Photo: X and Y Spinners from Spinetic.
In a culture littered with high-tech gadgets and gizmos, the humble fidget spinner has taken the world by storm, bringing us back to basics. This simple, handheld device featuring two or three paddle-shaped blades attached to a central core spins round and round on a skateboard ball bearing that is activated when you squeeze the core. Once in motion, it creates a pleasing whirl, a flow of light and color that is the perfect visual metaphor for our overactive minds in a hyper-accelerated landscape.
And the best part? They don’t “do” anything. The fidget spinner is the most Zen of toys, in that they take excess nervous energy and channel your attention into a peaceful, contemplative state. You can simply zone out as you stare—meditating without realizing it.
Back in December 2016, Forbes predicted the fidget spinner would become the hottest toy of 2017—and they were right on track as they have risen out of nowhere to the #16 spot on Amazon’s toy list. Like many of the old fads of yore—the trolls, Rubik’s cubes, Beanie Babies, Garbage Pail Kids, jelly bracelets, hula hoops, Yo-Yos, and Frisbees—the fidget spinner is giving the people just what they need.
While adults are often ambivalent about toy fads, the fidget spinner suits people of all ages. Although it is a novelty, its appeal speaks to our timeless need to overcome boredom, stress, and anxiety. As distractions go, it is among the most innocuous, the most innocent, and elegant ways to take a moment’s respite.
Crave has compiled a selection of the best fidget spinners on the market today so that you can put this little guy in your pocket and keep it moving—literally.
Miss Rosen is a journalist covering art, photography, culture, and books. Her byline has appeared in L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Online, Whitewall, The Undefeated, Dazed Digital, Jocks and Nerds, and L’Oeil de la Photographie. Follow her on Twitter @Miss_Rosen.