The History of ASMR


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Woman using brush on microphone to make ASMR sounds

Aiden McKinney

Autonomous sensory meridian response: the tingling sensation. Heard of it? If you haven’t, you might want to sit down.


Autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR, is a sensation that some people experience. It is described to start in the head and be a tingly sensation that goes down your back, caused by triggers such as whispering, crackling sounds, hand movements, amongst others. However, it is not the same for everyone. 


West Brunswick student Emma Yando enjoys watching ASMR. When asked how long she has known about it and since when she started watching it she responded, “Since 2018, on Instagram.” She also said she enjoys “visual triggers” in ASMR more than other triggers which she also watches on Instagram.


In a 2007 forum from a user “okaywhatever” had posted a discussion board called Weird sensation feels good on which sparked a conversation amongst many other people who had experienced the same feeling. 


The first intentional ASMR video was released on YouTube in 2009 and has risen in popularity, becoming widespread. 


I thought I’d make a video of me whispering because I love hearing people whisper,” said WhisperingLife in the first intentional ASMR video on YouTube.


While many popular ASMRtists include people such as JoJo’s ASMR, Gibi ASMR, Fredsvoice, etc. However, many ASMR videos are unintentional, the most successful of which being Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting series. The series, which many people watched to sleep or to enjoy ASMR, was one of the first mainstream ASMR programs ever. 


People enjoy ASMR for several reasons, but the main ones being sleep, relaxation, and the pleasant tingling sensation, which many view as a specific feeling only ASMR brings.


ASMR is a unique topic that has influenced the media substantially in recent years and will only continue to do so.


YouTube searches for ASMR grew over 200% YoY in 2015 and are consistently growing,” said “” On its own, a top ASMR video can garner over 16 million views.”