Monday, January 31, 2011

The Difference Between Intentional and Incidental Triggers

Just like the two recognised types of ASMR, type A and B, it seems as though we are becoming conscious of the fact that there is perhaps more than one type of trigger. You have an incidental trigger, and an intentional trigger.

So what exactly would qualify as an intentional trigger video compared to an incidental one?

If you have to look at the ones that cause incidental triggers – the most popular ones on the ASMR playlist – you have to think then that these would not be intentional triggers. These are mainly incidental trigger videos. They haven’t been created with ASMR in mind, and were made for other purposes. Experiencers such as us just happen to get that familiar tingling feeling while watching them.

I would argue that almost every trigger out there is an incidental one. Because something as mundane as someone flipping through a magazine or reading a newspaper would have little to no effect on most people; it does have quite an effect on an experiencer.

This presents a problem, as firstly, it still has to be decided what an intentional trigger video is, and how you’d go about making one. If we think about it, we can come up with the following criteria so far:

- I reckon it has to be crafted with ASMR in mind.
- Likely would be created by a community member, or supporter of sorts.
- It would perhaps focus on one or more of the many triggers reported by the community, such as the list on my article on HubPages.
- More than one asmer would actually have to experience ASMR for it to be labelled as intentional. This is tricky seeing as what might work for one person will not work for another. We know this all to well. Some people enjoy digital media, such as watching YouTube, whilst others do not gain any benefit from doing so.
I think that is how basic it really is, seeing as it’s like I said: when you think about it, likely most if not all triggers are incidental in nature. So even if a video in created with the intention of stimulating the sensation, it’s likely still going to be categorised as an incidental trigger. It’s probably much easier to class something as intentional if it works only for you.

What do you think? Can we add anything more to the checklist when it comes to categorizing intentional triggers? Feel free to chime in, in the comments.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The UNF YouTube Channel Reaches 200 Videos!

Okay, so I wasn’t going to post about this here. But it is a milestone, and probably deserves some recognition.

The good news is that the UNF YouTube Channel finally reached 200 videos. The bad news is that 200 videos is the limit per playlist, as is enforced by YouTube. So, I could have started a new playlist, but what I did, was I created two new ones. I then went through all the recommended videos that have been added since June last year, and then added specific trigger videos to those new playlists.

In other words, instead of having  all trigger videos in one playlist, I’ve now got four playlists. One is the big playlist, which consists of how-to videos and the like; then there’s the community videos, which all ready has a few in the playlist; there’s the new music playlist, which consists of all music videos and the like which have been recommended by the community (99% of them by Mr. Adam Wilson!); finally there’s the trailers and short films playlist, which is pretty self-explanatory.

I’ve really wanted to do this for some time, but it was only just the other day when I received this message telling me that I’d reached my limit for the playlist, where I actually had the motivation to go and do all this.

This way, the main playlist has been reduced to ±150 videos for now, which gives us some more time to keep adding videos of that nature before it becomes full again. At this juncture, I will either have to group some videos into new playlists, or just start a part II playlist so to speak (if that makes sense).

But in any case, complications aside, there are now over 200 videos on the UNF Channel.

Thanks to all who posted their recommendations on Facebook, the forums, this blog, or even sent me emails and private messages with links to their favourite trigger videos.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tingle Triggers: Sign Language

For years now there’s been something that I’ve experienced every now and again, and it happens predominantly when I watch TV. There are programs that sometimes have features intended for the disabled out there – mainly the hearing impaired.

There is one show on local TV called DTV. I assume this stands for Deaf TV (no offense intended), and has programming dedicated to those who do not have the gift (and in some cases are fortunate enough!) of hearing.

But another common program would be the news. On occasion, on certain news channel like ETV (a local channel here in SA), you’ll have the new anchor reading a bulletin, and in the bottom corner you’ll see a person carrying out some sign language to accompany it. I find while listening to the news anchor and watching this man (sometimes a woman), I usually do get a case of ASMR.

              385px-Sign_language_A.svg 390px-Sign_language_S.svg 466px-Sign_language_M.svg 261px-Sign_language_R.svg

                This stands for “ASMR” in fingerspelling (ASL). Pictures courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

So I realised here that out of all the trigger videos recommended by the community, barely any of them have sign language. And this seems to work for me, so I set out on YouTube to find some sign language videos. They’re not all that hard to find, and I mainly came across some instructional sign language clips, which show you how to position your hands for letters of the alphabet and numbers too. If you watch any, be sure to recommend them if they work for you!

So, do you ever watch programming for the hearing impaired, or sign language, just for the rewards you experience internally, or not?

I wonder if there are any deaf people out there who experience this phenomenon we know as ASMR. If sound can’t possibly work as a trigger, then sight, touch, or smell must, surely. Contact the group, or me personally, if you have something to share on this matter.

Monday, January 17, 2011

We Need Some More Intentional Trigger Videos

I brought this up on the blog a while back – sometime last year, I believe, in December. And in this post I wish to expand upon this issue a bit.

Up until now, for the last few months, the UNF YouTube Channel and its ASMR playlist has been around for everyone in the community to enjoy. This playlist contains mainly incidental trigger videos. What this means is that they are videos made by people across the globe, on varying topics, which may or may not trigger an ASMR event in people susceptible to it (AKA asmers).

But what we don’t have, as has been brought to my attention recently (and I’ve noticed this for some time myself) is that we don’t have many intentional trigger videos yet, if any at all, apart perhaps from one or two. Still, incidental trigger videos outnumber intentional trigger videos by about 99% to date.

So what I’m trying to ask here is that in addition to the community recommending videos on YouTube for the existing playlist, could we think about making some of our own videos and uploading them too? It’s not a critical situation, but if anyone has made a video, or has plans of making one, then please don’t hesitate to upload it to an account and then tell us about it. I’ve also thought created separate playlist for member-created videos that are meant to trigger ASMR.

They don’t have to be videos. They could be sound clips as well, by the way. To my knowledge you can still work some way to upload these to YouTube. You just wouldn’t have any picture, is all. Or you might have a picture while the sound plays, but no video.

So what you’ll need to make video or sound clips is fairly straightforward:

- A camera. This can be a cellphone camera, or a webcam, or you could use a compact or proper digital camera too. Whatever is available will work. it just needs to be able to capture videos. I’m not sure if anyone in the community experiences ASMR from just pictures. I haven’t heard of any for now!

- A recorder. Most digital cameras that I know of can capture audio too, by switching the shooting modes from picture to video. But if you don’t want to shoot video, and just want audio, then you could try a recorder of some sorts. I personally know that my Smartphone has both a camera as well as an audio or sound recorder. You get MP3 players that have this feature too.

- A workstation of some sort. Whether you upload the clip from your PC, laptop, or mobile, you somehow need to get it from your memory card or hard drive onto the web, preferably YouTube. I say this because the UNF Channel is on this website, and I feel that it would be unnecessary for the ASMR network to spread itself too thin over too many websites – for the time being anyway. If you are for some reason unable to do this, then just upload it somewhere else and notify me of it’s location. In fact, do this regardless of where you put it. A link on the Facebook Group wall, or something, should be fine.

I don’t yet know of a website similar to YouTube which would deal with audio clips. So if you can make the audio clip into a format which will be acceptable on YouTube, then please do this. Otherwise, upload it somewhere, and leave a link on one of the network sites for us to find it.

I might also chip in some time with my own cameras and recorders, but for the moment I thought it would be great to reach out the the community on this matter.

Thanks, and have fun!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

When Trigger Immunity Strikes: Tingles of the Past

I’ve read of several accounts within the community that have to do with trigger immunity. That is, when a trigger that once worked, perhaps consistently and intensely, has now ceased to work.

This can happen if you listen to or watch a trigger video or some such too often, that you eventually build up a tolerance to it. You’ve most likely heard of a tolerance level as regards alcohol and drugs – you take a drug, and at first you can get high on a little; over time it takes more and more to reach that high. In some cases the drug just stop working completely, or so it seems, and you cannot even get out of that low to reach normality.

But at least with ASMR, you don’t get any of the harsh withdrawal symptoms, and the lows aren’t nearly as bad, I would imagine. Merely just some disappointment accompanies it.

The good news is that sometimes, just like with the aforementioned substances, if you stop listening to the sounds or watching the sights that cause ASMR, then if you pick it up again later on down the line, it might just work again. There are some other tips and tricks on the blog that I wrote a while back to help when you think that immunity, or tolerance level might be a problem.

But the most interesting part of trigger immunity is when one thinks back to triggers we had as children or thereabouts. When I think back to that time, I was able to watch and listen to our gardener working; trimming hedges and so on. I would get such intense tingles – something that I don’t get nearly as often any more. It’s not as though I’ve tried lately, but I doubt that I would find it nearly as soothing nowadays. In fact, gardeners are something I’ve associated with negative feelings – especially the noisy services or teams you hear around the neighbourhood at times! This could well be a reason why I don’t experience tingles when listening to gardening any more.

If you think back to when you were younger, likely some of the triggers that worked then, no longer work today. This could sadly be a consequence of the belief that as one gets older, ASMR starts to wane. Maybe when we were young, we experience the sensations more intensely, and from more sources.

I also have a theory that I have personally experienced. Years ago I mainly encountered triggers in the real world, when listening to something outside or in the class room. But now it’s migrated to predominantly being triggered by digital media – such as watching TV or listening to the radio. And I think these things make up a fairly big part of my life, and it might well be the same with others; to the point where triggers that were common at one point when dealing with people in person no longer work. They often say that this web-generation’s brains are wired differently to the average person you might have come across ten years ago or more.

Trigger immunity can also be caused by drugs or medicines. There’s a belief among some of the community that the chemical in the body known as serotonin, is the key to ASMR. The chemical known as dopamine is the opposite – it shuts it down. And if you take medications that interfere with these chemicals, you might well experience the sensation less often; less intensely; or not at all. And think how common this must be seeing as I’m sure at least most of us have been on some sort of drug at some point.

I often read some of the stories of people on the Facebook Group, where they claim that they go as long as years at a time between events!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tingle Triggers: Lice Checks

LouseBuster treatment When I was in Primary School, way back in the 2nd or 3rd grade, there was one time of the year which most of us school kids dreaded: the day when we went for lice checks. It was usually unannounced as far as I remember, to prevent someone from doing something sneaky like wearing a wig, or shaving their hair off or something. It was a case of “Kids, lice check time, let’s go! Move, move, move!”

But I for one, enjoyed these days, and wished they happened more often. Class by class we were led over to the area just outside the large swimming pool. The wind blew softly through the trees which stood above the cracked asphalt, caused by their roots. Here it was quiet. Nobody could hear you scream.

A white outdoor chair was placed on the ground, and we were forced to wait in line, and take our turn in the seat while others watched, as the ladies with their white prostate-checking gloves combed through our hair.
I found this experience to be exhilarating. I would sit there with my eyes closed as the sun gently shone through the leaves and warmed my scalp, all the while feeling her hands working all over my head. The check only lasted for several seconds all in all, but I wish it lasted longer. Later, I almost felt like going back for seconds (literally)!

I remember once the lice check was over, and I went home from school later that day, I tried to replicate the check myself. I sat there and moved my hands slowly and thoughtfully through my hair, but it just wasn’t the same as when it was done by someone else. It felt really good. I can almost trigger off the sensations by thinking back to those events.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New UNF Poll up: Do You Believe ASMR is Hereditary?

This, like the previous post, has to do with a theory that is quite commonly supported within the community, with several members accounts telling of multiple family members having been blessed with this gift we know as ASMR.

This could well fall under medical and/or scientific theories as pertaining to the last poll, and I thought that because of the link it would be interesting to feature it here. I was going to put up a post about the possibility of ASMR being hereditary at one point, but I hit a bit of a wall. Yes, I had accounts from a few people out there on the matter, but I wanted more people to actually chime in, so here it is: the new poll.

The options in the poll will be as follows:

Yes, my parent/sibling/child has it, as do I.

If you father or mother reports having the same sort of tingling sensation then you should probably vote for this option in the poll. The same goes if your siblings, as in brothers or sisters, has it, of your child has it. The only real way to find out whether they have it or not, it ask… unfortunately. Or else you could direct them to one of the network sites such as the Facebook Group. Even if they don’t personally experience it, who knows? You might gain a supporter!

Even if you are a non-experiencer but support the group, you could vote here if one of your family has it. In fact, non-experiencers may vote in any category. Go on, I encourage you to do so! You are welcome.

No, nobody else in my family has it.

If nobody else in your family that you know of (perhaps after asking them) has it, then you might be inclined to vote here. Don’t be ashamed of it or anything. After talking to some of my family members, I’m quite convinced that I’m alone in experiencing this as far as my family goes. But that doesn’t mean to say that I will necessarily vote here.

Perhaps; it’s possible.

Whether your family has it or not, you might vote for this option if you believe that people who do have family who experience it may well be genuine, and you think that ASMR may well be hereditary, as in it’s possible for it to pass from one generation to the next.

No, I don’t support this theory.

This is if you do not support the theory of ASMR being hereditary. You could even vote here if you believe that all people in fact have it on some level or another, and so the theory of it being heredity is in fact redundant, seeing as it’s akin to most people having the use of their senses, namely sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Perhaps those who claim not to experience it just have not realised it or become aware of it like others have.

So that’s it. Get voting! The poll is on the sidebar somewhere. You’re only allowed one vote for a poll, just as a reminder.

Monday, January 3, 2011

UNF Latest Poll Result: Which ASMR Theories do you Support?

So, that last poll to be featured on the website was all about the various theories out there concerning ASMR, and which ones you personally believed in and supported more than the others.

The poll ran for about three months or so to get enough people in to vote. Everyone had their last chance at the end of last month, and now it’s unfortunately closed.

The result of the poll is kind of what I expected, with scientific and/or medical theories garnering most of the votes. 13 People voted this way, which made up a tad more than 3/4 or 75% of the total votes (76%).

But now we move on to the runners up. 3 People out there voted for spiritual theories. This isn’t to be confused with the religious theories out there as I explained in the introduction to this poll a while back. But basically anything involving chakra, kundalini, or what what some might refer to as “New Age” theories would fall under this category. So that nearly made up for the remaining amount of votes out there, with 3 equalling about 17% in the poll. Then one person (5%) voted for psychic and/or paranormal theories.

So two categories were unaccounted for and therefore did not qualify in the total amount of votes. Those categories were religious theories, and “other” – in case you didn’t support any of the above mentioned categories.

Thanks for voting, and for being honest when taking part in the poll. No one category is necessarily right and the others wrong. If you support and believe in one theory, or two, or all of them, you are free to do so. What I support may not necessarily be what you believe in, or reflect on the entire community, and I won’t try to convince you otherwise. If it makes you happy to believe in whatever theory, then you must go with that. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

I think we can all agree on one thing though, and that is that whatever this phenomenon is and where it originated from, it certainly is wonderful and I personally cherish it every day and every time I get to experience it.

The next poll will be up soon, within the next few days, and will likely run until sometime at the end of March or early April, unless otherwise stated at some point. What it will be about will be announced soon, so stay tuned!

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