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Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
By James Carter, Staff Writer • June 20, 2024
Opinion | NHL needs to bring specialty jerseys back
By Jameson Keebler, Senior Staff Columnist • June 19, 2024
Opinion | Hold your elected officials morally responsible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 18, 2024

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Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
By James Carter, Staff Writer • June 20, 2024
Opinion | NHL needs to bring specialty jerseys back
By Jameson Keebler, Senior Staff Columnist • June 19, 2024
Opinion | Hold your elected officials morally responsible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 18, 2024

Opinion | I love ASMR and I don’t care who knows it

Opinion+%7C+I+love+ASMR+and+I+don%E2%80%99t+care+who+knows+it
Carrington Bryan | Staff Illustrator

The fateful year was 2019. My mother’s in-laws were in town, so like the gracious and perfect daughter that I am, I offered up my bedroom for their stay. Thus relegated to the futon in the dark, windowless basement, I did what any socially anxious 16-year-old would do — lie in complete darkness at noon on a Saturday scrolling through YouTube to avoid speaking to my extended family. Suddenly, my life was changed forever.

I came across an ASMR video titled “Let Me Fix You ?Home Robot Checkup RP.” I was so intrigued, so curious. Within the first few minutes, I was sucked into the craftsmanship of the video, her soft, soothing voice and the myriad of nice sounds happening in my ears. The next thing I knew, I woke up four hours later. It was the best sleep of my life.

Since that day, I started watching various ASMR videos every night to put me to sleep. Without fail, I fell asleep within 10 minutes of turning on the video and slept deeply and peacefully through the whole night. This was a big deal for me. I have always struggled with insomnia — there is simply too much happening in my head at night. I could never turn off the constant deluge of thinking. ASMR was the only thing that managed to quiet my mind, and to this day I watch it every night to fall asleep.

For those of you who don’t know or perhaps fell through a wormhole in 2009 and have never encountered such internet content, ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It describes a tingling sensation associated with relaxation. In the ASMR community, this sensation is frequently referred to as “tingles.” But not everyone watches ASMR videos in pursuit of this sensation — people who watch ASMR use it to relax, fall asleep or even study. In fact, watching ASMR may help temporarily relieve symptoms of depression.

Despite watching ASMR for five years now, it’s always something I’ve done in secret. The people who know about it are close friends and family, and I’ve only recently begun telling people about it openly. There was a sense of shame attached to watching ASMR. Partially, admitting that I need such an intense crutch to fall asleep every night seemed embarrassing to me. But mostly, large swaths of internet culture have deemed ASMR as weird and strange, especially because there is a small subsect of the ASMR community that engages in the creation of sensual ASMR. I absolutely support people who enjoy sexual content and the creators that make it, but the pervasion of the misconception that ASMR is a fetish has made me wary to admit my enjoyment of it to other people. Especially online, I’ve noticed that the conflation of any experience of pleasure with sensual pleasure is used to ostracize communities that the general public finds “weird” or “strange.”

But the truth is, most ASMR is entirely wholesome. In fact, it is one of the only communities on the internet that I’ve encountered whose comment sections are overwhelmingly kind and positive. It’s taken me a long time to be comfortable liking the things that I like, but looking at this community on the internet makes me proud to be a part of it.

I absolutely understand some people’s dislike of ASMR. Especially if certain noises really bother you or you have misophonia, ASMR could be your own personal hell. Despite being a veteran ASMR-watcher there are still certain subsects of ASMR, like eating ASMR, that I cannot appreciate. But I love whispering and tapping and personal attention videos. And I truly believe that there is a form of ASMR out there for everyone.

If you are an active ASMR hater, but this article has made you a little curious about the whole thing, I have some suggestions to ease you into the world of ASMR. Diving right into intense, deep-ear whispering would probably freak you out, so I recommend you start light with soft-spoken creators, who make a relaxing atmosphere and talk gently to the camera. Some of my favorite soft-spoken creators are Gibi ASMR and Goodnight Moon. If you’re not quite able to appreciate the sounds yet, and you get bored watching pure “triggers” — acts that prompt tingles — there are some brilliant educational ASMR channels out there like ASMRctica and Let’s Find Out

Perhaps a day will come when I am able to fall asleep on my own the second that my head hits the pillow. But until then, ASMR has brought me relaxation, joy and a functioning sleep schedule, so I’ll keep watching it. But perhaps now, I won’t be so ashamed of enjoying it.

Anna Fischer writes about female empowerment, literature and art. She’s really into bagels. Write to her at [email protected].

About the Contributor
Anna Fischer, Senior Staff Columnist
Anna is an opinions columnist at The Pitt News. She was born and raised in Denver, Colorado (no, she doesn't ski). She is double majoring in English Writing and English Literature, and minoring in Korean and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Basically, her brain is word mush at all times. Anna is addicted to coffee (double shot of espresso with vanilla oat milk creamer) and reading.