Tuesday, September 6, 2011

ASMR: The Story So Far – A Timeline with History

This is a project I started last year. I began to document the rise of what we now know as ASMR, among other names. I got names, dates, and I’ve given brief descriptions for anyone interested in how things have progressed in a relatively short amount of time.

This article isn’t finished and will be added to in the future, especially as new events take place. If you have any suggestions for notable events that should be documented here, or feel that something should be changed or updated, then feel free to leave a comment, or contact me by email, or by some other channel within the network.

ASMR Timeline

2007 and earlier - Discussion on varied forums on the World Wide Web.
Several forum threads were started as far back as this year, with the most notable ones appearing on Is It Normal as well as Steadyhealth. These threads still exist, and to date the number of them online has grown colossally.

2007 - Coining of terms AIHO and AIE

It was on Steadyhealth that I first read about the initial terms coined by posters, such as AIHO and AIE. AIHO stands for Attention Induced Head Orgasm, and AIE stands for Attention Induced Euphoria.

2008 - Start of AIHO.org.

AIHO.org was basically a forum dedicated to the sensation experienced by many people worldwide, who had joined in discussions on sites such as Steadyhealth. The forum never took off and had only a few members at most. The site was inactive for a long time until 2010, when it was apparently shut down for reasons unknown. The site might have been taken down, or the person didn’t bother to renew the hosting.

2009 – Founding of Society of Sensationalists Yahoo Group.

Ryan, “AKA M?stery”, who had participated on Steadyhealth forum discussions, started a Yahoo Group called Society of Sensationalists, or “SoS” for short. Many threads or messages were started over the next several months, until mid-2010 when activity on the group suddenly fell off – this was likely due to the next event on this timeline, listed below. The group had 15 – 20 members at its height. Ryan went on to be part of the original ASMR research team for a few months before leaving to pursue other interests, mainly music-related.

ASMR Group Feb, 2010 – Founding of ASMR Group on Facebook.

This month saw a surge in web activity regarding what was to become known as ASMR – adding to several other acronyms and slang terms all ready thought up over the past year or two across the web.
Jenn, AKA Envelope Nomia, founded the ASMR Facebook Group, which eventually became one of the biggest network sites in existence, with its own discussion threads and wall postings.

Feb, 2010 – Founding of The Unnamed Feeling blog.

The same month, Andrew started The Unnamed Feeling blog, referred to as UNF for short. Andrew eventually went on to be recruited in to the research team which had been assembled earlier on in the year.

Feb, 2010 – Coining of terms, AIOEU and ASMR.

The term ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, was coined by Jenn, and became one of the most widely used acronyms to refer to these head tingles experienced by people in the then developing community.

AIOEU was coined by Andrew, and is an extension of the AIE acronym, and stands for Attention-Induced Observant Euphoria.

Hug Your Brain Day April, 2010 – First Hug Your Brain Day is launched

The first ASMR-themed online event is launched, Hug Your Brain Day, with members of the community encouraged to support it. The objective is to spend the entire day, or as much of it as possible, trying to achieve the most intense ASMR sensations one can. The event is repeated the following year, but not in such an official capacity. We now have a logo for the event though, thanks to our logo designer extraordinaire, Jenn.

June, 2010 – Official Formation of ASMR Research Team, First Team Meeting

The research team, which at that time consisted of seven members, had their first meeting over Skype, using instant messaging, or IM to communicate. The first meeting took place over two and a half hours, and half of the research team turned up.

Some of the remaining team members had problems with Skype initially. This was corrected and the other half of the team met up the following day on the weekend to catch up with what had been discussed previously.

June, 2010 – UNF YouTube Channel with ASMR Playlist started up

Andrew, the Outreach Agent of Africa and webmaster of The Unnamed Feeling, started the UNF YouTube channel, with all existing trigger videos that had been up until then posted on forums and the Facebook Group wall, collected and put in one place. Videos are added almost every other day. Since then, several playlists now exist – all dedicated to different trigger types, which mainly fall under Type B.

ASMR Research & Support June, 2010 – ASMR Research and Support website started.

Jenn, the founder of the ASMR Facebook Group, founded the ASMR Research and Support website, which initially had links to profiles of the research team members, and room for personal and team blogs. It developed over the months and eventually featured a sign up form for volunteers and potential team members. It is the first and only website in the ASMR Network with paid-for-hosting; the others being hosted free on places such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yahoo, and Blogger/Blogspot.

June, 2010 – ASMR article published on HubPages

Andrew published a full-length article on his profile on HubPages – a content publishing website, and once one of the top 50 websites in the US (since then it’s dropped). It has a list of potential triggers as well as possible symptoms and side effects of ASMR. It remains one of the biggest “catching points” or “nets” – sites that send traffic to the other ASMR network sites.

June, 2010 – Establishment of the ASMR Network.

The ASMR Network is a broad collection of sites and communities. It includes the Society of Sensationalists Yahoo Group, the ASMR Facebook Group, The Unnamed Feeling blog, the UNF YouTube Channel, The ASMR Twitter page, and the ASMR Research and Support website and forums. AIHO.org was at one time acknowledged as a network site, but now that it has ceased to exist, that is no longer the case.

Other forums and sites that are not dedicated to ASMR, but discuss it and link to ASMR network sites, are not core ASMR websites or communities, but exist on an outer fringe so to speak. These include a sizeable community on Reddit, for instance, among many other websites. Some who participate in the ASMR community on Facebook often go over to Reddit as well.

July, 2010 – Start of ASMR forums

The ASMR Research and Support website launches the official ASMR forums, with plenty of different topics and discussion threads opened. Jenn is the administrator, and all other existing research team members are given moderator permissions.

August, 2010 – Migration of existing Facebook Group and Yahoo Group threads to ASMR forums for archival purposes.

Discussion threads from other ASMR network sites are archived on the official ASMR forums. Existing threads on the Facebook group are slowly deleted and done away with. Reasons for this include privacy issues on Facebook, as well as a future reformation of Facebook Groups which would take place in 2011.

November, 2010 – Beginning of First Video Trial

The first video trial is launched this month after much preparation. It took place on the ASMR Research and Support website, and consisted of a video and later a survey. This was in aid of getting some solid research in order to add to the research team’s portfolio – eventually with the aim of reaching out to a potential representative in a scientific field such as Neuroscience or Social Anthropology, and eventually gaining a research grant from a scientific body.

November, 2010 – Start of Hungarian ASMR blog, Magyar ASMR

The first foreign-language blog dedicated to ASMR is started. This is Magyar ASMR, and is developed in Hungarian. To date, only one entry exists on the blog.

November, 2010 – ASMR spreads in different languages over the web

In addition to the Hungarian ASMR blog, blog posts start to crop up in other languages, such as Spanish – one of the big two languages in the world. This proves more useful than one would think seeing as all of the network sites are in English, and translation capabilities are limited.

ASMR YouTube, TwitterDecember, 2010 – Start of ASMR Twitter page

Andrew went on to add to the existing network sites by creating the official twitter page for the group. Slowly the community starts to grow, and more and more people start using the #ASMR tag.

February, 2011 – ASMR Facebook Group and UNF Both Celebrate 1 year of Existence

February, 2011 – ASMR subreddits on Reddit start appearing

A community member known as mahi mahi starts arguably the first ASMR subreddit. After this, several subreddits dedicated to ASMR or something like it spring up, but one of the most active subreddits dedicated to ASMR to date was originally known as “Orgasms for your brain", but has since changed to “Massages for your brain”. Reason being because the moderators felt that there was too much of a sexual connotation which participants wanted to avoid having. This subreddit specifically is considered as being more part of the core ASMR Network rather than being on the fringe.

April, 2011 – Reformation of Facebook Groups

Facebook wanted to bring in a new format when it comes to Groups on the social networking site, and so preparations were made to upgrade the group to the new format – otherwise it would have been archived and further participation would not have been allowed.

June, 2011 – ASMR Facebook page is put up

Envelope Nomia starts the ASMR Facebook page, in addition to the ASMR Facebook group. This is a more official, formal place for ASMR, and is open to the public unlike the group. Existing ASMR research team members are given administrative rights.

June, 2011 – Starting and maintaining of the ASMR Wikipedia page begins

A thus far unknown individual started the ASMR Wikipedia page this month. Later on, Jenn would go on to add most of the existing content on said page.

July, 2011 - ASMR IRC channel started

A community member starts up an internet relay chat channel dedicated to ASMR.

July, 2011 – ASMR Videos blog started

A community member starts up a dedicated blog where he reviews trigger video and sound clips.

August, 2011 - ASMR Off-Topic Facebook Group is formed

Ryan (not M?stery) starts up the ASMR Off-Topic Facebook Group, where asmers can congregate to discuss things that aren’t necessarily related to ASMR in any way. Ryan and Adam, a well-known community member, go on to become the two administrators of the group. Inside jokes begin to emerge that this is actually a splinter group with evil plans to take over the world!

September, 2011 – First ASMR Radio Interview

On the 21st of September, 2011, 96.5 FM AKA “The Buzz”, hosted by Afentra and Dannyboi, has an interview with an anonymous experiencer via phone call. The interview was organised on the social bookmarking website Reddit, and via PM the day before. It took place at 08:30 AM CST in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

September, 2011 – Wikipedia page deleted

After much debate, the article on Wikipedia about ASMR was deleted by an administrator. Work begins on an ASMR Network owned and operated Wiki instead.

December, 2011 – ASMR discovered on tumblr

An ASMR presence starts to appear on tumblr, one of the most popular blogging services.

January, 2012 – Work begins on an ASMR documentary

A filmmaker and member of the community announces that an ASMR documentary is in the early stages of pre-production.

February, 2012 – ASMR Facebook Group and UNF Both Celebrate 2 years of Existence

The ASMR Facebook group and The Unnamed Feeling blog were both formed in February, 2010.

February, 2012 – An ASMR App is Released

Two versions of an ASMR app are released, with news of them being posted on Reddit. One is a free beta version, and the other is a paid-for app. Both are for Android operating systems only.

February, 2012 New moderators for the Facebook group are elected

Some volunteer, others are appointed, and others are elected by the group. The result is that there are several new moderators on the ASMR Facebook group starting late February, early March.

March, 2012 First International ASMR Day event is announced

April 9, 2012 marks the first ever International ASMR Day event.

March, 2012 ASMR Atlanta meetup.com event created

An event is set up on meetup.com for euphorians in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, who wish to get together. 

March, 2012 ASMR Radio website and Facebook group launched

The official ASMR Radio website is launched by Whispering Weaver, who also goes on to create a new Facebook group. The first broadcast is scheduled for April 9th, 2012 - International ASMR Day.

April, 2012 - First International ASMR Day event takes place, ASMR Radio has its first official broadcast

April, 2012 - Hug Your Brain Day 2012

The third annual Hug Your Brain Day takes place on the 24th of April.  

May, 2012 - The ASMR Facebook group reaches 3000 members

May, 2012 - ASMR Mid-Atlantic Facebook group is launched

May, 2012 - ASMR Radio uses the donations received from the public to upgrade the service

May, 2012 - The possibility of an ASMR-themed TV segment is proposed

June, 2012 - The ASMR Project is launched

The ASMR Project is centred around ASMR video compilations.

June, 2012 - ASMR Radio closes down, to be revived later on

July, 2012 - An article on ASMR appears in the Independent

Rhodri Marsden publishes a piece on ASMR .

July, 2012 - A Reddit ASMR survey takes place

A large Reddit ASMR survey is compiled and presented on Google Docs. The results for the preliminary run are released. 

August, 2012 - An article on ASMR was published on VICE 

Harry Cheadle publishes a piece on ASMR for VICE magazine. 

August, 2012 - A performance installation called Video Haptics & ASMR takes place

A performance installation called Video Haptics and ASMR takes place in London, UK on August 10, 2012

August, 2012 - ASMR Island launches

ASMR Island, the successor to ASMR Radio, launches.

September 2012 - A segment on ASMR was featured on the Baby Geniuses podcast. 

September 2012 - A new ASMR app for Apple iOS is released.

September 2012 - The ASMR Kickstarter Funding project is officially announced. 

October, 2012 - For a list visit this post, the October 2012 update.

November, 2012 - For a list visit this post, the November 2012 update.

December, 2012 - For a list visit this post, the December 2012 update.

January, 2013 - For a list visit this post, the January 2013 update.

February, 2013 - For a list visit this post, the February 2013 update.

March, 2013 - For a list visit this post, the March 2013 update.

April, 2013 - For a list visit this post, the April 2013 update

May, 2013 - For a list visit this post, the May 2013 update

June, 2013 - For a list visit this post, the June 2013 update

July, 2013 - For a list visit this post, the July 2013 update


  1. My first piece of ASMR music


  2. Absolutely awesome timeline! Thank you for your work!

  3. Whisperinglife is the first person to create videos for the purpose of ASMR Triggering. A discussion on some videos for the TV Show Big Brother 8's account led to this breakthrough, and she was the first to have the courage to give it a try. She should get major recognition for this.

  4. Good work. I agree with the above; whisperinglife created the first youtube video

    Also, as far as I know, the first roleplay was Glistening Whisper's eye exam video; sadly her channel has been deleted now.


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