Meet Maria. She’s a YouTube sensation all because she’s a master whisperer. That’s right, you heard us… she whispers, and makes other soft sounds that her now over 500,000 Gentle Whispering subscribers clamor to hear. Why? Because they all experience a phenomenon called ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) from listening to her. We had no idea this was a thing, but it is and it’s pretty freakin’ cool if you’re lucky enough to be in tune to it.
While unscientifically proven to date, people sensitive to ASMR are said to experience involuntary relaxation that’s brought on by hearing soft voices or sounds made with inanimate objects, and/or by watching someone perform certain tasks with their hands like painting, drawing, brushing hair, or even folding napkins.
“I am a ball of tingles… this is the craziest thing!” – Skeptic Jen
So what are they really feeling? When certain people hear a specific trigger (e.g. Maria’s whisper or the one that works for them), ASMR manifests itself as a tingly sensation that starts at the top or back of the head and moves down through the spine. Ultimately, it puts them in a relaxed state. People who can feel its effects use it to sleep, for anxiety issues, or simply for pleasure.
Sadly, it’s not for everyone. Some people are much more sensitive to ASMR than others. But there are also plenty of people who can’t experience the sensation at all, no matter how hard they listen to the very same sounds that bring other people to their chill zone.
As an experiment of sorts, we tried it out amongst our WYSKy crew and were utterly shocked when the biggest skeptic of us all, our co-founder Jen, exclaimed, “NO WAY!” She then proceeded to watch 3 more ASMR videos to make sure she actually felt what she thought she did. That’s when she said, “I am a ball of tingles… this is the craziest thing!” She concluded, “I never would have believed it had I not experienced it myself. That was actually overwhelming… in the very best sense.” PS – She’s now addicted.
So we’re issuing you an ASMR challenge: Watch this video and tell us… does anything happen to you when you hear this woman’s whispering voice?
Even if it just creeps you out, which it does for some, let us know.
Bob Ross And ASMR
Although no one knows when ASMR officially popped up on to global radar, the first YouTube video posted in 2009, and thanks to social media the “whisper community” has been growing ever since. But it’s interesting to note that Bob Ross, the iconic “happy little trees” painter on PBS (aired 1983 – 1994), is now considered one of the original ASMR inducing whisperers, whether he intended to be or not.
Countless people, who grew up watching his show, recall feeling tingling in their heads, and “stoner-like” levels of relaxation as they watched him move his paint brush gently across the canvas, while listening to him softly describe how to form the perfect mountain in a matter of seconds with his famed “wet-on-wet” technique.