’s a type of fidget spinner with edges that are sharp enough to cut someone. I also think that schools ban them because teachers believe they distract kids from their schoolwork.


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So what do parents have to say about them? A lot of parents are worried about the dangers of fidget spinners and my mom says she just doesn’t understand how it can keep kids occupied. I think they can be used as stress relievers for adults, though. If adults maybe gave one a try, it might break their smartphone addictions, too. Did you know that there is a fidget spinner association? There are also fidget spinner clubs! Fans must be really dedicated to their fidget spinners.

There are also other fidget toys called fidget cubes, made for the same purpose. Each side has a different soother. It has a rubbing oval, a rocker switch, a rolling ball, five buttons, a spinning disc, and some gears. Same as the fidget spinner, the cube has many different designs, too. A lot of people have two or more of these types of toys, but I think you should really only have one or two.

In my opinion, I think fidget spinners are mostly good because they calm people and might help those who have anxiety or autism. However, I also think they’re a little bit bad because they can be a distraction from schoolwork.

Like playing with Pokémon cards or yo-yos, using fidget spinners is a craze that will probably last a short amount of time. Adults shouldn’t be too worried about them as they’re not the first fad to come along and they won’t be the last. I think fidget spinners are both fun and helpful – just don’t annoy your teacher by fiddling with them while they’re talking!

 

The Big Smoke Next Gen is a program which matches professional and experienced writers, academics, and journalists with students who wish to write nonfiction articles and voice their opinions on what is shaping the nation.

For more information about our program at The Big Smoke or to become a mentor, please contact Loretta.Barnard @ thebigsmoke.com.au.

 

Eloise Viera

Eloise Viera is a nine-year-old Sydney girl who loves playing basketball, tap dancing, reading a variety of books, and doing craft. Her favorite books are the Harry Potter series and she enjoys watching Doctor Who with her dad. She plays chess in school competitions and her favorite school subjects are science, art, and writing.

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