Oh Youtube. What an inescapable cesspool of weird fascination your are. And now, just when we thought you had brought us every bizarre piece of video material in existence on this earth, you present us with ASMR.
If you’re not familiar, ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, which is basically just a fancy name for ‘getting the tingles’. Apparently, if you listen to certain sounds or soothing voices for long enough, you’ll eventually feel a relaxing, tingling sensation in your head.
And people on Youtube are going bonkers for it. Take a look at this example, in which you can pretend you are getting a soothing haircut. For an hour:
There are people who call themselves ASMR ‘artists’, and they claim to be experts on the forefront of ‘tingle head’ theory. ASMR artists create Youtube videos in which they whisper into the camera, crinkle paper, pretend to be your doctor, brush their hair while smiling and humming softly… Basically, these people just sit in front of a camera for 20 minutes and try to give Youtubers tingly heads.
And despite there being approximately zero scientific proof to back up any of these ‘special tingle feeling’ claims, millions upon millions of people are watching ASMR videos.
ABC’s 7:30 interviewed an ASMR artist who goes by the name GentleWhispering. And she’s legit – her videos have been viewed almost a hundred million times. Just this one of her pretending to blow into viewers’ ears for 25 minutes has had 1.5 million hits alone:
GentleWhispering claims that the soothing and relaxing nature of ASMR brings comfort to people.
“It feels as if an adult is calming their child, and it feels like you are a child and somebody’s being very attentive to you,” she told ABC. “So it’s very pleasant to hear, especially in a hard time.”
Well, that sort of, kind of makes a little bit of sense, doesn’t it? Everybody needs a little bit comforting every now and again. Remember that feeling of comfort and safety you got when your parents read you bedtime stories? ASMR videos are kind of like bedtime stories for grown ups. In fact, there are whole bunch of ASMR ‘bedtime stories’ videos:
So, as weird as it is to search ‘ASMR’ on Youtube and be confronted with a bunch os people whispering into the camera like you’re a mental patient who needs to be calmed down, maybe there’s something to the whole craze. Hundreds of millions of people getting the tingles from watching a woman smile while she brushes her hair can’t be wrong.
One person’s creepy is another person’s comfort.
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