Culture

A Shallow Dive Into the Herd Mentality Juggernaut of 2017

Exhibit A: The Fidget Spinner

By Kelly Larson ·
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Fidget spinners.

I’d like to use those cultural abominations as a jumping-off point for this brief condemnation of the practice that shall hereby be known as, "people doing things only because a bunch of other people are doing things."

It was bad before, but arguably reached a roiling, frothy head in 2017.

You know what I’m talking about. Posting Unicorn Frappucinnos because that’s what everyone else seemed to be doing that day. A newfound appreciation—on t-shirts, on socks, on those mini cinema message board things—for the traditional Mexican dish known as the taco.

Let’s start (and end, actually) with an examination of what the fidget spinner is and why such a thing might be found enjoyable by, say, a 28 year old man.

I mean it’s a toy, right? Great. There’s the “what.”

The “why” is a bit more challenging to dissect. I suppose something like that could be pretty beneficial for someone with ADHD or general anxiety, but no one was looking at Kendall Jenner’s spinner-containing Instagram and thinking, “Totally. I agree with her sensibilities and I, too, will begin using and endorsing this product as a means by which to promote mental stimulation for those in desperate need of it.” No. They were seeing a thing that was trending and a thing that they wanted to trend with. And the Lemming Express rolled on.

Now, if these people genuinely enjoyed these children’s playthings, I hope they continued, and continue, to do so. Enjoy them good. Sing their praises from every rooftop. Actually enjoy them in real life instead of pretending to on Instagram or wherever.

Anyway, that bothered me. But otherwise 2017 was pretty great. Wait…

Kelly Larson gets mistaken for a woman via email on a daily basis. He also spends a fair amount of time thinking about sloths, telling bad jokes and wondering where all the gin is.

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