Tingleheads: What is ASMR?

By Julia Bauer

From soap cutting videos to the sound of someone whispering into a microphone, a wave of ASMR has swept over social media. If you stumble across these videos and find them satisfying, you might be a tinglehead. But what are tingleheads, and what is ASMR?

Tingleheads are people who have autonomous sensory meridian responses (ASMR) to these types of videos, according to Today. For tingleheads, these videos are not only satisfying, but can help relieve stress and anxiety. 

What is ASMR?

There are different types of ASMR videos that cause people to experience a “braingasm,” or a sense of pleasure in their brain. It can create a tingling sensation from the brain that travels down the spine and across their entire body, according to Today. This can aid sleep and anxiety. 

Some of the most common ASMR videos on social media are slime making, soap cutting, typing on keyboards, paint mixing and cooking videos. The cooking videos are a combination of visual and auditory stimulation because they are fast-paced, step-by-step videos with chopping and sizzling sounds. Occasionally, I come across live-stream videos of people whispering into microphones, enunciating different words. 

Even pimple popping and ear cleaning videos are forms of ASMR (for a certain audience – not everyone can handle Dr. Pimple Popper’s videos.)

There pages on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and other social media platforms dedicated to ASMR for tingleheads. While I would not consider myself a total tinglehead, I do enjoy some forms of it.

ASMR videos can also elicit positive responses in people due to an association with pleasant memories. 

Slime videos may remind some people of their childhood. These videos can take them back to their days in preschool and elementary school when they made slime during their science class. Paint mixing may remind others, like myself, of grade school art classes. 

However, some videos may trigger negative responses. For me, I skip over videos with scratching sounds. While these tend to make my skin crawl, they give other people “braingasms.”

Where can I find ASMR?

Whether you are a tinglehead or not, you may find some form of ASMR satisfying. There are hundreds of ASMR videos out there, and the community has become huge on social media. 

If you’re interested in finding out if you’re a tinglehead, or just curious about what types of ASMR videos may trigger positive or negative responses for you, check out the ASMR hashtag on social media. 

The ASMR hashtag on TikTok has almost 260 billion views and thousands of videos, so beware; you may be scrolling for a while! 

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