Millions of people scroll mindlessly through videos on their Facebook feed and YouTube everyday, watching mind-numbing footage of puppies, babies, pranks and epic fails. People even watch videos of other people watching videos. It’s strange… but true.
A certain type of video on social media has been gaining in popularity and it even has celebrities joining in on the trend. It’s called ASMR videos. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is not new, however it certainly has reached a whole new audience in the video world, and people just can’t seem to get enough. So what exactly are these videos all about and why are they so mainstream? Let’s take a look at what this developing trend is all about and how ASMR videos can leave you in a state of mesmerized relaxation.
ASMR: What is it and where did it come from?
ASMR is considered to be a feeling of well-being often combined with a tingling sensation in response to stimulation. This reaction is common to certain stimulus in particular sights and sounds. People have often described an ASMR video as being relaxing, satisfying and in some cases pleasurable. In many cases viewers claim it can be used as an aid to assist with falling asleep.
Autonomy Sensory Meridian Response is believed to have started with a woman named Jennifer Allen. In 2010 she created a Facebook group hoping to find out more about this complex experience. As a result a community of individuals were able to identify their feelings with the term ASMR and better understand this phenomenon. Lopez, G. (2018, May 25). ASMR, explained:why millions of people are watching YouTube Videos of someone whispering [Blog]
What are ASMR videos and who makes them?
In order to understand what an ASMR video is and how it makes a person feel, some time was spent watching people whisper into a microphone while making fluid and whimsical motions with their hands. Some videos focused on long finger nails tapping rhythmically on glass objects or keyboards. There are videos of people crinkling paper and wrappers and even audio of someone eating crunchy foods or slurping noodles. All in all it seems very strange and other-worldly, however regardless of the type of video it is interesting how submerged the mind becomes when stimulated by these sounds. Minutes turn into hours and then it seems like watching shaving foam being spread over a microphone while listening to the tiny little bubbles pop is almost normal. Almost. There is something soothing about the videos that have people whispering usually into not one but two microphones. And while some chatter on about their day, others get more involved and participate in roleplay pretending to be a ficticious character.
There are thousands of ASMR videos on YouTube created by just about anyone. Denis Riley, 17 year old YouTuber, has a channel where he pretends to be the perfect boyfriend and whispers sweet nothings to lull viewers to sleep. Even celebrities like rap artist Cardi B, actress Eva Longoria and Margot Robbie have all taken their turn exploring ASMR and have created their own videos. Millions of followers are attracted to these videos like a moth to a flame and the truth is, just about anyone can make an ASMR video as the popularity increases and more people are identifying as being stimulated and satisfied through this medium.
Proceed with caution.
As with anything online there is danger associated with ASMR as well. Youtube is filled with child YouTube sensations upwrapping gift items or showcasing the lateset and greatest toys. ASMR videos are being produced by minors and parents are being warned of the dangers of having their children participate in these types of videos. Concerns of children roleplaying and whispering can trigger certain sexual responses that endanger the minors and put them at risk. Recently child YouTube sensation, Life With Mak, was recently suspended after an ASMR featuring the young girl roleplayed dressed as a police officer. The 14 year old with 1.6 million followers later had her account reinstated however YouTube did turn off the ability to leave comments on her account. Flood, R. (2019, October 19). GETTING SCHOOLED Parents warned new social media trend ASMR could be sexualising children with popular roleplay videos. [Article]
While ASMR is still a fairly new trend, it’s popularity is growing steadily and quickly. Everyone seems to be involved in watching videos created to give that satisfied and relaxed feeling. And even though they seem harmless, ASMR can become dangerous and put minors at risk when they engage and participate in videos.
So what is your take on ASMR? Will you be googling your way through hours of mesmerizing audio visual stimlus or will you be sticking to a hot bath and good book for your unwind time?
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Have you heard about the latest trend on YouTube? These videos will leave you satisfied and mesmerized! http://bit.ly/2J7lsAy