What in the World is ASMR?

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If you’ve ever found yourself on YouTube casually browsing only to come across videos with people seemingly whispering into a camera with “ASMR” in the title, you’re probably wondering what in the world it is. Even stranger, you notice that the video has millions of views. Don’t worry, we’re here to shed some light on the wonderfully odd world of ASMR.

ASMR, short for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a term for the sensation that people get when watching stimulating videos or taking part in activities that typically involve personal attention. Many people describe this feeling like a “tingling” sensation that runs through the back of someone’s head and spine. Others even it is deeply relaxing, to the point of causing them to fall asleep. Despite sounding quite technical, there is not much scientific evidence behind the phenomenon. This hasn’t stopped millions of people around the world loving it.

The sensation of ASMR varies from person to person, and with little to no scientific evidence behind it, it is difficult to pinpoint just why people have such a response when watching ASMR videos. There are many different types of ASMR videos; some involve close personal attention and whispering into a microphone, others involve mundane tasks like tapping, stirring a bowl of soup, or crinkling paper. The idea in itself in extremely strange, especially when first watching it, but ASMR has become a massive phenomenon on YouTube, with some ASMR content creators amassing millions of subscribers and even more views. If you’ve ever watched the delightfully relaxing videos of soft-spoken painter Bob Ross, then you’ve seen an example of an ASMR triggering video.

While it is certainly a peculiar type of video, is it any different than other popular internet fads? Most people choose to watch ASMR because it is extremely effective in helping them relax and unwind during their day. ASMR has also been reported as being beneficial in helping people with insomnia and can assist people in achieving a deep meditative state.

There are thousands of ASMR videos all over YouTube right now, and it has been featured in major publications include The New York Times, Washington Post, and Buzzfeed. The ASMR subreddit has more than 130,000 subscribers and continues to grow each day. As ASMR continues to be explored by viewers and creators, some are pushing the boundaries for what can be achieved with it. The next frontier of ASMR videos includes merging it with virtual reality, allowing for a more immersive experience. No matter how you feel about it, ASMR has made a positive impact in the lives of millions, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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