Shire RAs give their residents the tingles with ASMR activities.

The staff of Azusa Pacific’s Shire Mods residence decided to jump on the ever growing trend of ASMR, autonomous sensory meridian response, by hosting their own ASMR night. Residents were invited to participate in several ASMR triggering activities such as playing with bowls of Orbeez, water beads.

The Orbeez bowl station was one of the four ASMR-stimulating activities that APU students engaged in on Jan. 25, as part of a community event hosted by the Shire Mods residence advisors.

The ASMR trend has grown in popularity, exponentially so since 2014. ASMR appeals to an individual’s auditory senses. It is thoroughly relaxing, also known as a brain orgasm. ASMR is considered to be a form of therapy by many.

The trend has developed a vast online presence on YouTube, creating a culture of “feel good” videos that aim to provide viewers with relaxing sensations. Although some ASMR videos on YouTube garner millions of views, not all audience members find the effects of ASMR therapeutic.

Psychology Today discussed how some viewers turn to ASMR videos as a means of relaxation and relief from depression, insomnia and chronic pain, while others were bored by them.

Oralia Fuenz, the RA of K-court and a junior public relations major, said the RAs of the Shire Mods wanted to be creative with their event theme.  

“It’s different from watching a movie together,” Fuenz said.

The Orbeez station, which consisted of three bowls filled with different colored Orbeez water beads, was the most popular ASMR activity of the night.

Gaby Carranza, the RA of J court and a junior social work major, said squeezing the beads of jelly relaxed her.

“This is a new interactive event that stimulates our senses and brings forth an element of de-stressing,” Carranza said. “My favorite was the Orbeez station.”

To the left of the Orbeez station were two huge bags filled with shredded paper. The RAs encouraged residents to stick their hand in the bag to squeeze and feel the paper.

Along with the relaxation element, the Shire staff also decided to add a little competition to the event. The RAs went around the Shire Mods and recorded various sounds, such as falling rain, an opening front door and an air conditioner turning on.

Residents listened to 11 different sounds and were challenged to guess the source of each one. The resident that had the best score received a prize, a bowl of Orbeez to take home.

At the next station, RAs Fuenz and Alex Acala set up a table with a variety of different colored Jell-O. Participants would take a knife, cut a sliver of Jell-O and then eat it.

“(I like) that it interacts with all the different senses: touch, taste, smell, sight and sound,” said Acacia Trusdell, RA of L court and senior youth and a family ministry major

To accompany each station, the RAs had various ASMR videos playing in the background. These videos featured people cutting bars of soap, slicing kinetic sand, tapping on phones and wooden tables, in addition to other popular ASMR activities.

While the majority of residents enjoyed the event’s theme, some simply came to support the Shire community despite a lack of interest in ASMR.

“I personally am not a fan of ASMR,” said Samantha Waipa, a junior public relations major. “But I love how the Mods staff is taking a creative viral idea and applying it to an event that the residents can come together and participate in.”