“You wanna do some ASMR?”

 

If you’ve watched HBO’s latest hit The White Lotus (and if you haven’t, I suggest you do immediately) you may remember a scene where teen mean girls Olivia and Paula pause their bitching and poolside posing for a dreamlike sequence of whispering, breathing and slow, repetitive sounds.

 

Viewers will doubtless fall into two camps: those who understand what it is the girls are doing, and those madly googling “What is ASMR?”

 

Coined in 2010 by Jennifer Allen, a member of an online community discussing the phenomenon, the acronym stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. The Oxford English Dictionary defines ASMR as “a feeling of wellbeing combined with a tingling sensation in the scalp and down the back of the neck, as experienced by some people in response to a specific gentle stimulus, often a particular sound. ASMR is triggered by things like whispering voices, paper tearing, and scalp massage.”

 

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