The Toy of a Hyperactive Generation

I asked my friend what it does.

“It spins.” He said.

I asked him if it had a motor, or a remote control.

“Nothing, you just hold it between two fingers and you flick it.” He said.

I was dumbfounded.

“So you’re telling me that for a price range of 3 to 1000$, it does absolutely nothing.”

If you haven’t guessed already, I am talking about the ‘fidget spinner’.  The spinning toy has recently catapulted to stardom, with its sales growing exponentially over night. But for such a brilliant success, the fidget spinner is merely a toy that does nothing. It doesn’t talk back to its owner, it does not self correct after bumping into walls, it isn’t mouldable and more so, I repeat, it does nothing!

Or so I thought.

But there’s a silent purpose behind the existence of the fidget spinner

Inventor Catherine Hettinger suffered from Myasthenia Gravis, a disorder that caused muscle weakness. As a result she couldn’t play with her daughter. So she designed a toy to keep her daughter entertained. She also filed a patent for it. But years later, when she couldn’t pay the renewal fees, she lost the patent.

Now when the toy has achieved its much deserved success, many officials and researchers have quoted its usefulness in tackling ADHD. ADHD ( attention deficit and hyperactive disorder) patients have difficulty remaining still or focusing on a single task for more than a few minutes. They have this constant urge to keep fidgeting with something, much like normal people fidget with stuff when they’re bored.

The fidget spinner satisfies this urge of ADHD patients by giving them something to fidget while they work on something. Since their urge is satisfied, they can concentrate better on the task at hand.

Having established that the primal calling of the fidget spinner is to help tackle ADHD, it serves one more purpose which isn’t that apparent.

The present generation of the human species is afflicted by a severe disorder called hyperactivity. And the severity of the disorder can be sensed in the phenomenal success of the fidget spinner. It is an indication that humanity can’t keep still. We have forgotten what it is like to just be in the moment. So much so that our senses and our limbs crave constant movement.

Whether hyperactivity is good or bad, is a debate for another time. But whatever the result of that debate may be, we need to learn to keep still. We need to learn to pause for a moment and really be in that moment.Because silence is just as important as sound. Keeping still is just as important as hyperactivity.


I’ve just bought a fidget spinner. And I can’t keep my hands off it. May be I’m hyperactive too. So tell me about your experience with the toy. Feel free to get hyperactive in the comments section below, or hit me on my email –



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