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May 24, 2017
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There’s a new toy obsession hitting the office and school: the fidget spinner.

Also called hand spinner, it features two or three prongs with a circular pad in the middle where you can hold the gizmo with your two fingers. Then, you twirl it.

For the past few weeks, they’ve been spinning their way into kids and kids at heart's hearts (and hands) across the globe, including the Philippines. Over tens of millions of various kinds of hand spinners have been sold worldwide, according to a report in Seattle Times. It’s also among the list of the best-selling toys on Amazon RN.

“We are in the midst of the biggest, fastest-moving trend that I have ever seen in the toy industry,” Jackie Breyer, editorial director for The Toy Insider, told New York Post in an interview.

It has been around for quite some time now, but it only gained popularity recently thanks to numerous videos on YouTube involving these spinners—from tricks, DIY tutorials, to reviews.

Sellers are claiming that the so-called “must-have toy of the year” can eliminate stress, and even treat ADHD and autism. However, Dante Boac, RPsy, RPm, AADP, a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist based in Malolos Bulacan, debunks this claim, saying there’s no scientific evidence that spinners have real benefits.

“Fidget spinners are not therapeutic. They are designed to somewhat dispel energy by the way of channeling stress or feeling of agitation. It’s a mundane solution to a problem at hand but at best, what it does is displace energy,” Boac says.

So, why it is so addictive? He says “you tend to use it more because pleasure takes over and it is as if you cannot function without it.”

Meanwhile, Chong Joo Chien, a clinical psychologist at Serene Psychological Services, explains that owners are usually hypnotized by the toy’s spinning effect.

“Watching a fidget spinner whirl like a small fan stuck on full blast with a mesmerizing swirling pattern is soothing. It kind of creates a hypnotic effect that is said to provide relief and focus, hence it can be addictive,” he explains.

If you want a stess-buster, “a better solution is to recognize your stressful state and learn to calm down,” Dr. Boac advises.

Dante Boac, RPsy, RPm, AADP, is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. For consultation, you can visit his clinic in PsychSphere Psychological Services located at Phase 1C, Block 1, Lot 11, Grand Royale Subdivision, Bulihan, Malolos, Bulacan. For more information, visit his website here.

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