Out with the old, spin with the new

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photo by Hannah Hadelman

Freshman Colin Lamkin shows off his fidget spinner skills for fun during second lunch.

Hannah Hadelman, Staff Reporter

Stress balls and desk toys have been around forever, but now all the hype is about a sleek, addicting and collectable item: the fidget spinner.

Fidget spinners have been framed as just a toy, but they may be capable of more than what meets the eye. They consist of multiple bearings, right in the center of a design typically made from metal or plastic.

Their purpose varies, but generally they are supposed to be used to control fidgeting, as it says in the product name. The metal/plastic pieces rotate around in an entertaining way that relieves stress and nervous energy, but often students just use them for fun.

“I use my spinner about once every class, not really to keep me focused though,” sophomore George Boring said. “Spinners are really entertaining and keep me busy when I get bored.”

Fidget spinners are used out of school as well. According to statistics, fidgeting can be linked to anxiety, ADHD or OCD, and fidget spinners are designed to help students, or anyone, cope with that.

Freshman Noah Kemper was skeptical at first, believing spinners were pointless since they just spun in a circle, but the idea grew on him.

“When I get easily distracted and stressed, I like that I can always rely on my spinner,” Kemper said.

Beyond just spinning them, students have learned that they can successfully complete tricks with the spinners. Boring, for example, can balance it on his nose, phone and finger. He can throw it in the air and bounce it off his knee and keep it spinning as well.

Though spinners are fun for the user, those who are around may not be enjoying the spinner as much. According to spinnerlist.com, fidget spinners are banned in 32 percent of the nation’s largest high schools. Locally, spinner bans are more common in middle and elementary schools.

“Lawton Chiles Middle does not have set rules against spinners,” eighth grader Courtney Downing said, “but a lot of teachers have banned them from their classroom and are enforcing consequences”

Sophomore Darren Levy used to use his spinner a lot, but he got bored with it. Certain teachers are over the idea of a spinner too, due to the disturbances they can cause in class.

“I have only had an issue with a student and a spinner once, and it was when the kid was sitting in class with one on his finger spinning it really fast, causing it to make tons of noise,” math teacher Heather Cassady said. “I asked him to put it away after that. Other than the noise, I do not have a problem with them.”

Most people get their spinners off of Amazon.com or a local store like 7-11. People can find them just about anywhere, and their prices range from $5 to $50 according to how intricate the designs of the spinner are. There are also companies that exist on the Instagram app, advertising their spinners through videos and photos.

“I am so happy I got one because they are really cool, and it keeps me company,” Boring said.

Tricks you can do with your spinner

Finger spinning

Sophomore George Boring balances his fidget spinner on his pointer finger as it rotates.

Nose spinning

Junior Cristina Torres spins her fidget spinner while balancing it on the tip of her nose.

Toss-‘n-catch

Freshman Park Wickizer starts this trick by spinning his fidget spinner on his finger, tossing it in the air and catching it on one finger again.
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