ASMR proves therapeutic to CHS students


Fatima Yazdi

Two CHS students participate in Mukbanging, a common form of ASMR, in which people eat and record the sounds of chewing food. ASMR has become popular among teenagers on social media.

By Bryan Fletcher and Fatima Yazdi, Production Manager and Features Editor

Most people in our generation probably have that one friend who will not stop talking about how relaxing playing with slime is or their obsession with acting out role plays, but what exactly is all this newfound hype about?

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is the term used to describe the calm, tingling sensation caused by hearing soft sounds, such as tapping or clicking noises. Recently, videos of artists recreating stimuli that trigger ASMR have found their way into the mainstream. Many young adults and teens, including CHS students, have sparked a new interest in the strange phenomenon.

“When I have a lot of things on my mind, I love to watch slime videos,” sophomore Enaya Saleh said. “When I watch them, I don’t think about anything else and it calms me. It’s like getting a massage for my mind.”

This fascination-turned-obsession, with using slime and other tangible sources for relaxation, has quickly become a staple among millions of teenaged fans of this oddly satisfying social trend.

The sensations associated with ASMR can be derived from almost any source, but recently these videos have become divided and categorized based on the social media app with which one is watching them on, with videos on each platform having their own respective themes and triggers.

“I first found out about [ASMR] from a YouTube video,” junior Katie Brown said. “But I know that others have gotten into it through Instagram accounts featuring people using slime or kinetic sand.”

Although most fans enjoy watching the smooth, glossy colors of moving slime, ASMR comes in a plethora of different forms. Acting videos in which the artist plays as specific characters or roles designed to intrigue and immerse are most commonly uploaded on YouTube, while stimulation recordings, including arts and crafts projects, are often found on Instagram and Facebook.

Some of the most popular ASMR stimuli are whispering, tapping and even chewing. Mukbangs, a form of ASMR in which people eat and record the sounds of chewing food, has grown to become surprisingly popular on YouTube. Though Mukbangs can be eccentric and bizarre, many enjoy watching the food that is featured and find the sounds quite interesting.

While viewers can enjoy ASMR for a variety of reasons, it is also used as a form of therapy to reduce stress and anxiety. Due to its practical use, ASMR has become widely advocated by students who experience stress from their busy schedules and heavy workloads.

“I am always stressed with school, and these type of videos help to calm me down,” Saleh said. “Once you get into [ASMR], you find yourself enjoying it [more and more]”.

Potentially, the biggest cause for the rise in popularity of ASMR has been through the dedication of ‘ASMRtists,’ the pioneers who have made a career out of reducing the stress in the lives of others. Some of the most notable people in the field right now include the YouTube channels “Gentle Whispering ASMR” and “ASMR Darling,” both of which have amassed over a million subscribers each.

The videos on these channels serve not only to calm and relax viewers, but as mediums of entertainment and social activism intended to be shared among friends.

“They are definitely making certain anxiety-relieving techniques more popular and socially acceptable,” Brown said. “It will help people to feel more comfortable talking about it with their friends, because having that conversation starter can help us speak more openly about mental health.”

Whether it be in the form of slime play or Mukbanging, ASMR has grown to be one of the most popular internet trends among students and teenagers across the globe.

“I think ASMR is something that will remain popular because it is free, easy to enjoy and without controversy,” Brown said. “Those aspects will allow it to persevere through the years.”