I’m here to tell you, you’re mostly wrong. ASMR, or Autonomos Sensory Meridian Response, is only slightly cringe-worthy. Here’s why: it’s actually super calming, to the point where many people use it as an anxiety-reliever or sleep aide. While not everyone feels the same about ASMR (cough cough, co-host Benjamin) some people (including yours truly) even report feeling brain tingles.
In my personal experience, ASMR has become an online safe space. In general, the community of ASMR-watchers are fairly positive people who are all after the same relaxation, so they’re inclined to be chill. I too used to think ASMR was a cringe-fest, but one evening I was having trouble sleeping, so I decided to give it a shot, and I actually searched YouTube for “best ASMR videos.” I’m not saying that the platform gave me the perfect results for that search, but I will say that after that night, I was hooked. I slowly figured out what worked for me and what didn’t. Through recommendations in the sidebar, I found the ASMRtists who regularly created content that I enjoyed, and have been watching for over a year now.
It has gotten to the point for me that, once I click on a video from one of my favorite creators, I immediately feel more calm in anticipation of the relaxing experience I know is coming. Much of it is dull, repetitive sounds or visual triggers, but I find that my attention span is far greater than normal because my intentions in watching the video are different; I am not here to be entertained (although some of the videos are highly entertaining) but to be soothed from the stresses of everyday life.
Overall, ASMR isn’t for everybody. Not everyone experiences the same results from watching the videos. Some people are actively annoyed or grossed out by some common ASMR triggers, so they’re bound to have a bad time. But if you’re one of the people who are curious, anxious, sleep-deprived, or even just bored in the house, in the house bored, you should give ASMR a shot before you write it off as cringey nonsense. It is kind of cringey nonsense, but in a good way. And it may be as helpful for you as it has been for me.
If you’re interested and want to find out more, listen to our podcast about ASMR (I promise it isn’t in ASMR).
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