Watch and Whisper

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Watch and Whisper

Ethan Vu, ENN Staff

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With the click of a button, a video opens with a woman sitting behind plates of sushi. During the span of the twenty minute video, the woman eats the sushi with viewers watching as she makes the obnoxiously, loud chewing sounds with each bite. Although not all her viewers may understand this global phenomenon, many people have come to understand this trend as an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, better known as, ASMR.

Since 2010, ASMR has been a term used by individuals, heavily by YouTubers, who produce soft-like sounds and whispers in order to provide their viewers with a “tingling feeling” on their head to the back of their spine. Although it has been around for several years now, it has become a trend on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook for the past two to three years now. Having discovered this sensory response recently, Aryiah Brown, junior, believes that it has positively benefited her life since the discovery. 

“I’ve actually haven’t heard about ASMR until around last year and so far it’s a great way to become in tune with your thoughts and your body as you find items that give you a tingle sensation. ASMR has positively impacted me by having patience and release my stressful thoughts that keep me up at night,” Brown said.

Although others, such as Brown, use ASMR videos almost daily in order to wind down and relax, others may not find this satisfying or even agree with the making of ASMR videos in general. According to Jaspinder Malhi, sophomore, she believes ASMR videos to be pointless and abnormal as they seem to be entertainment for both the YouTubers and viewer despite the infrequency of actions.

“Typically, I don’t get that sensation other people do when listening to ASMR, so I don’t understand why people like it or make videos about it. Since I rarely experience the ASMR, I don’t have a reason to become apart of this trend. Watching people do ASMR makes me feel the opposite than other people. It kinda irritates me instead. Watching and listening people do something in abnormal manner freaks me out and almost disgusts me in way because seeing people do things like eating very loud bothers me since people wouldn’t normally do something like that,” Malhi stated.

Despite Malhi’s dismay in the videos awkwardness, others such as Brown find ASMR useful when it comes to relaxation and helping with sleep. Whether people find ASMR useful or not, many questions arise about the purpose of these videos that get thousands of views. A popular ASMR YouTube channel, Gibi ASMR, has an astounding 1.8 million subscribers who are fans of the “strange videos” and recently reached 650 thousand views, consistently increasing. According to Lauren Ready, sophomore, she believes that her experience with being a small YouTuber helps bring a little insight into what ASMR is really used for.

“Personally, I don’t watch ASMR but I think ASMR’s can be soothing to people. Just watching other’s reaction and emotion to the food they’re enjoying can be entertaining. I think with anything it’s just entertainment, a time to escape from reality and your problems in the world for however long ASMR videos are and just take a moment to relax,” Ready said.

Whether it be comprehending the purpose of ASMR videos to enjoying the videos, many individuals such as Melissa Mohler, Spanish teacher, believes that this “craze” hasn’t been prevalent among the “older folk.” Mohler believes that this phenomenon all started with social media, as many trends and challenges seem to arise from.

“It starts on YouTube and videos. Whether it’s a challenge, people just run with it and realize that some people like it and some people don’t, but everyone wants to give it a shot because everyone wants to see the latest thing. Some students need that background noise in order to be productive,” Mohler stated.

Because of this online trend surfacing throughout recent years, as odd as these videos are, some find them pleasing to hear as they calm down or even fall asleep to them. With more and more ASMR videos appearing, many can agree that these videos help in some sort of way or fashion. All you have to do is turn on that camera, record yourself eating, and gain a multitude of views while doing so.

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