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Fidget spinner fad is fading fast

Conner Hall, Web Editor

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Once a hot commodity, the fidget spinner is becoming less popular by the day. Last May, fidget spinners were everywhere at John Sevier Middle School, but now, they are a rare sight to see. What has happened to the fidget spinner?

“I believe that it was a typical fad that has faded out as time passes,” Spanish teacher KrisMarkl said. “I believe an additional reason for the decrease is the work of teachers justly enforcing policies to limit their use during instructional time.”

This phenomenon of fads coming and going is not a new thing. While most students and teachers have different opinions on whether they liked fidget spinners or not, almost everyone can agree that they are not as popular as they used to be.

“[It is a] herd mentality,” Hunter Mullins, the band director, said. “This is not dissimilar to the colored hair streak phenomenon, socks with sandals, shirts, Justin Bieber haircuts, Jinco Jeans, Trapper Keepers, slap bracelets, pet rocks, or any other fad that has plagued the purses of middle school parents. The herd is moving on to the next thing.”

But what is a fidget spinner?

“Fidget spinners are neat little toys based on Newtonian physics,” Mullins said. “I have not played with one very much, but similar spinning toys built around a bearing have been available for decades.”

Many students and teachers feel that fidget spinners serve a purpose, just not in a classroom setting.

“Most people don’t use [fidget spinners] correctly,” sixth grader Alex Batts said. “They are made for ADHD kids, not for playing.”

Mullins agrees.

“It is my understanding that fidget spinners were introduced 15-20 years ago as a stimulant to assist children with attention disorders,” Mullins said.

Rebekah Tipton, a seventh-grade World history teacher, also believes fidget spinners have another purpose.

“Mostly, I think they are for entertainment,” Tipton said. “I suppose it could be justified that it helps the typical ADD/ADHD student to stay on task while continuing to work. In reality, it’s just the ‘latest toy’ that kids feel pressure to start a collection of.”

Some people claim that fidget spinners can help students focus. However, this is actually a disputed opinion.

“I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement,” Markl said. “Many students already struggle with distractions in class. I feel that fidget spinners only elevate that problem for them.”

Tipton disagrees.

“It could help in focus areas, if used appropriately,” Tipton said.

Since fighting for students’ attention is already a losing battle for teachers, a majority of teachers did not like fidget spinners making the problem worse. However, some teachers were fine with fidget spinners.

“I generally will not say anything unless it becomes a distraction for others or a hindrance for the user,” Mullins said.

Markl, on the other hand, has the opposite view.

“No, I do not [allow students to spin fidget spinners in my class],” Markl said. “They are a distraction not only for the student playing with them, but for their classmates, as well.”

This has caused some students not to bring them, as their teachers just take them away.

“I think they hate them,” 8th grader Graham Chandler said.

“They find them annoying,” Batts said, “because of the constant hissing noise that the spinner makes.”

Today, fidget spinners are dying down. However, nobody seems to be disappointed about this, despite them being so popular only a few months ago.

“It matters not to me,” Tipton said. “I’d rather kids spin a fidget than flip a half-full bottle of water over and over on a desk. Now, that is annoying.”

In reality, fidget spinners were a fad, and fads come and go. Soon, there will be something new everybody obsesses about.

“We are guaranteed that there will be a ‘next thing,’ but how we adapt to it is really the key to successful integration,” Mullins said.

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Conner Hall, Staff Writer

Conner Hall is an 8th grade student at John Sevier Middle School. Hall enjoys swimming, vacationing, and camping. Hall plays the French horn in the school...

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Fidget spinner fad is fading fast