Fidget Spinners and 10 Other Recent Popular Fads

If you don’t have kids, Internet access, or eyes, you may have missed the fidget-spinner craze that has seemingly taken over the world. This small handheld device has been credited with helping people manage anxiety and ADHD… and sometimes, just plain boredom. There is something addictive about spinning these little toys over and over. Who knows how long the trend will last? While we wait to find out, here are ten other huge fads we all endured.


1. Pokemon Go


The trading-card game from the 1990s made the ultimate comeback with a new app that had everyone – even some adults – walking around in random places while preoccupied with their phones. The game was downloaded more than 500 million times as players used GPS to find and catch virtual pocket monsters. 


2. Crocs


The wildly-colored and odd-looking plastic shoes full of holes are often criticized for being ugly – yet the company has sold millions of pairs. Whether you find them ugly or adorable, one thing’s for sure: they’re comfortable, and that’s probably why they are so popular (even if their owners won’t admit to having them). 


3. Flash Mobs


Originally a social experiment to promote nonconformity, the flash mob started in 2003 in a Manhattan Macy’s and spread to other stores, public places, and even countries. These “spontaneous” performances are sometimes used to spread messages and are anything but spontaneous, requiring plenty of practice to pull off seamlessly. 


4. Cupping


If you watched the 2016 Olympics, you couldn’t help but learn about cupping. The Chinese technique leaves telltale purple splotches like the ones Michael Phelps (and other athletes as well) famously sported. Fans of the practice say it can help with circulation, pain, inflammation, and relaxation. 


5. Snapchat Filters


Suddenly everyone’s selfies took a costumed turn when Snapchat caught on. Celebs such as Serena Williams and Jessica Alba have been known to use the puppy filters and flower crowns. There are always new filters to play with along with the old standbys. Are filters a fad or the new normal? Time will tell. 


6. Facebook Reactions


You may have noticed that your friends are far more expressive on Facebook now that they have five emojis to choose from (not just “Like”). Now you can show love, amusement, surprise, sadness, or anger as well – although many people would have been happy with just a thumbs-down button. 


7. Wristbands for a Cause


Wristbands are often used in marketing, but the colorful bands had a major impact when they started being worn for specific causes, such as supporting cancer research with yellow Livestrong bands. Since then, various foundations (such as breast cancer awareness with pink bands) have embraced them as fundraisers. 


8. Rainbow Bagels


Rainbow bagels and other rainbow foods can be traced back to the Brooklyn-based Bagel Store, where a video about the brightly-colored carbs went viral. Now, you can find rainbow (or “unicorn”) variations of just about all foods, from cakes to sushi to Frappuccinos. 


9. Heelys


Remember when every other kid you saw was zooming by on wheeled sneakers? These epic shoes were all the rage until two things happened: first, parents and other “boring” adults got sick of being nearly run over by a youngster flying by unexpectedly, and second, well, kids get bored of fads easily. 


10. Webkinz


This revolutionary toy changed the industry in 2005 when it became available with an online component. The adorable stuffed animals included a secret code you could enter into Webkinz World; the web site kids could use to take care of and play with their animal’s virtual counterpart. 


There’s always something new making an appearance on the scene. We can’t wait to find out what the next big thing will be!

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