A video of a woman whispering into a camera got millions of views when it was first released. This woman doesn’t do much. She just whispers in a melodic tone and moves her hands in a seemingly random manner. Despite this, people are thrilled by it. If you’re not familiar, you may be wondering, “What’s going on?” This is ASMR or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, a term currently trending.
People are definitely chatting about their favorite triggers over social media. Vloggers are doing ASMR videos on YouTube. I also watched one MTV show on my Charter Spectrum cable where the guest and hosts were doing some ASMR stuff. Although the name ASMR may appear to be technical, the phenomenon is not supported by science or research.
Jennifer Allen is the person behind this trend which started back in 2010. She created a Facebook page dedicated to learning more about the phrase. People were quick to adopt the term since it gave them a method to express the pleasant sensation they were having and so ASMR became a thing. It still is!
What Does ASMR Do Really?
The way ASMR works varies. Most of the people haven’t been able to wrap their heads around it but they are doing ASMR anyway. And there is virtually no science on ASMR. Our knowledge of it is based solely on tales on the internet.
It is said that people experience ASMR as a result of certain triggers. whispers, like spraying a water bottle, stirring a bowl of soup, tapping, or crinkling paper can trigger sounds. Others are provoked by more intricate role-playing, which can range from a doctor’s impersonation to a haircut.
Different Types of ASMR
You will find a range of ASMR videos on the internet. To keep it simple, here are different types of ASMR or to simply put, ASMR is triggered by these:
Noises: These include nice binaural sounds like gentle whispering, crinkling paper, and typing on a keyboard. difficult pronunciation of letters like “S” and “P” may appeal to some people as well. even flipping the pages of a book counts.
Images: some people can experience ASMR through visuals too. Viewers find videos of pouring paint, making gentle hand movements, or slicing something soft like cheese visually fascinating.
Eating: For some, watching someone eat and listening to the sounds of chewing and slurping they create can be relaxing. Funny right, because some of us find the sound of chewing annoying!
Crushing: Some ASMR viewers enjoy watching items such as kinetic sand, slime being squeezed or crushed amusingly. It is satisfying to see something being crushed slowly.
Tactile: ASMR triggers can be felt outside of the virtual world too. Physical touch can be used to trigger ASMR, such as tickling the arm or drawing on someone’s back with your fingertips.
These are just a few triggers to name. So many others exist and different triggers work for different people.
Vintage Camera Shutters Sound Like ASMR!
The click, clack, or clomp of a camera shutter is one of the few sounds that photographers enjoy. These sounds trigger ASMR. Recently, a video by a photographer, Sails Chong, has been circulating the internet. The 5 minutes video is about noises from 18 different vintage cameras. Check the video for a mesmerizing experience:
In this digital age, when everything is edited out and made to sound flawless, we never get to enjoy the real things. Chong’s video is a nostalgic trip back to a time when photographic gear made unique sounds and noises. They are totally missing from our lives now.
The Use of ASMR as Therapy
Just reading the comments on ASMR videos is enough to convince you that ASMR is truly beneficial. ASMR is therapeutic. It can boost your mood, help you fall asleep, and combats loneliness (this we all can agree with!).
Some preliminary scientific findings are now available to back these experiences. watching ASMR videos can help you reduce your heart rates. However, it is still unclear if ASMR can and should be used as a therapeutic tool.
In a Nutshell
ASMR is gaining popularity around the world for different reasons. As a result, ASMRtists have emerged throughout the world. Hence, viewers are able to interact with content written in a language they may not be acquainted with, but which they are gradually learning. ASMR has created a new method of communicating with different cultures.
Because there’s still so much we don’t know about ASMR, it’s an exciting time for research. Whether it could be a new type of therapy or not, we are not really sure, but you never know! Hopefully, studies will one day be able to explain how and why this phenomenon affects people.