This week I check out my first fidget spinner, in an attempt to figure out what all the fuss is about.
Some of us were fidgeting long before the revolving metal discs came whirling into the picture. All of the sudden fidget toys and spinners are everywhere.
As I pick up the small black tool and twirl it between my pointer finger and thumb, I have mixed feelings. The heavy cold metal zings and vibrates, resonating into my fingertips.
On one hand, the whoosh of the quivering metal is soothing. The fan-like rotation is also quite enjoyable, reminiscent of the shimmering pinwheels I adored in childhood.
Spinners are everywhere. They have invaded playgrounds, classrooms, and memes all over the world. Kids collect them like Pogs, do tricks with them like yo-yos, and flinging them across classrooms.
Somehow spinners have caught on, becoming the new “cool toy” and everybody wants one. Completely out of control, the fidget fad is booming, leaving many people who were “fidgeting before it was cool” with mixed feelings.
I hope this will give way to more teachers allowing movement in class.
When I was in school hands had to be still. You were not allowed to play with pencils or strum your fingers, even if you did so quietly.
One teacher, a stern old fashioned woman who seemed to have it out for me, made me sit on my hands to keep them still. I remember the hard wooden chair painfully pressing into my boney knuckles.
At first, when I stopped my hands my legs would jump, bouncing up and down, under the desk. “Do you have to go to the bathroom?” the teacher asked in front of everyone, “You look like you are doing a pee dance. Go to the bathroom or knock it off!”
Keeping my hands under control was hard work. Eventually, I learned that my hands could be moving under the desk or table, as long as the teacher didn’t notice.
Little has changed. I think best when actively relaxed, allowing my body to move naturally. As an adult you find more acceptable things go play with, rings, necklaces, pens, and cell phones. Holding something in my hand keeps me grounded, helping me to stay present and mindful. Often I will pop and rub my fingers quietly if I find myself empty handed.
When I was young there were no fidget spinners, being the squirmy kids who couldn’t sit still was not cool or trendy either. Funny to see how things have changed.
Is this a door to widening acceptance or simply a gross misuse of a well intended too?
Story by Neurodivergent Rebel. First published on Neurodivergent Rebel.com