A woman massages dummy ears with embedded super sensitive binaural microphones. Another presenter uses her nails on a wooden box to create a tapping sound. Someone squeezes shaving foam between her fingers and captures the sound effects. Another has discovered a jelly like toy in some toy store and is experimenting with it to see what sounds in generates.
This is ASMR and it stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Search for “ASMR” online and especially on YouTube and you will be given thousands of videos offering you one form or another of stress-free relaxation. Video creators are hard at work churning one video after another and the world doesn’t seem to get enough of them. Many viewers tend to watch a favourite video over and over again or ask for specific variations and expect the creators to respond. What is going on?
The answer is simple; because watching these videos or listening to them makes people “happy”, “relaxed”, “euphoric” and “destressed.” The term ASMR was coined as early as 2010 but it has become ubiquitous thanks to the internet and how sub-cultures and societies form around common needs.
The mainstream media is now picking up on the phenomenon. It is not always sound either. There are videos where presenters move their fingers in front of the camera, effectively in front of your face and this leads to a hypnotic and mesmerising effect. Why people watch such videos?