Are You a TingleHead? The wonderful world of ASMR

 

The world is divided into two types of people:

those that experience ASMR, and those that don’t!

 

Maybe it was the voice of your first grade teacher that initially triggered a similar sensation in you? Perhaps you go to get a haircut more often than others because you feel the tingly sensation spreading all over your body, when the attentive stylist gently washes your hair.

 

ASMR-triggers

Figure 1 ASMR Triggers (Via Jesus Gonzalez Fonseca Blog)

Via Jesus Gonzalez Fonseca Blog

 

But all this is old news, isn’t it? Because one night, anxious and unable to sleep, you hopped on YouTube and landed on a whisper video…. And just like that you’ve discovered that others also respond in a similar way to head massages and certain voices because just like you they have ASMR.

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s not a scientific name because at this time there are no studies conducted on the effects of ASMT triggers on the brain. And it makes it harder to quantify because not everyone responds to ASMR. According to Novella (2012):

“What we need at this point,” writes Steven Novella, Director of General Neurology at the Yale School of Medicine, on his Neuroscience blog, “are functional MRI and transcranial magnetic stimulation studies that look at what is happening in the brains of people while experiencing ASMR versus typical controls. Are their brains really different, and in what way? I also wonder if the same or similar experience can be artificially induced in typical (non-ASMR) people.“

Jeff Thomson (2013), the creator of a popular ASMR website, The ASMR Lab, mentions seven common triggers ASMRtists use in their films:

(1) Whispering;

(2) Scratching and tapping;

(3) Blowing;

(4) Turning pages;

(5) Personal attention;

(6) Touching head (for instance, head massage or hair brushing);

And

PBS Remix-Happy Painter

(7) Bob Ross! — a painter, and a star of The Joy of Painting, an American PBS program, who apparently has induced virginal ASMR responses in tingleheads across the world. Bob’s tantalizing paint-smearing technique, and his calming and positive narration that is often centers on trivialities (such as squirrels or cherry tomatoes), keeps Ross’ videos popular among tingle-hunters even after his death.

 

Image via FiveThirtyEight.com

And here’s an example of one of the coolest, in my opinion, ASMR videos out there:

 

Via ASMR Requests YouTube channel

 

(This blog post is modified version of a White Paper written previously by the author)

 

 

References

Novella, S. (2012, March 12). NeuroLogica Blog » ASMR. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/asmr/

Thomson, J. (n.d.). ASMR Triggers – Common ASMR triggers that cause tingles | The ASMR Lab. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from http://www.asmrlab.com/common-asmr-triggers/

 

 

 

ON WEDNESDAYS WE WEAR PINK

What movie did that come from? Um just the oh so fetch movie mean girls! Mean Girls was the movie that changed the way high school was as we now know it! Who didn’t want to be a plastic? This year marked the 10 year anniversary of the movie and this year on Wednesdays girls across the world wear pink.   images Many people believe mean girls might have just been a teen movie about silly girl drama in high school but it actually shed light on one pressing issue – bullying. I remember always being on the opposite end of the bullying spectrum; I was a mean girl. I was not your Regina George but I was Gretchen Weiners; I was just as guilty by association. I often think about what those people we made fun of are doing now. Are they successful? Are they married with children? Did they go to college? Most of all I think was I was wrong for not being nice to people? Or was it just apart of growing up? The thought that haunts me the most is what we had the choice to bully someone vis the internet? Cyberbullying-–-vs-–-Bullying   The reason why the thought crosses my mind is because so often we see cases on cyber bullying and bullying within the schools. Kids commit suicide or cry themselves to sleep over words that someone else says about them. Studies show that bullying has taken a different turn because of the internet and social media. In mean girls it was just three way phone calls and a burn book; now you can post embarrassing pictures, screenshot text messages and harass someone via social media anonymously (Twitter, Instagram or Facebook). Many high school girls have no way to escape because it is constantly in their face; what someone else things about them, how they look or if everyone saw that picture of them doing who knows what. Cyberbullying-–-vs-–-Bullying   Many of us Gretchen Weiners never saw this an issue because we were not the ones being made fun of but bullying actually touches everyone and cyber bullying touches more kids than we know.   Here are some quick facts that many people may not have know about cyber bullying but may actually changes their views on the act of cyber bullying! 1. Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online. 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once. 2. 70% of students report seeing frequent bullying online. 3. Over 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most common medium for cyber bullying. 4. 68% of teens agree that cyber bullying is a serious problem. 5. 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person. 6. 90% of teens who have seen social-media bullying say they have ignored it. 84% have seen others tell cyber bullies to stop. 7. Only 1 in 10 victims will inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse. 8. Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying. 9. About 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out 10 say it has happened more than once. 10. Bullying victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide. 11. About 75% of students admit they have visited a website bashing another student. The scary thing is that it is a trend that we follow unknowingly and have no choice to perpetuate. In this life you are either a bully or Regina George. Bullying extends way beyond high school; it follows you to college and adult life. There are mean girls everywhere! Have we not learned anything from mean girls?

Actually we have; On Wednesdays We Wear Pink!

Sources   11 Facts about Cyber Bullying. (2013, December 31). . Retrieved June 8, 2014, from https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-cyber-bullying Mean Girls. (2014, May 30). Retrieved June 8, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mean_Girls Donda, V. (2011, January 28). On Wednesdays We Were PInk. . Retrieved June 8, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E85eO6lqQ

Social Media Double Take

With so many social media platforms out there today, and arguably each trying to take the top spot of Facebook, like it once did to Myspace back in the day, other competitors are always reinventing themselves to stay current. The latest update from Twitter is perhaps the most dramatic yet, not because it’s so unique, but just the opposite. The newest twitter change has people doing a double take, as it looks like a spitting image of what Facebook’s current profile page graphics look like.

firstlady-twitter-redesign-hed-2014

Here is Twitter’s new look. As you can see, it’s extremely similar to Facebook, with a cover photo and profile picture in the left corner. Tweets down the middle and ads, videos, etc, on the side.

Currently Twitter is looking to expand even more as it looks to keep users and gain more in the race to stay afloat in the social media industry. Twitter has grown with every year, its major problem is just getting more basic internet users to join. In comparison, Twitter has about 240 million while Facebook boasts 1.4 billion, clearly there is a lot of ground to cover if Twitter were to try and become the most used social media tool.

Do you think this redesign will help or harm Twitter in getting a larger database of users. Personally I think it’s just too similar to Facebook and one of the reasons I like Twitter is that it’s not like Facebook. With that said, we all know how often Facebook changes its look, just the other day the motif is more square shaped and the icons have changed, some changes I found unnecessary and don’t add to my viewing experience. What’s your take?

References

Sloane, Garett. “Twitter’s Resign Speaks to Brands.” AdWeek. 08 04 2014: n. page. Web. 8 Apr. 2014. <http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/twitters-redesign-speaks-brands-and-users-emojis-vine-messenger-video-ads-156876&gt;.

Google vs. Apple Ad

Today’s technology companies have to try really hard to convince the public that they’re products are a part of the human experience. The goal is to make sure that people don’t associate their products with cold mechanism, but a friendly companion to human creativity. Both Apple and Google are corporations that have been on top of their game when it comes to making commercials that showcase their products in a positive light. The two companies aim to inspire creativity by connecting their products as essential tools. In a recent Forbes article, the question of which ad is more effective despite Apple and Google both being advertising big wigs.

This first ad came from Apple’s campaign for the iPad air. This is definitely epic and the audience can feel something. In my opinion the ad provides a call to action and leaves the viewers marveling.

This next ad is a part of Google’s search on campaign which encourages people to use Google as their search engine of choice. Google really takes their search engine to the next level and emphasizes the unlimited possibilities with their product.

While both ads are pretty excellent by my standards, one ad seems a lot more connected to the audience. In the battle advertisements, Apple vs. Google, I rule in favor of Google. The two ads both astound the public and sustain a connection with the audience, but Apple puts their product on a pedestal that the average citizen just doesn’t reach. As mentioned in the Forbes article, Apple doesn’t quite prompt that attainability where Google does (Burns 2014). Apple provides a call to action, but as a consumer, I’m almost intimidated to purchase an iPad Air. The repetition of “You may contribute a verse” really puts pressure on the consumer. At least that’s what I felt when I heard it. The whole epic feel of the ad was powerful and scary. I hope that my verse is good enough even if I don’t have an iPad. On the flip side, you have Google whose strategy was to show a bunch of people attempting to learn about the process of building a story. For me Google’s ad made me feel a lot better about myself and how my capabilities could be expanded by simply typing into a search engine. I usually fall in love with Apple ads and admire them for their genius and fresh approaches, but the similarities between the ads are too close not to compare and declare Google the winner. Apple’s ad feels a little overbearing while Google’s is approachable. However in the end, they are both jobs well done.

Sources:

Burns, W. (2014, March 06). Google beats apple at it’s own game: Advertising. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/willburns/2014/03/06/google-beats-apple-at-its-own-game-advertising/

Your Private Driver.

A couple days ago, I went to San Francisco to visit my friends. And part of the reason was to avoid the cold in Chicago. I’m more like a sunshine and tropical boy. Anyway, the weather and their lifestyle were pretty chill and a little laid back. Going to somewhere warmer is like the best gift ever. But as you all know, California in general doesn’t provide a good public transport system. Unlike Chicago, we have the CTA and Bus, which makes everything much convenient. The five days i spent in San Francisco, i was having doubts on how to travel to one place to another. As the taxi fare is pretty expensive in San Francisco, surprisingly!

As i was thinking to rent a car in San Francisco, Lyft and Uber came to save my life. My friend suggested the Lyft and Uber applications may help me in saving all the taxi’s fare. To an international student like me, Uber and Lyft sound really new to me. As back then in my country, Malaysia, practically everyone owns a car, and people barely call up for a taxi ride. So what exactly are Lyft and Uber?

Basically, it’s a luxury car service, in which you use your smartphone app like Uber and Lyft to book a ride. These smartphone apps are completely free of charge, except the fact that you have to register an account with your credit/debit card. As they charge the ride fare from your card. Unlike the normal taxi, you have to carry cash or sometimes your card with you to pay for the ride. A tip for those of you who wants to visit California or any other states, install both, Uber and Lyft. As you can compare both price and choose which service to use. As sometimes, either both service has discount, or sometimes, they charge you higher at night, especially to Uber. There was once i wanted to take Uber ride back to my hotel, but they told me they are charging extra at night, so i switched to Lyft where they offered cheaper fare compare to Uber. And one thing about these service is that you get a free ride on your first ride of their service. If you install two app, means that you get two free rides. 😀

Uber provides different variety of ride. If you’re going for a budget trip, they have their Uberx which you get to ride on  private car to your destination. They hire locals with their car to fetch you to your destination. Based on my personal experience, i was pretty impressed by their service. The drivers were extremely friendly, they treated me as if i was their friend. And i was quite surprised by the car they used to fetch me. Most of the drivers that i got was either in Lexus or Toyota. Compare to the normal taxi vehicles, these are way better, as it’s cleaner and luxurious compare to taxi.

Uber even provides SUV and their signature black car service. Which are more luxury than their Uberx service. They use branded luxurious car, but obviously, they are way expensive compare to the Uberx. But, it’s a good choice when you’re going on a date or an event.

As for Lyft, they provide the same service as Uber. They provide private car service, and somewhat, the drivers were more friendly than Uber. I thought their marketing strategy was pretty cute. As compare to Uber, their black and classy theme. Lyft is more like a casual and young theme. I find it easier to recognise a Lyft car, most of their car has a pink moustache attached in their car. And the drivers will shout their slogan once you get into their car.

To be honest, i think the both services are equivalent good. It’s a cheaper way to get a real taxi, as it’s cheaper than the taxi fare. I think it’s a good way to save money while travelling. After all, we are still students, budget is the way it is.