The Whispers Taking the World by Storm

Millions of viewers are infatuated with videos of people whispering. Yes, you read that correctly.

With 5.2 million videos on Youtube, ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), has become a viral sensation on Youtube. In fact, according to Google insights ASMR has more search interest than “chocolate” or “candy” on the internet. The most viewed ASMR video has a whopping 619,086,608 views. Despite its growing popularity, a lot of people still don’t seem to know what ASMR even is. As I typed the letters A-S-M-R on my search bar, one of the top results I kept encountering was “What is ASMR?”

ASMR basically gives a relaxing or sedating sensation, enduced by whispers, certain accents, crackle sounds and even some visual triggers. One simple way it could be explained is, a tingling sensation down one’s spine. Many people swear by its relaxing effects, and even believe it helps relieve their insomnia and headaches.

A study carried out by the Department of Psychology at Swansea University in 2015 shows that 80% of the participants reported that their moods were affected after watching ASMR. And 38 individuals who suffered from chronic pain reported that it eased their symptoms. The study also found that the top two triggers for people were whispering and personal attention.

ASMR varies in forms and more types of it have emerged as it’s popularity increases. When you search for ASMR videos on Youtube you will come across videos of “ASMR-ists” doing role play with certain storylines to soothe the viewer or even ASMR eating shows, which bizarrely are quite popular with over 10 million views on YouTube. 

“I watch crunchy food ASMR and I also like the ASMR triggers that help you sleep and like when you have a headache, that really comforts me.“ said AUD student Rand Hatem.

With the top ASMR video garnering over 16 million views, Many companies have hopped on the trend. For instance KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) has made a video featuring actor George Hamilton who plays the role of Colonel Sanders, doing an ASMR eating show with their crispy fried chicken.

But it’s not just KFC. Tictac, Taco Bell, Swedish Fish and even Chinese Dove chocolates have tested the waters of the world of ASMR. 

You can also find many videos of beauty gurus showing their manicured nails and making tapping noises while others can be found using their makeup brushes against their microphones to create a soothing effect for the listeners.

 As bizarre as it may seem,  ASMR has a diverse platform that seems to be growing day by day.  So far, these videos seem to be making wonders for a lot of viewers. Are ASMR videos the new therapy?

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Farah Abdelkarim

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