What is ASMR?

What is ASMR?

Yzabella Sanchez, Contributor

ASMR, also known as autonomous sensory meridian response, can be a series of tingles and stimulating audios that help for relaxation and sleeping. Most ASMR videos involve personal attention or sometimes known as a “virtual spa”. Through the years, ASMR has gotten a bad reputation for seeming creepy or too personal, but like many things on the internet, there are good and bad parts about the community. For the most part, it’s a positive community focused on self-care and relaxation. An ASMR video can consist of a roleplay such as Latte ASMR’s nature skin care lab, or a simple video of tingles for sleep and relaxation. 

I recently discovered ASMR only a little over a year ago, at the start of my sophomore year. I was a little skeptical about how helpful or soothing it would be, but I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed and slowly fell down a rabbit hole of multiple ASMR YouTubers. Since then, anytime I can’t sleep or if I’m doing a hard assignment, I use ASMR videos as a form of relaxation. The sound of nails tapping on glass, popping bubble wrap, or the sound of water being poured, is just really satisfying to listen to and alleviates some of my minor stress. 

These sensory responses are not always enjoyed or experienced by everyone and some people even find the noises to be annoying or uncomfortable. To those who enjoy it, these sensory responses are called, “triggers.” Each person’s trigger can be different (whispering, tapping, or crunching) and the triggers can also differ depending on a person’s environment or mood. Certain fMRI studies have even shown that people who don’t experience ASMR compared to those who do, may have subtle brain differences. In the recent months of the pandemic, there has been a larger spike in the production of ASMR videos in relation to the number of viewers as well.