Et Tu, Fidget Cube?


I like many at times struggle with generalized anxiety. And my anxiety tends to manifest with obsessive hair brushing, nail biting and other “self-mutilation behaviours” that anxious people exhibit. Like a stressed out parrot, if left to my own devices, I would likely bite my nails to an unattractive length or over-style my hair to finally fit the look of the anime character that I really am on the inside.

I’ve been playing with stress balls, small toys as well as doodling, drawing, pen spinning and just about any other “fidget” activity that you can try. It was actually my therapist who encouraged that I try a d fidget cube. She thought that maybe it would help curb some of the bad habits that I’ve dealt with since I was young.

I waited for a while to get a fidget cube but then they and their spinner partners became popular. Suddenly, mostly fidget spinners became very en vogue. Even my boss had one. He, of course, said it was for “business men like him who sit in meetings” to which I promptly corrected him on the true origin of the fidget spinner. But since they became popular tools of the zeitgeist, it puts people like me in a strange position. I either look like a hipster by not adopting what became popular or I look like I’m part of a movement that I’m not by having one. And truthfully, I even separate out that I have a cube rather than a spinner. To me and those like me that have these toys to help them cope with stress or anxiety, the spinner is a pretentious toy. The cube became the secret handshake of those who actually intended to use the devices as they were patented: as therapy devices.

Amber, my dear teacher friend, at first was dismayed when I showed her my cube. She said her school children have been causing quite a fuss with their spinners. Some even light up now and are being used like new-age hipster Beyblades. When I explained to herĀ why I had mine, she accepted it. Most do when you explain that you have a cube or spinner for any reason that isn’t puffery or just for fun.

That being said: if you see someone with a cube or spinner, I think it’s important to halt judgement briefly. I know it’s been difficult for me to not immediately judge the children on the bus wielding two light-up spinners for some odd reason. But I’m doing my best to reserve that judgement because I know how much I don’t like being judged and lumped in with all the people that got these because they want to be hip with the young kids. Most people now have them because they’re popular but they’re already starting to wane in their popularity. Soon, once more like with so many other appropriated things, people who intend to use them as first created will rise again.