back to top

I, A Stressed Person, Tried A Fidget Spinner And Had Mixed Emotions

Fidget spinners are not relaxing, it turns out.

Posted on

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: As cult toys go, Tamagotchis seemed more exciting. I’m also a little sad I couldn’t get the cosmic-coloured one – its delivery time was too long. / Amazon

The design is extremely simple. There’s a plastic circle in the middle, with a satisfying indent for your fingers to hold, and three weighted spokes coming off it.

I don’t really know what you’re meant to do with a fidget spinner, so I just spin it. It spins. I try to spin it again, but it falls on the table. I pick it up and spin it again. It spins. I guess this is it.

I stare into the hypnotic blur as it spins. Maybe this is relaxing. It’s definitely a distraction. I mean, when I’m fidget spinning, I can’t do anything else. I can’t work, I can’t pick anything up – it’s a wholly consuming activity.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

Maybe if my job was just sitting somewhere, I could really get into fidget spinning. But I certainly can’t type at the same time.

As the day goes on, there is something happening in my brain. It’s a craving. A desire to pick up the spinner, to feel the weight of it in my fingers, the whirring as it turns.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

It’s the same feeling I used to get about smoking as a teenager. I don't think it's a good thing.


OK, time to test this thing in the real world. The tube in London is quite a stressful place. It’s very crowded and everyone in the city is pretty tense ATM. I get the fidget spinner out on my commute to see if it unwinds me.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

It does not. I feel like a nervous person fidgeting with something. It makes me feel weird, and I definitely notice a few concerned glances from my fellow commuters.

I get home and show my other half the fidget spinner. He is immediately deeply smitten with it. He starts fantasising about watching movie marathons while fidget spinning, which he feels would be an extremely relaxing experience.

As the days pass, I find myself avoiding the fidget spinner. I can tell I could get addicted to it, and addiction is not a relaxing state for me. Neither is fidgeting. I prefer calmness and quiet when I’m stressed, not rapid movement and rattling noise.

I’ve decided that the fidget spinner is not stress-reducing, at least not for me. And I think not for this dog who went viral with a fidget spinner on his nose:


Look at his worried eyes:

Twitter: @hudsonhongo

Honestly, I relate to the pressure he’s under. All week I’ve felt I should be enjoying the fidget spinner, but the way it tangles in my fingers and demands my attention just stresses me out. I think I'll leave this one for the rest of the world to enjoy.

It's worth it if:

• You're the sort of person who finds fidgeting "relaxing".

• You don't care about being relaxed, you just love to fidget.

• You need to take part in the trend everyone was talking about two weeks ago.

It's not worth it if:

• Like me, you find sitting still and breathing slowly more relaxing than fidgeting.

• You're not that coordinated and will drop it all the time.

• You think you'll get bored with it in a day and don't want to add more unnecessary plastic waste to the planet.

You can buy a glamorous cosmic-coloured fidget spinner on Amazon here.