The Absolute Nonsensical Bollocks that is ASMR

Autonomous sensory meridian response, often shortened to ASMR, is a strange thing. According to Wikipedia, it is a tingling sensation starting at the head and working its way down the body. The feeling starts at the head then moves down the spine. This feeling is often pleasant and is believed to be connected to things like Synesthesia. ASMR is also the feeling that I haven’t been able to describe for at least a decade.

My entire life, I used to get these strange feelings. The sensation of tingling down the back of my neck. I never knew what it was called, nor could I describe what it was. All I knew was that it felt rather nice, but I mostly left it at that. I appreciated the tingling feeling whenever I felt it, but I couldn’t put the feeling into words, nor did I have the courage to actually describe it. In fact, for years, I actually repressed the feeling, as I believed it was somehow wrong or immoral.

I didn’t discover what the sensation was called until I was discussing things with aabicus, and he mentioned ASMR. So I looked it up and, lo and behold, there was the exact thing I was feeling! I was dumbfounded. It turns out, I wasn’t insane! So I decided to look further into it.

But ASMR is a strange, wild place…

The problem with ASMR is that it’s kinda not very well understood. Again, according to Wikipedia, there hasn’t been that much in terms of research into ASMR. What we know is mostly gathered from online studies, blogs and the fact that there are a billion fucking ASMR Youtube videos. Generally, if a Wikipedia page is somewhat vague about these things, then you can assume that most of the information in general about a subject is vague too.

In fact, ASMR didn’t really even become known as a thing until the late 2000’s.

But overall, the idea is simple: certain triggers will cause the sensation. Wikipedia lists things like people whispering, the scraping of nails on hard surfaces and people doing mundane tasks “with care”. Another common trigger of ASMR is people loudly chewing food or slurping drinks.

Of course, that doesn’t apply for everyone.

Different people have different triggers. And people make videos to uh, trigger these triggers. Typing ASMR into Youtube brings up a huge number of results. These results mostly include things like roleplaying and whispering, or people eating food. Noisily.

Most ASMR triggers though actually piss me off. I can’t stand the sound of people whispering. I hate the sound of nails being scraped on things. And the sound of people chewing or drinking genuinely make me angry. To the point where I have to block the sounds out with something else. I sometimes get annoyed at my own chewing.

In fact, to this day, I’m not really sure what specifically triggers this feeling for me. As far as I can tell, it’s “generic soft squelchy noises” but I just don’t know.

Is ASMR tied to something else?

Frankly, who knows. It’s believed to be tied to forms of synesthesia. Evolution-wise, maybe ASMR is connected to grooming or feelings of safety. After all, ASMR videos are designed to be calming to trigger these responses. But there’s currently very little research

I suppose, though, at least ASMR videos are pretty relaxing. And in this stressful age of uncertainty, anything relaxing is a good thing.

Medic

Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 45% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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