By Hally Provance
You know that feeling you get when you hear someone whispering? Or chewing? Or you hear the sound of fingernails on scratching on a surface?
For some, it sparks a tingling sensation through various parts of the body. For others, it elicits a feeling of uncomfortableness, but in a good way.
That feeling is called Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR for short. And videos that feature people whispering into microphones, playing light background music, or recording the sounds of thunder and lightning, among others, are becoming more and more popular on platforms like YouTube and Instagram.
The popularity of these videos are easy enough to see. YouTube and Instagram both publically track the number of views a video receives, and it’s not unusual for a popular ASMR video to rack up millions of views.
Recently, Wingspan sat down with students at Laramie County Community College to gauge their reactions to ASMR videos, especially those found in the sub genre known as Oddly Satisfying, which features videos that tingle the senses the same way as ASMR videos but also add a visual component.
The first video, titled “ASMR Sleepy Sparkles,” features the sounds made from head massaging, hair brushing, scratching sponges and more. The video has racked up more than 5.5 million views on YouTube since it was published July 29.
Of the five students who “ASMR Sleepy Sparkles,” most said it made them feel nervous and very weird.
The second video, titled “Relaxing Music and Rain,” has more than 2 million views since it was published in October of 2017. The video features pouring rain and light music playing in the background. Of the five student surveyed, most described it as calming, soothing and peaceful.
The third video, titled “Oddly Satisfying Video That Gives You Relaxation 2018,” is a compilation of videos that has racked up more than 500,000 views since publication on April 18. The video features people accomplishing various tasks like opening a multi-layered chocolate egg, drawing with a spirograph, painting, and more. Three of the four students who viewed this video described it as attention grabbing, colorful and interesting. The fourth said it was too busy and a waste of time.
The trend of ASMR videos continues to grow, inspiring others to create their own videos. A Google search for “ASMR videos” nets more than 103 results, with more coming online all the time.