'Unboxing' & 'ASMR' - Perplexing videos trending on YouTube

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(Source: You Tube) (Source: You Tube)

They're simple videos, but a lot of kids (and adults!) are really into these so-called "unboxing videos" on YouTube.  

The videos show two hands, unwrapping a series of toys and placing them (most times) side by side to show them off.

Ok, adults unwrapping kids' toys? What's the draw?

There's another series of somewhat bizarre videos on YouTube that are proving very popular with adults. They're called  "ASMR."

They usually feature someone almost whispering, simulating giving the viewer a haircut, or painting their nails.

There are hundreds of these types of videos online.

So what does ASMR mean? "It stands for an autonomous sensory meridian response. Autonomous means you have no control over it. Sensory means a sensation. Meridian is when something peaks and diminishes, and the response is something happens to you," says Phoenix-area therapist, Ellie Izzo.

 The goal is to trigger sensations like goosebumps.

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response refers to a phenomenon which is very difficult to explain to those that do not experience it. It is usually experienced through a relaxing tingling in the scalp and the back of the neck and can extend into the rest of the body.

"One, where there was the brushing of the hair, and one was the crinkling of paper so that what it does is that person who is participating focuses in a state of heightened attention. We don't know what it feels like to be still, be calm," Izzo says.

Captivating people via senses through video, that's the name of the game, and it's making the people who post these videos a lot of money!

There have been articles written about the unboxing videos, and teachers get why the videos are so popular.

"For an adult it feels really slow, but for a toddler, that's where their brain development is, so it's really at a toddler's pace," says Katie Fahrenbruck, a teacher at Children's Montessori in central Phoenix.

"Two-year-olds and toddlers have a very strong sense of order. If you've ever seen your toddler lining up toys like along window sills or the floor, it all has to do with how their brains are trying to categorize the world. I think that the unboxing videos go toward that sense of order. There is an order to way they are lined up. They are unboxing it in a specific fashion, and I think it speaks to that sense of order that toddlers have, " says Fahrenbruck.

 Both Izzo and Fahrenbruck say watching these videos isn't bad when done in moderation.

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