Last week on Jack of All Takes, we discussed the merit of the latest fad. Unlike silly bands or those rubbery wristbands lining the arms of you and your peers during middle school, fidget spinners claim to actually serve a purpose: they help you, the user (or ‘spinner,’ I suppose) focus. Schools ban them, however, seemingly proving that the trinkets do the exact opposite. Naturally, I set out to test the devices for myself, hoping my fate wouldn’t be the same as my mom’s Iron Man action figure’s unfortunate circumstances:

Erin and I ventured to the suburbs one weekend and carved out some time to see my mom. When we arrived, she announced she had a gift for each of us. Two minutes later, the three of us were amping up our spin games. We tried to balance them on our nose; we competed for the longest single spin; we measured the reaction of my mom’s dog when we placed a spinner near her nose on the ground. For three hours we experimented with these cheap one-trick toys, making friendly conversation and enjoying our time together. Sure, we could’ve done that sans-spinner. I guess my point is that they encouraged conversation in a roundabout way: our hands were occupied with fidget spinners, and our minds, acclimated to the spinning mechanic, were free to focus energy elsewhere.

My spinner followed me back to the city and proved, once again, a focus tool during mundane activities. Typically I’ll play brick breaker while I watch Survivor. Instead, I fired up a spinner and paid more attention to the show. Instant life improvement? Not really. But I watched just a bit more attentively.

While I’m at work, my fidget spinner becomes a welcome stress relief device and a conduit for self-control. I’ll spin while I’m on a conference call or I’ll try to answer a few emails before the spinner stops. Simply put, a fidget spinner is an add-on that doesn’t do all that much for anyone, but as far as trends like these go, it’s got more merit than its predecessors.

Yeah, you could’ve guessed all that. I bet you feel pretty silly reading an entire blog post that just tells you something you could’ve figured out for yourself, huh? Sucker…