ASMRtists, Mad Wizardry, and Non-Verbal Communication
I watched this video and I felt like I had stumbled upon the YouTube channel of a 2000-year-old wizard. Obviously, the first choice in a career for an ancient wizard in the body of a young British man would be in ASMR YouTube videos. What else would he do?
What is going on with these videos? I have written a few posts on ASMR now, but even through research, the entire thing seems MAD! and it got me thinking:
Why do I prefer some ASMRtists to others? They all use the same sensory triggers, generally, and some have high-quality well-produced videos, but I cannot sit through more than a few minutes of it!
It must be that I am connecting with more than just the sensory triggers. The tingly effects must come from a combination of the ASMR techniques and the non-verbal communication of the ASMRtist.
ASMR and Non-Verbal Communication
Non-verbal communication is a key to how we feel and react in our everyday interactions. When we are talking to someone in-person, the left side of the brains is listening to the words spoken, while the right side of our brain is assessing what they are not saying ie. body language, facial gestures, tone, and inflection, etc.
We are constantly, and unknowingly, evaluating the people around us and weighing the information we receive based on a history of impressions we develop in our right brains over the span of our lives.
Why? The right brain is the older and more primal hemisphere. The right brain is more intuitive and instinctual and looks for patterns and threats.
Essentially, non-verbal communication dictates whether we feel comfortable with someone. If we feel mistrustful or uncomfortable with someone, we are less likely to want to listen.
What makes an ASMRtist great?
Welcome to my subjective thoughts on greatness! Everyone is soothed in different ways by different things, in endless varying combinations so it would be impossible for me to say why YOU think someone is great. However, I have noticed that there are some typical qualities for popular ASMRtists. Ultimately it is more or less a combination of these three non-verbal signals:
Obviously, the voice is tremendously important. (It is for this reason that I have dismissed all thoughts of making those videos myself!) Tone and inflection can signify a negative or positive response based on your memories and history. Meaning if the tone or inflection reminds you (unconsciously) of someone who has deceived you or threatened you in the past, then you are more likely to have a negative response to their voice.
There is also something about their general presence, in that some, like AshASMR in the video above, where the energy or the WAY they speak and carry themselves that feels genuine. Body language is too vast a subject to summarize here, but what I can say is that our bodies give off subtle cues about who we are, what we think, and our intentions.
In addition to being genuine, the personality of the ASMRtist seems to attract me based on whether I think they are people I would hang out with in the real world.
Even though technology has made our world smaller, and gives us access to many people we would otherwise not associate with, there are still many instances of like attracts like. Particularly when it comes to videos online.
I think the reason the attraction to certain people is stronger than others is because the video maintains half the real world connection of non-verbal communication. Half because the person speaking in the videos is not speaking to you directly and cannot respond or communicate their impression of you.
Basically, we choose who relaxes us the same way we choose who we trust and who we want as a friend.
So there we go.. The reason I don’t choose which ASMR videos to watch based solely on production quality or content is because the ASMRtist’s appeal is almost entirely based on my history of nonverbal communication.
Now I am wondering… where my experience with a
2000- year-old Wizard comes from!?