People clearly enjoy using fidget spinners, but how many of us have stopped to wonder a basic question about them: What, exactly, is a fidget spinner? Considering how they seem like a simple, fun way to pass the time, we may want to call them toys. But most toys, like dolls and trucks, are often representation
al, relating to other “real-world” objects or activities. While fidget spinners don’t represent anything beyond the activity of spinning them. Perhaps they resemble religious paraphernalia, like bead necklaces used for counting by Buddhists and Muslims, for meditative and devotional rituals. Yet, this relatively new invention did not emerge from any religious context, nor are their sellers trying to relate them to any religious practice. Then, there are some who claim that fidget spinners are therapeutic. If this claim is true, perhaps we can call them therapeutic machines.