The Dark Side OF ASMR: Why I Stopped Making Relaxation Videos

Originally posted Februrary 2020. Last updated May 2023

Hello Twisties,

As you may recall, a little while ago I asked you all to give me your opinion on this short audio clip. While it was an interesting experiment, I decided not to continue making ASMR or relaxation videos, after all. There were several reasons for this.

My Strength Is In My Writing

If I’m being honest with you, I’m not confident in talking to someone that I can’t see. I don’t know how you’re reacting, and that can really screw up my confidence in what I’m trying to achieve. I hope that those of you who did enjoy the audio did find my voice soothing and relaxing, but there is no guarantee that everyone did. With that being said, the way I write (and, usually, what I write about) seems to connect more with my audience. It makes more sense to stick to what I do well.

I Also Don’t Have Camera Confidence

Hiding behind a graphic isn’t really the best for ASMR. Viewers want to see the creator and they like to be able to see the things you do, and I most certainly don’t have the confidence for the camera. Not only, but marks on the tabletop, bad camera angles and poor lighting make for bad videos. I’m someone who uses her words, I don’t know nearly so much about photos and videos.

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I Ran Out Of Ideas (AKA I Was Overstretching Myself)

One of the hardest parts of creating relaxation videos is coming up with new ideas. Unlike my dear friend Penny Berry who has the continued support of her husband, over here at Big, Bold & Bright, it’s just me who runs this blog. Finding things to write about can sometimes be challenging enough. When I was planning ideas for relaxation videos as well, it was really an awful lot of pressure that I was putting on myself. As well as doing my five-a-week blog posts, I would need to come up with video ideas, record them, edit them and upload them. That, on top of running a home and being a wife, dog mom, daughter, sister and friend, is an awful lot of work, and that level of pressure was making me frazzled and ill. So that I could deliver my best, I needed to dial back on what I could do.

Small Dogs Don’t Make Good Recording Partners

I live in a small, one-bedroom flat. My lounge and dog’s sleeping area is immediately outside my bedroom door, my small dog is vocal and my Blue Yeti microphone is extremely sensitive. If you think such a scenario would be frustrating after your eighth take for the same video, take that frustration and multiple it by about 1000. As much as I’d love to give and support you and help you to relax, I have posts to write and other things that I need to do too. Even when he wasn’t barking, the microphone would still pick up the sound of him scratching and shuffling around at night.

Your Sleep Is Not My Sleep

Something that many relaxation creators and ‘ASMRtists’ won’t tell you is that many of them stay up late at night to film. They stay up to record while the rest of the world is sleeping, sometimes even sleeping to the content that they create. I like to sleep too and I need to be up early to let Hugo outside. On the days that I was creating ASMR videos, I’d stay up until 4 am and sometimes only get three hours of sleep.

As a married woman, I really should be going to bed with my husband. We don’t see each other much as it is with his shifts, and so me staying up late to record videos had even more of an impact on us. If I encourage him to finish on time so that he can come home and spend time with me, I can’t then be staying up late and spending my time away from him.

Maybe ASMR IS Addictive

A former favourite “ASMRtist” of mine, Olivia Kissper, once claimed that ASMR is addictive as a coping mechanism and compared ASMR to heroin. While I would never draw such an association myself, I couldn’t help but feel as though perhaps Olivia was onto something. What if my audience did just listen to the relaxing sounds and didn’t try some of the CBT-based techniques on my blog? That’s not a risk that I wanted to take. I want to help you, my readers, manage your mental health to the fullest. I want to connect with you and share techniques with you as someone who also experiences anxiety, rather than just lulls you to sleep.

Of course, there are probably many other reasons that people may, or may not, decide to give up making relaxation videos or ASMR. Some people feel targeted and harassed by the Youtube community, some decide to move on to other ventures and some may be ashamed of their involvement in ASMR. Whatever the reason, it’s important to understand that people may move away from video-making, for any reason that suits them.

Have you been involved with the production of relaxation videos or ASMR? How was your experience? Do let me know in the comments or click here for more posts by me!

Until next time,

Stay safe & have fun,

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