In the past few years, mostly on the video website YouTube, there has been a new sensation known as ASMR.
The acronym ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, and it’s become such a rising trend of videos that some people now make some of their monthly income off of it.
ASMR is a term used to describe a sensation that some people derive from certain binaural audio sounds. Not everyone experiences it, but those who do describe as a pleasant tingly sensation running from their scalp down the back of their neck after hearing a particular sound, or visual trigger. To reproduce it, people put on a set of headphones and seek out videos online that play these sounds or visual triggers that give them these tingly feelings.
You can find more than a few videos online ranging all the way to millions of views that are tagged ASMR in the video title, and description. The people who create these videos are just everyday people with a video camera, an internet connection, and a very sensitive microphone capable of picking up subtle sounds. The key part of production is the microphone, and its ability to record separate right side, and left side audio tracks.
This is necessary to simulate a right ear, and a left ear so that the person recording it can treat the microphone similar to a human head. In fact, the most common microphone used in these records has a silicone ears crafted onto it to simulate the sound better. As a result, any viewer with a pair of headphones can close their eyes while listening, and sound exactly as if they were in the room positioned exactly where the microphone was. The most popular example of this kind of recording is the “virtual barbershop” video that can be found on YouTube and is likely where this now popular way of recording was originated.
The sounds produced have grown in variety such as “ear tapping,” “whispers,” “mouth sounds,” and much more. Different people are more, or less susceptible to different kinds of sounds, and enjoy them differently.
The purpose of these ASMR videos is of course to trigger an ASMR response in the listeners wearing headphones, but what about this makes it such a popular new sensation on the internet?
For those who are susceptible to the ASMR response, and sometimes to those who don’t, the videos can be incredibly relaxing. Many people who often watch these videos end up falling asleep before the videos are even over. In fact, at least three “internet celebrities” that I know of personally have admitted that they go to sleep using ASMR videos almost every night.
In today’s world, this can benefit many people. It’s a new form of relaxation that eases people with anxiety problems around the world. Those with an anxiety condition can play a video, put on headphones, close their eyes, and allow their panicked state to be eased away. Those producing the videos aren’t complaining either because some of them make enough revenue to support themselves from it. To see how it develops, only time can tell!