‘Fidget spinners’ take the world by storm

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Carsten Savage

BY CARSTEN SAVAGE (’17)

First came the Silly Bandz, distracting students as they stretched, organized and traded the bracelets. Now, ‘fidget spinners’ have invaded schools. The fidget spinner has a bearing in the middle from which the toy must be held, and small plastic or metal shapes extend from the bearing, allowing them to spin. While most spinners are relatively simple in structure and color, manufacturers have created many variations—including chrome spinners and ninja stars—and can range in price from two or three dollars to the double digits (and perhaps even higher). Yet for many students, parents and teachers, the craze is confusing. What is the purpose of spinners, and why are they so popular? Shouldn’t they have been banned already? Should I get one?

According to sophomore Sam Benjegerdes, spinners are “fun to play with for the first week.”

Since they can’t always hold one’s attention longer than that, however, some spinners are better deals than others. Benjegerdes advised that “any of them over $10 are not worth it,” explaining that they do not have enough benefits to warrant high prices; they make him less productive, not more so.

Freshman Daniel Purdy agreed that the spinners are not worth the price tag.

“I have better things to spend my money on,” Purdy said.

Assistant principal Scott Carpenter stated that he does not own a spinner, saying that he has “too much to do to play with a spinner.”

Schools across the country have been banning the spinners, yet many community members feel that there is no need to ban them here.

Benjegerdes said that “they don’t detract from the learning experience” because he does not “mind” when other students use them.

Purdy agreed, saying that he is able to concentrate while other students spin them.

“They’re silent,” Purdy said. “They don’t affect me.”

For Carpenter, a spinner can be a positive influence if a student uses it correctly.

“It depends on if it is helping them focus,” Carpenter said, noting that “when the teacher says put it away, put it away. You have to use it responsibly.”

He does not believe that fidget spinners need to be banned at the school, but he affirmed that there are other effective ways to relieve stress besides playing with a spinner.

“Learn time management skills,” Carpenter advised. “Most people are stressed because they don’t manage their time well.”