Sunday, 2 February 2014

I (don't) Gotta Feeling..

The internet is an amazing place, you never know what you might accidentally come across. It's not all cat porn..I's not all cat's and porn (I don't even want to know what happens if you do happen to Google “cat porn”; probably the NSA will call the SPCA to drone your house.)

Anyway, what I had come across by accident on Youtube is Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) and according to the Wikipedia ASMR is “ a perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, olfactory, and/or cognitive stimuli.” Or as I would put it simply certain things make you “feel stuff” or to put it even more simply you could call it “sound porn”; I just Googled “sound porn” and the results are quite interesting.

And apparently it feels really nice. For some people it helps them relax. Since I'm curious and sceptical by nature (and had nothing better to do), I decided to watch a few of these ASMR videos just to see what this “pleasurable tingling sensation” feels like. And for science of course; plus I thought that my scalp could use a little stimulation.

I found out there are many channels dedicated to ASMR. Most of these videos require you to wear headphones to get the most out of the experience. What are ASMR videos like to watch? Well..somewhat strange would be the best way to put it. There tends to be a lot of whispering and brushing; one of the first videos I watched had a woman touching a microphone (that's not a euphemism.)

I watched the WHOLE 21 minute video and she basically scratched and later brushed the microphone. I didn't get much of a tingling sensation but it did make think “WTF am I watching?” and make me wonder what I was doing with my life. She did have nice fingernails though..

The next video I watched was of a woman whispering into a mic in Italian; I have no idea what she said (she could have been quoting Hannibal Lecter for all I know) but I now realize that the Italian language is really beautiful and I'm going to learn Italian on my Duolingo app as soon as I'm done with my Spanish.

There are many types of ASMR videos; besides trying to induce ASMR by making sounds with various objects, there are also a lot of role-playing videos. For example the person making the video will try to simulate a doctor's appointment; getting a head massage (seriously) or getting a haircut. The strangest one I saw was a “girlfriend role-play”; I think having a girlfriend IRL is a lot more appealing.

I admit that these videos made me a little bit sleepy; not because they were making me relaxed. But only out of boredom since nothing was happening. Maybe if I had experienced these mind blowing tingling sensations that some people claim to feel I would feel differently about ASMR.

I conducted a somewhat less-than-scientific study by asking a couple of people to watch ASMR videos and based or preliminary results I can say that ASMR doesn't seem to affect Malaysian or Canadians. Further observation is required..

Before I get hate mail from ASMR enthusiasts let me say that I'm not saying it doesn't work, I'm saying it doesn't work for me. And when I say “strange” I don't mean bad; it's just different. It's more of a personal thing; when I need to feel concentrate on writing or relax I just listen to a website dedicated to the sound of pouring rain. It's “strange” to some people but it's not a bad thing; not like cat porn. I also like to play Planetside 2 and kill for the Terran Republic (Go TR!)

But check out the ASMR links and go see for yourself, don't just take my word for it. So ASMR didn't work for me and I didn't enjoy it but like Pope Frank who am I to judge? Plus my scalp might not be as virile as it used to be..

Some links to check out:

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