July 13, 2024

I decided to conduct an experiment to see if using a fidget toy would help me sit through and focus on watching a movie at home. I tend to get restless, distracted or bored easily when trying to watch a movie, especially longer or slower paced films. I end up looking at my phone, getting up for snacks, or even falling asleep.

So I got a simple fidget cube that has buttons to push, switches to flip, gears to turn and sides to roll. The idea is that it occupies your hands so you can channel nervous energy into the toy rather than fidgeting in distracting ways. I also chose an acclaimed drama film that runs 2 hours and 40 minutes long – definitely a movie that would test my patience and attention span.

Settling onto the couch with my fidget cube in hand, I started the movie. At first I was focused on following the plot and characters, absentmindedly flipping the switches on the cube back and forth. About 20 minutes in, I realized my foot was bouncing rapidly. I decided to try spinning the gears on the toy with one hand while still watching the movie. The gears gave my fingers something small and repetitive to play with. To my surprise, it calmed my restless leg.

As the film built dramatic tension, I found myself rubbing the smooth sides of the cube and pressing the buttons silently to channel nervous energy. The story was getting more complex and intriguing, and I stayed engrossed in the movie while enjoying the tactile sensations of the fidget toy. For once I wasn’t compelled to check my phone or pause the movie. The fidget cube was providing just enough distraction to occupy my hands and part of my brain, allowing me to focus on the film with my eyes and ears.

When a tense scene led into a quiet moment, I shook the cube gently to hear the click of internal bearings and let my thoughts gather after an intense few minutes. The stimulating little rattles kept me from losing patience during slower scenes. A switch that clicked softly back and forth filled pauses with subtle background noise to keep me from feeling antsy in the absence of dialogue.

By the halfway point, an elaborate routine had emerged: spin gears clockwise during an action sequence, roll the cube through palm presses during emotional moments, flip switches rapidly when the score swelled. My hands were engaged in motions to match the movie’s cadence. The fidget cube’s OPTIONS gave my fingers something to do besides reaching for my phone or remote.

As the plot built to the climax, I was fully absorbed in the story, fidgeting all the while with suitable toys for each scene. My restless hands actually enhanced the movie experience rather than detracting from it. I realized two hours had passed and for once I was not counting down the minutes left. The cube kept me grounded in my seat until the end credits rolled.

Overall, having an unobtrusive but stimulating fidget toy allowed me to remain focused on the film without growing bored or distracted. The fidget cube turned out to be a perfect productive outlet for my hands and a gateway to better concentration. A subtle sensory outlet made all the difference in maintaining engaged attention from start to finish. Next long movie night, I’ll definitely be fidgeting my way through again.