I am, what I consider to be, a passive consumer of ASMR content. I do not really subscribe to any particular channel. I do not comment on videos or respond to posted comments. I try a bunch of different artists (though naturally I have some core favorites like everyone does.) I appreciate their efforts and have been known to drop a private note thanking them for their work or complimenting them on a particular video. However I generally refrain from making requests or criticizing their efforts. My mother always said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” and it’s a pretty good rule of thumb. No one enjoys hearing something negative, creepy or rude especially when they have gone to all the trouble to provide something for FREE to help us relax and get some sleep, so who are we to be jerks in return?
While I hope I am not in the minority, it is disheartening to me that yet another ASMRtist has made the decision to leave the YouTube community due to the amount of haters and trolls who have plagued her channel and essentially bullied her from the career/hobby she loved. While Springbok was not among my “go to” ASMRtists, I certainly screened her work and felt she had a lot of talent to offer the community. She struck me as earnest, gentle and kind so I am appalled by some of the things she addressed in her Farewell video and feel compelled to stand up for good citizenship within the ASMR community.
Once upon a time, my youngest son said “Unless you are looking for a dissenting opinion, do not post anything to social media.” He was about 13 at the time and I kind of laughed at his assessment, but in the days, weeks and months that followed, I couldn’t help noticing that he was right. I could say “I think Robert Plant is the greatest singer ever” and people would come out of the woodwork to tell me I was wrong and that Freddie Mercury, Elvis, Roger Daltry, etc. deserved the title. Did I ask? No. I was simply offering my thoughts. I’m not saying that their choices are not just as valid as mine, but I did not open the subject up for debate. It was a comment, not a question. When people post their truth, it is not for us to scrutinize and criticize. It’s a take it or leave it proposition. If an ASMRtists content worked for you, great…chances are they want to hear about it, but do you REALLY think anyone who put their heart and soul into filming and editing for hours wants to hear “This sucks!” or “What’s wrong with you?” “I like your other stuff better!” “What’s with all the noise at 27:05?” This is not “constructive criticism” this is simply being nit picky that their FREE content isn’t to your standard and quite frankly, I think the ASMR community is better than this.
Obviously, we can’t prevent perverts or creepers, trolls or haters from walking the planet, but we can control our reaction to them. We all know that you can catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar, so let’s kill them with kindness. Do not respond to hate with hate. Rather respond with love. When someone says “you’re stupid, vacant or a loser,” either say nothing at all or tell them to have a nice day. If you engage in their game, you are only pouring fuel on their fire and giving them more material to work with.
ASMRtists are by nature, sensitive people. If you have watched many of their “Draw My Life” videos, read their blogs or listened long enough, you know that many of them have endured tragic circumstances and through ASMR, they are trying to give back to those who gave them so much. Yes, they make the decision to become public people, but they do not sign up to be ridiculed. Some of these people are painfully shy and have found YouTube to be their little window into the outside world and to have a social connection with others. It is a shame that people feel compelled to say things that are “fundamentally flawed and rhetorically dangerous” and quite frankly it says more about you than the one donating their time, talent and effort to trying to help others.
Are there ASMRtists who have nefarious pasts? Probably…but I ask you, what is the point in focusing on that? Should they be a bit more anonymous? Maybe…but that’s not my call and the decision to show one’s face should NOT mean that people are subjected to cruelty. Honestly, it never occurred to me (outside of research for the book) to surf the web for information about these people or to exploit it if I did find out something. It’s not my business! I care about them in the context of what they have to share with me within the ASMR community. No more, no less. If we have become email correspondents, then that is wonderful…but I still hesitate to presume on our electronic friendship. In fact, I can honestly say that outside of an agreed upon interview, I have only asked ONE ASMRtist ONE nagging question, but I preceded it with “You don’t have to give me a full answer, just tell me if I am on the right track.” This individual complimented me on my attention to detail and merely said I would have made a good detective. It was a non-answer, but it FELT like enough and after that, it never crossed my mind again.
My point is people…if the ASMR audience does not start acting like the community we know it to be, we are going to lose the upper hand on this. As ASMR becomes more mainstream, as it is talked about in the media, as books are written, it will attract the dweebs, geeks and weirdos of the world and more ASMRTists will feel scared, threatened and leave altogether. I don’t want to see that happen and I doubt you do either.
Let us stand strong to protect one another, to not get so wrapped up in an online media forum that we lose perspective that these are HUMAN BEINGS we are dealing with. If you are one of the more vocal YouTube viewers, don’t play into the hate. Have courage and be kind and let’s protect our ASMRtists…they are not a dime a dozen.