Unplug & Recharge//

Even Google Created Its Own Fidget Spinner

Welcome to 2017.

Image courtesy of Pixabay. 

Fidget spinners seem to be everywhere these days. Supermodel Kendall Jenner even matched one to her outfit recently. But now Google has made fidget spinners a little harder to ignore by offering a digital version you can simply Google to find, Teen Vogue reports.

To get to the fidget spinner, you go to Google.com and type in “spinner.” This will pull up a teal mobile-and-desktop-optimized fidget spinner ready for you to use immediately. You can click the “spin” button or the fidget spinner itself to launch it into action and you have the option to adjust the speed. (Plus, if you’re trying to channel your inner Price is Right contestant, you can turn the fidget spinner into a numerical wheel and see where you land.)

Beyond being a teacher’s worst nightmare, fidget spinners (of the non-digital variety) are being marketed as more than just toys. This NPR article about the spinners reports that “many retailers market the devices as a tool to help people focus, and help with controlling things such as PTSD, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.”

Those are some lofty claims for a toy, but is there anything behind them? Scott Kollins, a clinical psychologist and Duke University professor, told NPR that there isn’t evidence to back up these assertions, especially those related to ADHD. “If their description says specifically that this can help for ADHD, they’re basically making false claims because these have not been evaluated in proper research,” Kollins told NPR.

But the idea that an item could help you focus isn’t entirely out of left field. As this PBS article details, people use all sorts of “fidget items”—like clicking a pen on and off or holding a paper clip—to help them pay attention.

However “not all fidget items are created equal,” Katherine Isbister writes for PBS. In the case of fidget spinners, they might not be the best choice because they require more attention and hand-eye coordination than something like silly putty or a stress ball, an item Isbister notes is probably a better option for kids—or adults—seeking a suitable fidget item.

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