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Tingle Tuesday: All the Bells and Whistles

Violet      One of the challenges ASMRtists face is to come up with new and creative ways of presenting ASMR triggers without sounding like they are on repeat. I have heard several ASMRtists say that their fans write to say they want something exactly like the previous video…but completely different.

While viewers may want another ear examination, tapping or scratching videos, ASMRtists strive to offer something more. The more experience they have in making ASMR content, the more they want to do something new and fresh. As I am sure many of you have seen, some of them have really gone to the outer limits ad have pushed the boundaries of what ASMR content is and what it can be. I applaud these efforts and I can’t help being impressed by the filmmaking skills of these people whose original videos began with nothing more than a camera phone.

Unfortunately all of the bells and whistles don’t work for me. A few months ago, one of my favorite ASMRtists created an amazingly unique video that I watched from start to finish but could not be triggered by. I consider this person an acquaintance so I mean no disrespect to their work when I say this. (And before you ask, no, it wasn’t Violet…I used her pic because it WASN’T her.) I actually wrote them and congratulated them on the video saying “I was so impressed I kept watching to see what you would do next and couldn’t succumb to the included suggestions.” (I am pleased to say that they took that comment as the compliment I intended it to be.)

Bob ross           I suppose this is why Bob Ross does not trigger me. I know, I know…I have just dissed the unofficial patron saint of ASMR. But honestly, I have to try so hard to be triggered by him! I totally get why he triggers people. He certainly has a soothing voice, but I typically get so into the painting that I become mesmerized by what he is doing and the triggers come secondary.

I have discovered that in addition to people having a wide variety of triggers, there is also a difference in the way they prefer to receive those triggers. For some, it is all of the bells and whistles and special effects. For others, it’s the unintentional ASMR effect. For me, I am a middle of the road kind of person who, if I had to try and make a laundry list of what works for me, I’d sound like a nut job. Generally speaking, I like organic triggers, not something overly fanciful. Whispering works for me, but not random whispering…one has to be actually talking about something or walking me through a process. I love some special effects, but I prefer they be an unexpected surprise in the video rather than a full hour of them. See what I mean? I sound weird!

I suppose this is why I don’t make requests of ASMRtists. I feel that they have to be true to their art and do what they want to do. If it’s the big productions, that’s fine with me. I’m sure they work for a lot of people and who am I to complain. If they do something small scale that works for me and not others; that’s great too. I think it is important to always remember that these amazing artists provide free content for our enjoyment and I for one will not look a gift horse in the mouth!

Untile next time, tingle on!

J-

Follow Julie Young on Twitter: @JulieYoung14

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Join INDY ASMR: https://www.facebook.com/IndyASMR

Read this blog post at: www.thewaterwhispers.com

Read The Complete Idiot’s Guide to ASMR: http://www.amazon.com/Idiots-Guides-ASMR-Julie-Young/dp/1615648186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432674500&sr=8-1&keywords=Idiots+guides%3A+ASMR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tingle Tuesday: ASMR Dependency and Immunity

ASMR image1      Is ASMR harmful in anyway? Can you become addicted to it? What happens when it stops working? These are all questions we have seen on various message boards so allow me to put a few concerns to rest. When the whisper community/ASMR community began, it was all about helping people relax and get to sleep at night. This remains the primary goal of ASMRtists everywhere; therefore ASMR is not intentionally harmful in any way.

That being said, safety is always the key word when indulging in any practice that operates on a subliminal level or has the ability to put you to sleep or in a hypnotic trance for a period of time. If you are knew to the ASMR phenomenon, here are some top tips and rules to keep in mind:

  1. Do not try and trigger your tingles while operating a car or heavy machinery.
  2. Screen all videos/audio content prior to using them for ASMR purposes.
  3. Use foreign language content judiciously. (Hey, I am triggered by it myself and most ASMRtists are just offering something different, but keep in mind although YOU may not know what is being said, the subconscious might and I am aware that there was one ASMRtist who was being very derogatory in their FL content. So, just be aware. )
  4. Screen content prior to allowing your children to watch it. This seems fairly obvious, but it bears mentioning.
  5. Discuss any concerns you have with your personal physician.

As far as we know, it is not possible to become “addicted” to ASMR however; it is possible to develop an unhealthy reliance on it. Allow me to explain. If your love of ASMR content is preventing you from enjoying a full life outside of a computer screen, then you may want to do something about that. Any psychologist will tell you that substituting a real life for a virtual one is not healthy, but be assured it’s your behavior not the content doing that to you. I am of the opinion that although ASMR can help you get through the rough times when you are in need of a good night’s rest, it is often most effective when you are doing everything you can to have a normal, happy, healthy life. Remember, it is a supplement, not a way of life and you lesson the chances of ASMR immunity when it does not become an everyday occurrence.

ASMR immunity is something that comes up frequently and essentially refers to those moments when your go to videos stop working and no matter what you do, you cannot seem to get the ASMR tingles to occur. Rest assured this is very normal and typically comes from over exposure to the same video and ASMRtist. When we get used to their voice, their actions or if we have watch the video so much we have it memorized it can negate the effect. For some, the solution is to find a new ASMRtist while others take a break for a while and then come back to it. If you have experienced this yourself rest assured there is nothing wrong, and more importantly, the condition doesn’t last forever.

Untile next time, tingle on,

J-

Follow Julie Young on Twitter: @JulieYoung14

Follow Julie Young on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authorjulieyoung

Join INDY ASMR: https://www.facebook.com/IndyASMR

Read this blog post at: www.thewaterwhispers.com

Read The Complete Idiot’s Guide to ASMR: http://www.amazon.com/Idiots-Guides-ASMR-Julie-Young/dp/1615648186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432674500&sr=8-1&keywords=Idiots+guides%3A+ASMR

 

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Tingle Tuesday: Fission and ASMR

Fission   This is another debate that comes up frequently on ASMR message boards and in social media. Is it the same thing as goose bumps or the feeling you get when you hear a really great song on the radio? I have a feeling I am going to tick a lot of people off with my assessment on this subject, but I’m just going to go for it: it’s all in the same family of feelings.

It distresses me that as a community, members frequently bash one another because of their goose bumps or fission feelings that “aren’t” technically the ASMR feelings we have accepted as our own criteria. If I may step on a soapbox for a minute, these feelings are very valid and can help folks discover their true ASMR triggers. Telling someone “no, it’s not the same thing” essentially shuts them off from that discovery and is a disservice to the continued understanding of this area of the mind.

We tend to accept on premise that ASMR probably has something to do with a release of dopamine and we know that the chills experienced during music illicit the same brain response. We also know that ASMR often feels like goose bumps without the raised skin effect so are we not shooting ourselves in the foot by alienating other conditions rather than learning from them?

When I began writing the ASMR book, I spent a lot of time reading about things that are seemingly unconnected to ASMR. For example: “Why do people watch things?” “Why are certain sounds more pleasant than others?” These queries did not always lead me to relaxation sites but often led me to education sites such as “How do people take in information? Sight, sound and touch” and audiology sites that explained head space, the inner workings of binaural sound and biological concepts that I should have memorized way back when.

Because we still know so little about ASMR, it is vital that we examine as much information as we can from a variety of fields of study without prejudice. Finding similarities as well as differences will lead us to better information that will help researchers develop more ways in which to study the phenomenon and give it widespread credence throughout the entire scientific community.

Until next time, Tingle On,

J-

Follow Julie Young on Twitter: @JulieYoung14

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Join INDY ASMR: https://www.facebook.com/IndyASMR

Read this blog post at: www.thewaterwhispers.com

Read The Complete Idiot’s Guide to ASMR: http://www.amazon.com/Idiots-Guides-ASMR-Julie-Young/dp/1615648186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432674500&sr=8-1&keywords=Idiots+guides%3A+ASMR

 

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Tingle Tuesday: Could there be an ASMR therapy center?

ASMR Angel    This is a question I see asked online frequently and one that is often eluded to in ASMR role play videos: Could there ever come a day when there might be a real life ASMR center where people could go and get their tingles on through the services of an ASMRtist? (Note: I can only answer as someone who lives in the United States. I can’t vouch for the possibility in other countries.)

Technically speaking, we already do when we go to a spa or a salon and have our tingles triggered by a professional aesthetician, but if we are talking about a traditional branded storefront with a menu of ASMR services and a handful of ASMRtists ready to perform them…well, I think that is still a long way off. Don’t get me wrong. There are ASMRtists who offer personal consultations through Skype and I think in time, there may be more ASMRtists who will offer live ASMR demonstrations and book one-on-one appointments through a network of referrals in order to meet a demand for this kind of service, but an actual center? That could take a while. (In the meantime, we may have to contend ourselves with some online storefronts such as ASMR Angel’s “Penny’s Posh Picnics.”)

The primary reason I say this is because there is no way to regulate it and it will not take long for someone to shut it down, someone to get sued and a myriad of other problems to arise. I’m not trying to be a “Debbie Downer” about this, in fact…I think it’s a great idea, but from a practical standpoint, there are problems with the business model.

Years ago I was watching a segment on ABC’s 20/20 in which reporters were looking into “hair braiding” salons, which were being shut down left and right because the stylists were not licensed cosmetologists. Now these people were not cutting, straightening, or dying anyone’s hair. They were only braiding it and yet some entity wanted to shut them down or for the individuals to invest several thousands of dollars to get a license. While this rule varies from state to state and I am speaking in generalities here, I can only imagine what people in power could do to an ASMR center.

ASMR not only continues to be widely misunderstood by some, but as of this writing it has not been accepted by the clinical community as an official “alternative therapy.” With no research on it and the various practices used in the ASMR video segments, can you imagine anyone in power allowing this to go on as a legitimate business? Many ASMRtists fake real medical exams ands other services that require very real licenses in the real world. Sure, we could argue that people could sign a waiver and must acknowledge that the ASMRtist is not a medical doctor, but I just see too many people having BIG problems with this.

Of course there are those make up people at the mall who seem to be able to get away with helping clients apply products without a license and no one seems to mind them, but somehow I suspect that they would look at an ASMR center differently and have issues with it until someone creates some kind of training and certification program that can be offered, standardized and regulated. There may still be some raised eyebrows, but it would be a start toward creating the mainstream ASMR storefront in time.

Until Next Time, Tingle On!

J-

Follow Julie Young on Twitter: @JulieYoung14

Follow Julie Young on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authorjulieyoung

Join INDY ASMR: https://www.facebook.com/IndyASMR

Read this blog post at: www.thewaterwhispers.com

Read The Complete Idiot’s Guide to ASMR: http://www.amazon.com/Idiots-Guides-ASMR-Julie-Young/dp/1615648186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432674500&sr=8-1&keywords=Idiots+guides%3A+ASMR

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TingleTuesday: Studying the Sensation

Studying      In the movie The Sound of Music, the nuns of the abbey contemplate what to do with a problematic postulate in the song, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” The lyrics compare taming the young woman to a variety of impossible tasks such as trying to catch a cloud and pinning it down, or attempting to keep a wave upon the sand,. However, those same words could easily be used to describe what it was like to try and write about the ASMR phenomenon.

ASMR is a feeling. It is real, but intangible. It affects a diverse group of people all over the world through a wide variety of audio, visual and tactile triggers in real time and through suggestion. It has been described as brain tingles, a brain buzz, a braingasm (but we’ll hold off on that term for another post), sparks, shocks, etc.…but somehow, it has escaped scientific inquiry until recently and at the present time, any research which has been done has not been published.

The reason for this may confuse a lot of ASMR experiencers who wonder what is taking so long, so let me explain. When someone decides to conduct a scientific study, they must first seek permission from an academic board of some kind. The researcher outlines the problem that they have identified, shows past studies into the same field (or comparative fields) and shows the board the processes they plan to follow in their own work. The board may or may not ask for clarification on the proposal, but once their permission is obtained, the researcher can begin to call out participants for the actual study itself.

After the participants give their consent to be part of the study, the actual experiment commences. This can be a long process depending on the scope of the research – sometimes even years. Afterwards, the results are charted, the data is analyzed and the entire project from conception to conclusion is compiled into a large document that few people outside of the research community can understand. (This is why many published studies are “bottom-lined” in press releases.)

Once the full paper is written, the researcher submits it to an academic journal in hopes that it will be peer-reviewed and published. This is not as easy as it looks. When the editor of the journal receives a paper for possible publication, it is forwarded to experts in the field for examination. These experts are charged with evaluating the quality of the submitted manuscript, requesting revisions or outright rejecting it if they conclude that the findings are flawed or that the science is invalid.

As you may imagine, there are few people who qualify as experts in the field of ASMR and even less who have conducted traditional research into the subject. Naturally this means that any paper would be subjected to those in the fields that the study pertained to (e.g. neurology) and as a general rule, traditional medicine has always had difficulty accepting alternative techniques (though they are getting better) which is why it may be a while before we actually start to see some authoritative work published in the field of ASMR.

With little to go on outside of conjecture and accepted beliefs, no access to specialized equipment and a two-month deadline to write a 275-page book about it, I had no choice but to break ASMR down little by little in order to try and determine what it is, where it comes from, how it works, why we need it and whether or not the scientific community really does know about it.

No doubt, I was grasping at straws, but hey, it’s a whole lot easier than trying to hold a moonbeam in your hand!

Follow Julie Young on Twitter: @JulieYoung14

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Join INDY ASMR: https://www.facebook.com/IndyASMR

Read this blog post at: www.thewaterwhispers.com

Read The Complete Idiot’s Guide to ASMR: http://www.amazon.com/Idiots-Guides-ASMR-Julie-Young/dp/1615648186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432674500&sr=8-1&keywords=Idiots+guides%3A+ASMR

 

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Tingle Tuesday: Finding the “Whisper Community”

Whispering     Like a lot of ASMR experiencers, I stumbled onto the online whisper community and their trigger videos by accident although I was more or less “involved” from the very beginning. Ever since Connie gave me that biofeedback tape, I was on the lookout for material that could cause the same relaxation response inside of me. I would seek out relaxation tapes/CDs at my local bookstore and at the library, but the selection was often limited.

I can’t pinpoint when I first turned to YouTube in search of relaxation videos, but I can say that my search to find something to settle my brain intensified in 2008 with the passing of my mom. If you have never lost your last parent, then you cannot imagine the desperate feeling of loss that comes along with it. I felt alone in the world. I couldn’t sleep. My entire biological schedule was turned around and I struggled to get used to the new “normal” of being an orphan. As I suspected, there were a lot of videos to choose from including self-hypnosis, guided visualization, meditations, affirmations, etc. but many I sampled had music that distracted me, poor sound quality and vocals that grated on my nerves rather than soothed them.

Frustrated, I noticed a strange looking video in my suggestion queue that promised a whispered hypnotic video for sleep. Is that what I think it is? I wondered

Morbid curiosity possessed me to click on it and before I knew what was happening, I was staring at a young woman who was sitting on her bed whispering at her camera. “What in the world?” I mumbled confused as to what I was watching.

Every molecule in my body told me to exit the video, but I couldn’t. There was something strangely compelling about it. Suddenly my queue was full of “whisper videos” as well as videos that promised clicks, taps, hair brushing and an assortment of other noises.

Though some people may have thought me crazy, I was like a kid in a candy store. I had no idea why these people had made these videos or exactly what the intended point of them was, but it was as though the person behind them knew instinctively what would work on me. Was it possible that they felt it too and actually made videos to create that feeling?

It appeared so. After several days of exploring this new medium, I found videos that actually mentioned the brain tingles I had felt over the years. It was wonderful to be validated by something I hadn’t talked about with anyone before. I mentioned what I had found to my husband and was surprised to learn that he had no clue what I was talking about. I mentioned the Alphabet Game, hair brushing and other activities that had put me to sleep in hopes that he could commiserate, but he said he’d never felt it.

“Oh come on,” I said, convinced he was pulling my leg. “You’ve never felt a weird tingly sensation in your scalp that’s kind of like goose bumps but…not?”

“Never,” he promised, shaking his head.

Later on I showed him one of the videos I had been watching. I can’t remember who made it now, but it was of an unseen person brushing their hair. He seemed a little perplexed by my new source of entertainment.

“Let me get this straight,” he said. “You watch this to get a funny feeling in the back of your head and then fall asleep to it.”

“Well….yeah,” I commented. “I don’t know, it’s as if when they do it to themselves, I can imagine what it would feel like if they were doing it to me.”

He took a deep breath. “Well, there’s nothing odd about watching someone on YouTube brush their hair, I guess. So, does this feeling have a name?”

“Not really. A lot of people just call it the ‘head tingles.’”

He stifled a laugh. “Well, here’s hoping that they come up with something more official than that in the future.”

Until next time, tingle on!

J-

Follow Julie Young on Twitter: @JulieYoung14

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Join INDY ASMR: https://www.facebook.com/IndyASMR

Read this blog post at: www.thewaterwhispers.com

Read The Complete Idiot’s Guide to ASMR: http://www.amazon.com/Idiots-Guides-ASMR-Julie-Young/dp/1615648186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432674500&sr=8-1&keywords=Idiots+guides%3A+ASMR

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Tingle Tuesday: A Biofeedback tape leads to a discovery

outdoors-woman-headphones    Connie was a colleague at hospital who became a dear friend and mentor of mine. In fact, if I had a list of women who have had a profound impact on my life, her name would definitely appear somewhere in the Top Five. She had a way of opening my eyes to new concepts and in an indirect way she was directly responsible for my discovering ASMR. (In fact, if you look closely, I dedicated my portion of the ASMR book to Connie!)

One spring, I contracted an irritating cold that hung on longer than necessary and as a result turned my days and nights around. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I were still on night shift, but I was working in the mornings and was dragging throughout the day only to find myself wide awake at night. Frustrated, I said to Connie, “How am I ever going to get my body’s schedule straight?”

She thought for a moment and then said, “Have you ever heard of biofeedback?”

I shook my head.

She went onto explain that that after injuring her back, she too had a lot of trouble getting to sleep. In order to help her out, her doctor made her a tape of biofeedback suggestions to help her relax. She promised to bring me a copy of the tape the next day in hopes that it might help.

From the way she described it, it sounded a lot like the guided visualizations my professor had used on my self-hypnosis class and at that point I was willing to try anything so I agreed. The following day, she brought me the tape and made me promise not to listen to it while driving. “I’m serious,” she cautioned. “You could wind up in an accident.”

I thought she was being a little overly cautious, but agreed to wait to listen to it until I was at home. That night, after getting the kids to sleep, I lay down, slid the cassette into my Walkman and put the headphones over my ears. There was that hum of white noise that occurs when someone records himself outside of a professional studio and then I heard the doctor’s voice, which caused my brain exploded in those familiar tingles I hadn’t felt in quite a while.

“Is it possible for you to become a little more relaxed?” He asked.

There was nothing special about his tone. It was just…calm and over the next 10-15 minutes, he led me through a variety of deep relaxation exercises as well as some guided imagery to help ease my mind and urge me into a peaceful slumber. Some of the suggestions were obvious such as imagining a babbling brook or picturing the branches of a tree spreading out above me, but others were a little…well, weird and caused me to throw all of my energy into places I’d never put it before.

“Can you feel the corners of your mouth touching?” He intoned. “Can you imagine the space between your eyes?”

Although I knew it wouldn’t make sense to a lot of people, I was hooked. When I built up a resistance to the doctor’s voice, I sought out guided meditation tapes at the local library hoping to find that perfect blend of vocal timbre and suggestion. It wasn’t always easy. I didn’t care for a lot of the background music included in some of the tapes and sometimes it all seemed a little “rehearsed.” The thing that seemed to set apart that original tape was the fact that I could actually hear how amateurish it was. I could hear the doctor readjust himself in his seat or change the microphone from one hand to the other and oddly enough…it added to the experience.

It felt amazing to know that the funny feeling in my head was some kind of biofeedback response and that a doctor had “discovered” a way to tap into it. Little did I know that I had inadvertently hit the top of a very big iceberg, one that when I looked below the surface would change my life forever.

Until next time, tingle on!

J-

Follow Julie Young on Twitter: @Julieyoung14

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Read this blog post at: http://www.thewaterwhispers.com

Read The Idiot’s Guide to ASMR at http://www.amazon.com: 

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Tingle Tuesday: Apparently, I make people fall asleep

Jo March       Mrs. Mooring was a little old lady who lived a few doors down from me in North Carolina. She didn’t have a car and couldn’t get out much so she was always ready for a visit and happy to have company drop by. She also never wanted anyone to leave. No matter if you had been there five minutes or two hours, she always said the same thing, “Come back when you can stay longer.”

During one of our daily gabfests, I regaled Mrs. Mooring with one of my long-winded tales and noticed that she appeared to be fighting off sleep. The more I talked, the heavier her eyes became and before long, she even started to snore a little. I felt like Jo March reading to her aunt in Little Women. Well, you can imagine how awkward I felt. If I stopped talking or tried to slip out unnoticed, her eyes would pop open. She would be fully awake and ready to continue chatting. However, if I continued my end of the conversation, I simply looked like an idiot.

At the time, I honestly threw the whole thing up to her age and assumed it was not unlike reading a child a bedtime story. She was elderly, lived alone and perhaps she found safety and comfort in the white noise of my voice. I also wondered if her hearing was bad or if my words ran together in her ears. But I didn’t think I was actually triggering her.

That thought didn’t occur to me until several years later when I was working third shift at a hospital. The midnight to 8 a.m. shift is a bear and there were definitely times when it was all I could so to stay awake. I listened to a lot of audio books, listened to the radio, got up and walked around and of course chatted with a co-worker about anything and nothing.

Every so often though, I would notice that like Mrs. Mooring, my co-worker’s eyes would start to droop as if I was putting her to sleep. Now, I will be honest, this time I was worried. Were my stories that boring? I would try to avoid conversation out of fear that I was dull, but I noticed that she would ask a lot of questions as though she was trying to keep me talking, but then all of a sudden, zzzzzzz…

Age wasn’t a factor this time, but the time of day was so I presumed that it was the lateness of the hour rather than the sound of my voice causing her to go to sleep. I think it is difficult for people to accept the fact that their voices have this affect on people, especially because our voices sound so different inside our own heads. However, I couldn’t help noticing the similarities and the wheels in my brain began to turn. Did my voice have an affect on them the same way that my friend’s did on me? Were they experiencing the same brain buzz I had?

I didn’t know and quite frankly, there is no good way to walk up to someone and say, “Hi, do I put you to sleep?” or “Does my voice sound good to you?” It would sound positively ridiculous and having experienced the same thing myself, I knew that there was no way my co-worker would ever tell me. Heck, it was entirely possible that she didn’t even know exactly what was causing it herself!

I had taken a self-hypnosis for stress management and sleep course in college so I knew that the professor could lull me into a sleep with her guided visualizations, but she was trying to relax me. There were therapeutic principles involved. I was just talking so this made no sense. Were these people just tired to begin with? Was it me or was it them? Every once in a while I would revisit these episodes in my head wondering if there was any way to harness this feeling or if I would ever find out what it was?

Until next time, tingle on!

J-

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Read this blog at http://www.thewaterwhispers.com

Read The complete Idiot’s Guide to ASMR at http://www.amazon.com : 

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Tingle Tuesday: Other early ASMR experiences

Cootie    Lest you get the wrong idea, I do not have every ASMR episode I ever experienced committed to memory. However, like a lot of tingle heads, there are a few events that stand out. One of them occurred when I was about 11 and learned that I could be triggered whenever a friend of mine and I played an insanely stupid game about a rose garden in which we gently raked our fingertips up and down each other’s forearms (This was similar to the Alphabet Game, but different as well.) During the game, I remember that she suggested we go against the script and extend the raking portion of the process. After all, it felt good, and who was I to argue with someone willing to help me prolong the experience.

Although I did not come right out and question her suggestion, it was the first time that I had partial confirmation that someone else felt the same thing that I did – or something close to it. It was the only plausible explanation as to why she was so keen to extend the game. Looking back on it now, I find it so interesting that neither of us had the vocabulary to actually talk about it, and yet it was so obvious that we were in the same boat.

Four years later, I had another epiphany about whatever I was experiencing. I was babysitting a little boy in my neighborhood over summer vacation and as he played on his swing set in the back yard, I watched him and gabbed to a friend of mine on the phone. She had recently returned from her freshman year at Indiana University and couldn’t wait to tell me about the apartment she and her friends were leasing for the following semester.

She offered these long, drawn out explanations about the décor and the furnishings the roommates had to pool, but it was far from a boring monologue. I was positively mesmerized by the sound of her voice and hung on her every word. I kept asking her questions so that she would go into more and more detail, even though I was a little worried I might nod off as she spoke.

It was the first time I had experienced the “tingly feeling” from a distance. I was used to feeling it when I was in the same room with the person and they especially if they came into contact with me, but not over a telephone wire. What made the whole thing even stranger is the fact that if I were face to face with this person, her voice had no affect on me at all. However, if we were on the phone, it was a total tingle fest!

At the time, there was no Internet to help me try and figure out what was happening inside of my head, but it was clear that the feeling was not limited to someone’s touch. It could be triggered by the sound of their voice and as well as the way in which they described things as if I could see them. How strange, I thought to myself. I wonder what this is? Would my friend think I was crazy if I told her? Does everyone feel this? And more importantly, can everyone have this affect on someone else?

Until next time, tingle on!

J-

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Tingle Tuesday: Let’s Kill Them With Kindness

Springbok     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.

Tingle On,

J-

 

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