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Things That Make You Tingle: ASMR and the YouTube Community

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“Whenever I look at someone who is doing something with great passion and commitment.  I feel very relaxed.  I really like to listen to someone who is explaining some problems and showing something very calmly and carefully.  Today I would like to be that kind of person. ”

– ASMRsurge explaining his purpose of making an ASMR video.

The smell of wood makes the back of my head tingle.  I record WEN hair car segments on QVC because it makes me body feel good.  Last month, I asked a friend if I could ride with him to get his windows tinted because I like to listen to grown men explain things.  I have stated, out loud and on more than one occasion, that if I had one wish, it would be for Cee-Lo Green to brush my hair while reading a bedtime story, because I just know how much that would make my head and hip tingle and it could possibly put me in a relaxation coma.

Recently, I l shared my experiences and learned most importantly that, I am not alone in this feeling, and secondly, that this tingle to stimuli had a name: Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR).  ASMR is a perceptual phenomenon that causes some people to experience tingles in the head and limbs.  Common triggers are whispers, touches to the head, tapping, Bob Ross, and not Cee-Lo Green.

Even more recently, I stumbled upon the ASMR YouTube presence with fellow ASMRes, people who experience ASRM, that make videos for other ASMRers to experience that familiar tingle.  Examples include 45 minutes of napkin folding, 30 minutes of paper turning, and a whisper explanation of Australian currency, while the speaker manipulates Australian coins in white gloves.  Videos can be located by searching for ASMR, or the combination of ASMR and a specific activity such as ‘ASMR and make-up’.

In an age where YouTube has become an avenue for shameless self-promotion, where people become brands to promote their own talents, ASMR videos reveal a very unique side of the video sharing community. There are many ASMRers that conceal their faces and identity and genuinely make videos to make others feel good.  ASMRers are also keenly aware of what causes other people to have brain tingles.  Their goal is to be the person or to complete the action that causes that tingle.  Therefore, role play is a major part of the ASMR videos.  People aren’t just brushing hair on camera to make someone feel good, but rather pretending to be a hairstylist, draping wigs over a camera, concealing microphones in the brush so you can hear the sound of the brush going through the hair, and lowering their voice to a whisper.  The results are incredibly interactive.

For those that do not experience ASMR, these videos may be pointless, but 45 minutes of page turning has the power to send tingles to those that experience ASMR.

It is a unique subset of the YouTube community, one that causes people to feel a physical sensation in their bodies, in contrast to most YouTube videos, where the sole purpose is to entertain or inform.

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Written by TheCruu

Editor in Chief

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