Where does fidget spinner come from?
The fidget spinner is a palm-sized toy that spins around a bearing to help people who have trouble focusing or often find themselves fidgeting, especially with their hands.
Fidget spinners became a toy craze in 2016–17. Some major news outlets credited their invention to Catherine Hettinger, who invented a stress-relieving spinning toy in 1993, whose 1997 patent expired in 2005. Patent disputes followed, centered on the fact that Hettinger’s toy features a different mechanism than the ones in the popular fidget spinners.
In early 2017, almost all of the top twenty spots on Amazon’s list of best-selling toys and games were fidget spinner variations. Though marketed as a toy, fidget spinners have picked up a surprisingly large amount of adult fans, a point which was spoofed in a May 2017 episode of Saturday Night Live, which depicted a diamond-encrusted Cartier fidget spinner being given as a romantic gift.
Some have argued fidget spinners are effective attentional aids and coping mechanisms for students with special needs, such as those with ADHD or autism, though many experts have disputed those claims.
Though fidget spinners have been compared in hype and popularity to toys like the Tamagotchi, the hula hoop, and the yo-yo, many adults who are prone to fidgeting see fidget spinners as less of a toy and more of a concentration tool, as the hand motion keeps them focused on more important tasks. Fidget spinners, meanwhile, have been banned from many classrooms due to some teachers claiming that they disrupt the class.
Who uses fidget spinner?
Due to negative feelings about the toy craze, some are using fidget spinner as a derogatory term for a worthless person, e.g., “You fidget spinner loser.” Fidget spinner itself has been metaphorically extended to modify anything that moves in the fast, twirling motion like a fidget spinner, also inspiring the verb to fidget spinner and a back-formed verb, to fidget spin.
“#InsteadOfAdulting I'm gonna cancel my appointments and fidget spin in bed for hours, if you know what I mean, lol.”
Christina Dawn @S2ndBlondeChild Twitter (May 29, 2017)
“As a constant fidgeter, I can affirm that the fidget spinner is far superior to the fidget cube: optimal tactile satisfaction achieved.”
Maxie C @MixConway Twitter (May 25, 2017)
“Ever since they made a comeback this year, we've been seeing fidget spinners repurposed for an impressive variety of uses, from makeup application to teaching aids.”
Suzannah Weiss, “This Guy Has Been Tindering With A Fidget Spinner,” Refinery29 (May 26, 2017)