ASMR: Relaxing or Concerning?



In our current technologic age, a variety of video sharing platforms are gaining predominance, such as YouTube or TikTok. Videos posted can be relating to news, music videos, vlogs, beauty tutorials or even stranger: ASMR.

Before, they were known as kinks, now it is called ASMR or autonomous sensory meridian response. This is defined as the feeling one gets when watching stimulating videos usually catering to a specific act. It sounds strange, but these videos have been gaining more views as it is very captivating to watch, in some cases. Videos such as eating food can be broken into different categories such as eating cereal, spaghetti, chips, chewing gum and plenty more. Other videos include: a person whispering, giving personal attention to the viewer, smashing items with a hydraulic press, pimple popping videos and can even extend into role-playing.

Many tend to view ASMR videos of their choice to de-stress and relax. Some individuals even claim that watching them helps them fall asleep. While this may be true, I believe that it can also be harmful to the viewer.

Catering to one’s personal attention and role-playing are the videos that I believe hold the most potential to be harmful for the viewer for a variety of reasons. Some of these videos are disturbing to watch. Many of them are touching the camera to try and mimic touching the viewer’s face. Others are doing more specialized services such as giving facials, haircuts and even visiting the doctor. While many ASMR viewers don’t tend to feel sexually stimulated by these sensations and tingles given from the video content, some do. The whispering, while the touching of the face and role-playing may produce a sexual experience for some viewers and that is concerning,to think that there is potentially an older man sitting in a basement pleasuring himself to a young girl whispering or touching the viewer’s face.

However, what is most concerning was finding out that there are serial killer role-playing videos. It is concerning, in my opinion, for those creating the content thinking that it is okay to portray someone like a serial killer by waving around a knife or saw. Mostly, it is more terrifying seeing how many viewers are watching these videos. The one I watched had 3.4 million views. This is astonishing to find out as I knew that everyone has different rituals to de-stress, but watching a man showing the viewer a gun, pair of scissors and knife asking them which way should he kill them is a very disturbing and creepy way to do so.

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Angelica Ocampo

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