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Here's Why Everyone Is Addicted To Those Fidget Spinners

Can't. Stop. Spinning!

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Here's Why Everyone Is Addicted To Those Fidget Spinners
Image: Time
You've probably seen it every where you go these days: at the mamak, in your office, in the train on your way to work or heck, even on YouTube.

No, we're not talking about dandruff. We're talking about the latest phenomenon: the fidget spinners.

The little toy shaped like a mini fan literally came out of nowhere, and now, it doesn't matter where you go, you'll see at least one person spinning it without a care in the world.

The original spinner was reportedly invented back in the 1990s after one Catherine Hettinger, a chemical engineer by training, decided to create a soothing toy that could help children release pent-up energy after she reportedly witnessed young boys throwing rocks at police officers in Israel.

However, it only become a fad 27 years later after financial website Forbes described fidget spinners as the must-have office toy in 2017.

Right after the article was published, the demand for fidget spinners was overwhelming. Back in May, variations of the plastic toy occupied every single spot on Amazon's top 20 best seller list for toys.

That's just absolutely insane!

 

So, why are these fidget spinners so addictive?

To get to the root of the matter, Rojak Daily speaks to Chong Joo Chien, a clinical psychologist at Serene Psychological Services

Chong says that the reason why every one is hooked to the plastic toy is simple: they are actually hynoptised by its spinning effect.

"Watching a fidget spinner whirl like a small fan stuck on full blast with a mesmerising swirling pattern is soothing," he tells us. ​"It kind of creates a hypnotic effect that is said to provide relief and focus, hence it can be addictive."

Chong also mentions that a fidget spinner can channel the restlessness in a person - especially when they have a limited attention span yet have some excessive energy to burn - which is probably why some people find it hard to put the toy down after a while.

A whole world of goodness in one small plastic toy

While some look at a fidget spinner as just a trendy toy, the spinner can actually help a person battle anxiety, Chong tells us.

He likens the fidget spinner to "the spinning version of a stress ball" because it basically performs the same function.

By letting the user channel excessive nervous energy into the spinning motion, Chong says that the spinner acts as a temporary distraction for the user as it keeps their hands or visual attention busy. 

"The hypnotic whir of the spinner and the soothing effect it produces may calm an anxious or nervous person down," he says.

Chong adds that some have claimed that fidget spinners can help with their focus.

"Some have claimed that it actually helps some kids focus better, especially kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)," he notes.

In fact, he says that a fidget spinner can be a working adult's best friend

"It can be used as an alternative for stress ball, for working adults to switch their attention from the stressful work to the toy every now and then as a short mental break."

However, while it seems that a fidget spinner is a pretty beneficial toy to have, Chong says that the scientific community has yet to prove these claims with research.

And here's the good news!

Despite it being borderline addiction, Chong says that he doesn't see any long term psychological side effect to using a fidget spinner.

However, he did warn that like any other fast moving objects, it has the potential to cause injuries if not handled properly. 

As long as you don't spin it near your face, you're good for life. So, spin away, you fidgety people.

 
 
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