I woke up at two the other night and felt wide awake. To get sleepy, I turned to YouTube for a quick relaxation session. I like watching two things: a nice massage or a gentle hair brushing experience. I wrote a blog about the hairbrushing thing called, ‘Let Me Help You With That Kink.’ That’s how I felt in the beginning when scrolling through YouTube in search of something that would quiet my mind. Just a little kinky.
But now I’ve been introduced to a whole new level of strange. I clicked on what I thought was my video and the usual ASMR sign came up. But this time, there was no hairbrush or masseuse waiting for me. Instead, a gold sprayed mannequin head came into view, along with a woman holding a pair of Q tips. To my surprise and discomfort, she proceeded to insert the swabs in the ears of the mannequin. In, out, in out. Like some kind of ear masturbation. I exited out of that one and lo and behold, another mannequin appeared, wearing a set of headphones. A woman stroked the headphones over and over again and I found myself wondering how anyone on earth would find this relaxing. It was just so weird.
It turns out that the world of ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a wide one, and what makes me feel like falling asleep just doesn’t do it for some people. There’s one where someone gets an eye exam. There’s different videos of people whispering. Some people tap on wood, or books, or balls. (The bouncing kind.) People hum, they whistle, or smoke in their cars.Maybe the last is meant for people who’ve quit and miss it. Truly, there’s something for everyone.
It’s left me wondering. If my videos relax me because it feels like someone is brushing my hair or giving me a massage, how did these other scenarios originate? What are people doing with mannequins, anyway? And who decided gold was the colour for the head, and that Q tips would be a hit? Who enjoys seeing headphones get a good rubdown? I wonder how the videographers figure these things out. Do they have a team? Are they taking requests? I have no idea. But to explain how people feel diving into the deep end of weird videos, I’ll quote the lyrics from Lady Gaga’s moving duet with Bradley Cooper in ‘A Star is Born.’
I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in
I’ll never meet the ground
Crash through the surface, where they can’t hurt us
We’re far from the shallow now
Yes, we are, people. We’re waaaaaaay far from the shallows. But whatever makes you sleep at night, whatever has your body falling into a deep state of relaxation, remember this. Never put anything in your ear that’s small than your elbow. Now you stay safe. Good night. And here’s a little something for your resting pleasure.