If you’re unfamiliar with ASMR, here’s a brief intro: Autonomous sensory meridian response is a pleasant sensation that typically starts at your scalp and radiates down your neck and back, sometimes into your limbs.
It’s been called a “brain orgasm,” and researchers think it might even help with depression, anxiety, and insomnia. People also report feelings of calmness and drowsiness.
Various triggers can evoke ASMR, whether it’s whispering, tapping, scratching objects, or tearing a piece of paper. Videos featuring these activities with the hashtag #ASMR have exploded across social media over the past 10 years.
Now, AARP is getting in on the trend. That’s right: AARP and ASMR have merged to find an even larger audience. But this isn’t your grandparents’ AARP. These days the organization is reaching straight into the hearts of Generation X.
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AARP x ASMR
While AARP is an interest group focusing on issues affecting those 50 and older, the brand is trying to reach out to a younger generation. There’s actually no minimum age to join AARP, so if you feel like reaping the benefits of the many discounts AARP offers, you can sign up anytime!
Lately, the organization has upped its social media presence. Many reels feature a guy named Craig, who might be explaining an ’80s TV show or solving a Rubik’s Cube. But most of the time he’s performing ASMR with, you guessed it, ’80s memorabilia. The series is aptly named Gen X ASMR and it has seven installments (and counting).
The reels showcase throwbacks from Gen X’s youth. You’ll hear the sounds of Slinkies, computer paper ripping, Trapper Keepers opening, and that’s just the beginning. Check out the videos below for more spine-tingling memories from your youth.
Gen X ASMR
This one will transport you back to when copious Aquanet held your permed bangs aloft. Listen to white noise from a tube television, and reawaken memories of your favorite scratch and sniff stickers with this ASMR reel.
In this reel, listen to the sounds of the Spirograph. Hear the comforting clicks of a slide projector and Trouble game. Then let the digital tones of the handheld Simon game bliss you out.
The best sounds are those that unlock core memories—a Polaroid camera is great for that (at least for me!). The Polaroid click and subsequent flapping of the picture in this reel, as well as the sound of flipping a cassette tape will really get your ASMR going.