The Liberator

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Marlen Avila, News Editor

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We all have our firsts. Our first crush, our first swear word and our first ASMR video. In this day and age, I’m sure we’ve all shared that one moment when YouTube started autoplaying a video and suddenly you’re listening to a white woman whispering to you about painting your face. If you thought that was nice, then you might have those special ASMR tingles.

According to Sleep.com, ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response) creates a “euphoric tingling” for the listener. The video and audio clips provide the listener calming sensations from scratching wood or whispering. It creates the same feeling that people usually get from having their hair brushed or from rainfall. It’s all in the same scope and these sounds trigger this sensation for select individuals. Although not everyone can experience this, the effect of these sounds can help lull the listener to sleep. There are people who use ASMR to help their insomnia and nightmares. Not only that, these videos are popular with study goers and provides perfect white noise.

To put it in other words, ASMR basically creates an orgasm for your brain. Researchers from the University of Sheffield Psychology Department discovered that ASMR decreased the heart rate of individuals. The sensation originates in the brain and then travels down the spine to the rest of the body. According to the study, participants felt an increase of positivity and social connection after watching ASMR videos.

The popularity of ASMR in the online community skyrocketed these past few years. It was overwhelming to see these videos suddenly pop up in the recommended YouTube section and have social media stars attempting to do it on their own. Currently, there are a total 13 million videos on Youtube about ASMR and while initially, I found it odd, I’m glad it’s just a harmless trend. I’m not going to be that person who shames their friend for listening to ASMR. Everyone has their own tastes and it’s true that not everyone is appealed by ASMR, but it doesn’t deserve hate. ASMR is simply used to relax people and cope with stress. The science behind it is actually cool, so I feel bad when people just outright bash it.

Of course, this opinion wouldn’t be complete without fully investing my four day weekend (thank you senior skip day) to listening to ASMR videos. I watched the fried chicken one, the one where they show me their entire 22-minute long skincare routine and the one where I’m getting a free cranial nerve exam. Is it bad to say that I felt cared for? Finally, someone was telling me that I do have really bad eye bags as they were applying concealer to those terrible places.

For anyone who is interested in exploring ASMR, don’t be afraid to try it out. There are plenty of different videos, you’re sure to find one that you like. Maybe you’ll find out that you have some tingles. Or maybe ASMR isn’t your thing. That’s fine too, whatever floats your boat.

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