ASMR or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a feeling of well-being joined by a tingling feeling from your scalp down your spine due to a certain stimulus; typically sound. There are YouTube channels and apps being dedicated to this very sensory response. These channels contain the people speak gently and faintly into a microphone. The purpose is to sooth and ease the mind.
I’ll be honest, I very strongly dislike ASMR videos. Yet, the concept truly piqued my interest. From what I’ve seen, ASMR is becoming its own way of life and can even be achieved by viewing aesthetically pleasing videos like soap cutting or slime squishing.
How Does it Work?
ASMR takes sounds from everyday life like rhythmic tapping, hair brushing or even the sound of bubble wrap popping and turns it into something gentle and inviting. There isn’t much science on the subject yet, and not one thing works for everyone.
While some like sounds that you hear everyday, others prefer *non-sexual* role-play like haircuts or doctor appointments.
But as I mentioned, it isn’t strictly sounds.
Look on Snapchat on the “So Satisfying” subscription and you can see all sorts of visually pleasing clips that will give you the same feeling as the auditory tracks.
Or if you can think back to those times in grade school when you and your friends would play with each others hair… that tingly feeling and the reason you loved it so much (other than it being just plain fun)… that, my friends, is ASMR.
Why Do Some People Hate it?
Now, this is the thing that I find particularly interesting is something called “misophonia”. This is the exact opposite of ASMR. Misophonia triggers negative responses to certain noises or sounds. Growing up my sister had misophonia and later in life I realized I also cannot deal with certain sounds. Therefore, the hype surrounding ASMR channels and videos seemed absurd to me.
But on the same token, I love the visual and kinesthetic aspects of ASMR.
In the end, this crazy concept gets boiled down to the phrase, “to each their own.”