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ASMR: Relaxing or Creepy?

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If you haven’t heard of ASMR (which stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) where have you been? People from all over the world are jumping on board this relatively new phenomenon that is intended to help people relax and go to sleep. So, for those of you who don’t know what ASMR is, it’s a tingling sensation experienced around the head and the back of the neck in response to certain triggers such as whispering, tapping and slow hand movements.

Over the past few years, this new concept has taken hold of streaming sites such as Youtube, where people from all around the world upload videos of themselves tapping on books, whispering into a microphone and eating crunchy food such as an apple in order to produce sounds that relax their viewer audience. Although this all sounds a bit bizarre, ASMR is a big hit with millions from across the globe, with many Youtube channels hitting the one million subscriber mark already! Gone are the days were people had to vlog their week to gain public attention, all they need now is a microphone and a bag of crisps. That isn’t to say this new concept hasn’t attracted controversy. There are still many people who believe ASMR is strange and say that the Youtube videos are sexually suggestive making them feel very uncomfortable. After researching the opinions that other people had on this topic, I decided to explore the world of ASMR myself and give one of my own.

After typing ‘ASMR’ into Youtube, I was greeted with the video of a lady brushing the hair of another young female. The lady was whispering into the microphone and every so often, made slow hand movements towards the camera. At first, I felt a surge of embarrassment. I felt like I was on a personal level with somebody I didn’t even know. I also felt a little uncomfortable. However, my body began to listen to her repetition of the word ‘relax’ before my mind did. I finally did what she told me to do, and relaxed! I didn’t expect to feel comfortable with ASMR, and while I am still unsure about how I’d feel with someone eating an apple in my ear, I rather enjoyed it. It was as though I’d been transported back to my childhood, where my sister and I would take turns at brushing each other’s hair. I would often close my eyes and yawn because it made me feel so relaxed!

So, while I do understand the controversy surrounding ASMR and how it indeed isn’t for everyone, I think it is by no means a threat to our society. We often struggle to wind down after a stressful day, and not all of us are patient enough to sit and meditate. It is a great way to redirect our minds and enjoy a little quiet moment to ourselves, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

 

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Abi Rose Robinson

Social Page Editor 2018-19

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