But there’s another set of YouTubers, who haven’t become household names like Zoella and Tanya Burr just yet, who are clocking up similar kinds of viewing figures bygently whispering, crinkling stuff, playing with Lego and even pretending to give you an eye examination.
Dedicated fans watch these kinda eerie, kinda soothing videos in droves to experience the spine-tingling, brain-gasming, goosebump-inducing phenomenon known as Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR).
This maybe-real-maybe-not phenomenon could be new to some of you, but ASMR has been discussed online under different labels and by all kinds of crowds, from psychologists keen to get to the bottom of its calming powers, to those who see it as a sex thing (well of course) to regular ol’ people for years.
Over the past year or so ASMR took off and generated significant press coverage everywhere from BoingBoing to the BBC. Its popularity is often attributed to a now infamous Reddit thread, which posed the simple yet loaded question “TIL [today I learnt] about ASMR, aka “that unnamed feeling” or “head orgasms.” So who else here has this?”