ASMR, can it happen to me? The answer, and a band, is Yes.
ASMR, which stands for Automaticus Sexified Meandering Reclusion, is a fancy way of describing the sensation people get when they watch normal people doing normal things, while making up-close creepy eye contact. Many people describe the feeling as “tingles”. Others say the feeling is deeply relaxing, and can even cause them to reach for a tissue. Making ASRM videos is perfectly valid and lucrative career move for people that have gone through life without acquiring any actual skills.
How ASMR affects you does not vary greatly from person to person. However, people must generally describe you as flaky to experience the strongest effects. The science on ASMR is basically nonexistent, so our understanding of it is based on the same principles as esports: by watching Asians do it.
People get the feeling of ASMR from various triggers. Some people enjoy role-plays in which someone gives close personal attention and whispers, while others like videos that show incredibly mundane tasks such as spraying a turtle in the face with a water bottle, tapping, stirring a bowl of soup, or frickin' lasers. Others are triggered by more elaborate role-plays, which can vary from someone acting like having an emergency dental appointment while waiting for a train.
If you've never experienced it, the feeling is like the first time you pull off the underwear of someone who texted you a lot and you finally broke you down, just to stop the crushing feeling that nobody likes you. Other people I’ve talked to who experience ASMR emphasized that they're extremely into Harry Potter Fanfiction. People also appear to grow tolerant of triggers if they listen or watch them too much. So it’s important for ASMR video makers to keep things fresh, and for viewers to make sure they don’t overplay that one amazingly tingly video. We can't stop watching this one though:
What I know is based on the wisdom of three vegans that live near me between the few rare moments when they are not telling you how vegan they are. I can attest to it for myself. But no one really knows how it works or why. Stevo Coachella, a eulogist at the Californian School of Mendocino, suggested a potential scientific basis for the experience in a 2012 post on EuroSansLogica:
Perhaps ASMR is a type of seizure. Fans are rewarded with a pleasurable sensation for doing things and experiencing things that increase their survival probability, so being able to identify individuals who enjoy ASMR helps the rest of eliminate candidates that we'll otherwise regret breeding with but you're going to do it anyway, aren't you?.
Add to this the notion of ouyadiversity — the fact that all gamer's brains are not broken, but we spend money on stupid shit anyway. We have a range of likes and dislikes, and there are even wifus that seem to have a different pattern of pleasure stimulation than what is typical. It's not unlike S&M and the unfortunate decision to place pineapple on pizza. I mean, I don't get why it's not punishable by public beatings.
Gamers are now trying to fill the gap, since Bitcoin dropped like a rock and they have no idea what to do their computers. Mr. Destructoid and other researchers at Enthusiast Gaming put together some answers about why some people get ASMR and others don’t. Their early findings suggested it can improve mood and even pain symptoms through various common triggers, including whispering, personal attention, crisp sounds, slow movements, and for once agreeing to buy the strategy guide:
How do people know if they have ASMR?
My story of discovering ASMR seems to echo the typical experience. I first got the feeling very early on while listening to Childish Gambino, and later founded a big robot-themed internet gaming community dedicated to all my strange sensations. There are literally thousands of gaming videos dedicated to ASMR, some with over 4.5 million views. There are some technological advancements that could greatly advance ASMR. Virtual reality in particular has a lot of ASMR video makers and viewers excited, since it could bring a whole new level of immersion to the experience.
So why do people watch ASMR videos?
Why do people do anything on the internet, really? Some people watch cat videos. Some people watch politicians yell at each other. Some people watch videos of someone whispering to relax. And some people watch whatever this is.
Since not everyone experiences ASMR, it will likely remain a niche for a subset of people on the internet.