I don’t normally get involved in the dramas of social media and yet, this has been so huge in the ASMR community that I simply don’t feel that I can ignore it. I wrote a piece here where I refused to disclose Olivia’s name, but this time I feel as though she has forced my hand.
If you’re not familiar with ASMR, ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. That means to say that:-
- Autonomous – It happens automatically
- Sensory – It’s a sensation
- Meridian – In the body, it’s a nerve pathway typically suggested according to Chinese medicine
- Response – It happens as a reaction to something
In conclusion then, it’s a sensation that happens along a nerve pathway in response to something. Typically, a soothing, relaxing, tingly sensation in response to a sight or sound. Have you ever had a scalp massage and had a really relaxing tingly sensation? It’s basically the same thing.
Now that we’re all clued up on the science bit, let us turn our attention back to Olivia Kissper. This born Czech lady has travelled the globe and shared her adventures with her fans. For many years, Olivia has been a big name in the ASMR community and has inspired thousands of new channels (including mine) into creation. Her content was always thought out and creative and she hosted workshops to help people better manage their lives. Many people looked up to her and were in awe of her and her confident, honest personality.
That was, until recently.
Things started to deteriorate for Olivia during the creation of her ‘Liv Unbound’ channel. She started to tell her faitfful followers that there were ‘signs’ that they addicted to ASMR, and they needed to quit. Being quite a fan of hers, I actually believed this ‘test’ of hers that she created, silly me. Fortunately, I only scored for two of her five ‘symptoms’. She also began featuring a lot of vegan foods in her videos and teaching her fans about her life coach classes at a rural resort in Costa Rica.
One of the most disturbing things that has become quite recurrent on Olivia’s channel is her ‘This ASMR Will Get You High’ videos. For many people, myself included, ASMR is not a high but rather a state of deep relaxation, like hypnosis. Nonetheless, we all tuned in to these videos to experience the trance-like state she promised, typically having been roleplayed into taking a dose of an illegally smuggled substance. Weird, but you go along with it.
Although she saw some followers unsubscribe from her channel, things were still generally going fairly well for Olivia. That was, until recently.
About a week ago, Olivia created a (now deleted) video in which she told us all she was quitting ASMR. That would have been fine and we would have all respected her choice, but she went on to compare ASMR to heroin, and her fans as addicts. The backlash has been understandably monumental.
One of the most controversial points in all of this is her above-mentioned ‘highs’. If ASMR is like heroin, then by default she was our dealer. Even if nothing else, then that was a exceptionally bold statement to make, coming from her.
So rumour has it, that one video has cost her 6,000 subscribers. If I’m honest, I don’t know because I stopped watching her quite a while ago. The quality of her content changed, it became less about her audience and more about selling and promoting her new services as a life coach. It would have been fine for her to say that we was quitting and she was onto newer, brighter and bigger things, but comparing her fans and followers to addicts on her way out of the door was a step (or twenty) too far.
ASMR is absolutely not addictive and it is no different to meditation, relaxaton music or hypnotherapy. We all have sounds that make us feel relaxed, soothed and ready for sleep, so what does it matter if it’s whale song or whispering, piano music or crinkly potato chip packets?
So I have read, Olivia is going through some personal drama after the loss of a close of friend. While I do feel deeply sorry for her if such is the case, making such accusations about your viewers is completely unacceptable. I’ve still deeply grieving the loss of my father and have just survived my first Christmas without him, but I would never say such outlandish comments of my readers, followers or viewers, especially if they are paying for you to keep going!
I don’t know for sure what’s going on for Olivia, and unfortunately none of us really do. I hope that if her life is in turmoil then she is able to find peace soon, but one thing is for sure- when it comes to the ASMR community’s feelings after that little stunt, she most certainly won’t be welcome back.