ASMR, Digital Lovers, & The Lack of Human Connection
In boredom one night, I was browsing the video upload website YouTube and ran across several hundred ASMR videos.
I have heard of ASMR many times online, but I have never really watched a video. My late-night curiosity got the best of me, and next thing I knew I had wasted half the night watching these interesting clips.
ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. So basically, the art of ASMR offers sound triggers that produce relaxing tingling sensations for some people.
Many people in the YouTube comment section say that these videos help them relax for bedtime and most of the videos are packaged for that experience, but the deeper I dug into the world of ASMR, I learned a much darker truth.
I ended up on the “weird side of YouTube” as many people jokingly call it and departed from the videos of people chewing into a microphone and crumbling paper but entered the world of role play.
There are actually AMSR videos of people stimulating caring relationships as fake girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, and wives.
These ASMR role players stimulate pillow talk, dates, cuddling, massage, and occasionally sex.
The roleplay artist are always very gentle, soft spoken and offer positive words of affirmation.
Common statements spoken in these kind of videos include: I love you, you are beautiful, you are safe, you are loved, and just relax.
At first, I found these videos extremely disturbing, but then I read the comments.
There are millions of people in the comment section below the videos confessing that these acts of virtual roleplay made them feel loved for the first time in their lives.
Many expressed that these sessions help them cope with anxiety and depression. Others report that ASMR roleplay made them feel less alone in the world.
For a moment, I took off the veil of judgment and watched an ASMR roleplay video in an unbiased way.
I found an African American guy who spoke very kindly, offered a virtual back massage, and reassured that everything would be ok.
Quite honestly, I was almost brought to tears after engaging with the clip.
It was a beautiful experience and I finally understood all the sentiments the other YouTube users had expressed.
If you had never experienced this type of intimate kindness, if you were alone and hurting, ASMR roleplay videos could be the type of compassion you need to feel better.
In my sadness and compassion for all the users who expressed their pain and loneliness, I had to ask myself what has happened to the world?
Has our world become so high tech and low touch that individuals must seek social and intimate engagement though a community video uploading app?
Have humans lost touch to the point that we need to simulate touch and love through a social app?
It concerns me that humans are more connected than ever before in history through social media and apps and yet we are more alone than ever.
Humans need deep connection with each other to thrive, and here we are at social events scrolling through our lives and isolating those who need us most.
Skin Hunger is a real psychological concept where human skin literally craves meaningful and loving touch. Many individuals are deprived of loving nonsexual touch, yet research says we touch our phones over 150 times a day.
This article will conclude short and to the point with this series of profound questions:
Have we advanced so much in technology that we have advanced away from meaningful human interaction? Have we become so concerned with our followers, that we have forgotten how to be real friends? Have we become so concerned with filtering our selfies that we have filtered out our humanity? Are we so connected online that we can no longer connect face to face?
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