It’s a recent phenomenon and still not deeply studied by science. ASMR – aka Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response – it’s a trend born in 2010: on 25th February of that year, Jennifer Allen created the word “ASMR” to give an answer to those that were wondering what their sensations were all about. In fact, they say they would always experiment “tingles” that ran through the back of their head and spine and then spread this pleasing feeling all over the body.
What makes this trend unique is that it is that people get the feeling from various triggers: visual, auditive. The term Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response literally indicates an automatic response of one’s body to certain triggers: later compared to “braingasm” (a mental orgasm), it has become kind of addictive, to the point where people are not able to fall asleep without it.
ASMR hasn’t stopped growing since 2010 and as of today it has become viral and meant to last for a long while.
Even thought this is a recent discover, we can easily find this phenomenon in lots of 900’s books. Virginia Woolf in her Mrs Dalloway novel created a character that used to talk “close to his ear, deeply, softly, like a mellow organ, but with a roughness in her voice like a grasshopper’s, which rasped his spine deliciously and sent running up into his brain waves of sound which, concussing, broke”. This is a sign that ASMR recalls childhood memories and such that always had a role in every human life.
It just went from a simple curiosity to a YouTube business.
Just like makeup tutorials, ASMR has become a new way of making money online.
There are new channels dedicated to it, on the Tube, every day and a lot of people says they cannot fall asleep without it anymore: in fact, their last action of the day consists of listening to their favorite ASMRtist and trying to be relaxed by it.
One of the most popular in Italy is Chiara ASMR. She has now more than half a million subs, she uploads on a (almost) daily basis. Her videos show her while she whispers, taps different objects and make other types of gentle and enjoyable sounds.
Other ASMRtist have tried more than this: DennisASMR is a youtube that like to make play-role videos: he offers his subs experiences such as virtual massages or acts like a caring boyfriend capable of whispering comforting and cheering words to make them feel good.
Let us be honest: this may sound a little creepy and it may make you think about the “Her” movie by Spike Jonze where, in an a hypothetical future, the protagonist falls in love with a computer. But that’s just us. At the end of the day we think that if ASMR really helps you falling asleep, then that’s awesome!
What does science think about it?
Scientists have said not enough about it. Basically what they say is that no medical benefits come from ASMR but it does really help with stress relief, insomnia and anxiety. Other studies have stated that a lot of people claim to be immune to the “triggers” and are even annoyed but them.
Well, we think it is up to you: if you enjoy it then keep on watching it. If you don’t then just leave it alone.
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