This Might Not Be Your Guilty Pleasure…

Article by: Tanvi A.

Edited by: Kody T.

Visual by: Erica N.

Have you ever felt guilty about liking something that not many people do? I have… but to tell you my secret I can only ~ whisper….

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, otherwise  known as ASMR, is described as a tingling sensation felt in your body, triggered by whispers or soft noises, that usually impact spots on your scalp, neck, and upper spine. Although this concept was only discovered in 2010, ASMR has recently gained popularity through social media platforms, particularly YouTube, with the most popular videos getting as many as 40 million views (Sponsokit).

ASMR YouTubers often hold a microphone in their hand and produce a variety of sounds like nail tapping, whispering, chewing noises, or wrapper noises in their videos. I stumbled across an ASMR video by accident a year ago, and was confused as to why people made that kind of content and criticized it for its seeming uselessness. At that time, I disregarded ASMR as something that people did in their free time. However, now that I understand that people’s mental health has benefited from these videos, I think that ASMR is the start of a globalised approach towards improving individual wellbeing.

Though it is difficult for a lot of ISM students to come to terms with their appreciation for ASMR videos on YouTube, or their love for YouTubers such as Life with Mak or Gibi ASMR, as they tend to hide it under the humorous or quirky aspects of it, many people within our community say that ASMR helps them relax after a stressful day and the quiet sounds help to stabilize the rush of ideas in their head. Senior Georgia L. listens to ASMR sometimes, commenting that, “it’s so helpful for sleeping!” Not only does this work for ISM students, but people around the world, who state that “ASMR has helped them treat their stress, anxiety, insomnia, and even PTSD” (Hood).

Now if you’re alone in your room, with nothing but your laptop, noise cancelling headphones, about to commence your favourite after school ritual, know that ASMR might not just be your guilty pleasure.

The Brain: Tingling Sounds of ASMR – The New Yorker

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response – Wikipedia

ASMR trend on YouTube Growing in Popularity – Medium