It’s Not What You Know

Donald Trump set up his “empire” starting with just a “small loan of one million dollars” from his father. If this isn’t just the pinnacle of nepotism then I don’t know what is. Firstly, if you think one million dollars is a small loan then you’re jaded and misguided and you have no right to talk about money as if you’re self-made. Secondly, if your family can afford to lend you one million dollars then you’re not exactly going to struggle in life as it is.

It’s this idea of nepotism that, on occasions, really has me exceptionally depressed.

The problem I have with nepotism is that it affords luxuries and experiences that other people can only dream of. If my father were CEO of a company then I’d be able to learn on the job when he ultimately appointed me a position within said company. It’s not a privilege that people like me get, we don’t get that sort of experience.

My first example, because she’s been all over my newsfeed recently, is Stephanie McMahon. Her grandfather passed the business down to her father and now ultimately it’s being passed down to her. I’m not saying she hasn’t worked for her position because I know some of her history, where she started off working in the lower ranks and stuff modelling t-shirts as a child and working the lower rungs of the ladder. But this is still an experience most people wouldn’t get. Some days I simply dream of being backstage at a WWE event, let alone working at one with the intention of working my way up. She was also afforded WWE training (as all children of WWE superstars are), which is an experience I would have loved but my parents were never into it.

Now I’m not blaming her for where she is today. She wouldn’t have got where she is by just sitting back and letting daddy do all the work for her. But while people are desperately trying to build ladders made of twigs to higher platforms, her father have her a solid steel ladder and all she had to do was not fall off.

The Yogscast. I’ve mentioned these a couple of times before in previous articles but this is ultimately what nepotism is. The YOGS in Yogscast stands for Ye Old Goon Squad which was the name of a party in WOW (don’t ask the specifics, I’m not a WOW guy). You can often hear of them talking about how they used to do things together in WOW and so it’s no wonder they got the jobs as content creators. Lewis and Simon would have had the initial success but everybody else was allowed the opportunity that others don’t have. People don’t go into YouTube with a pre-set audience but being friends with Lewis and Simon allowed some of these people to begin a channel with a successful channel already willing to promote them and back their audience. It’s not the same as starting out with zero viewers and absolutely no successful channel endorsements.

Let’s stick with the topic of YouTubers and take a look at Shane Dawson. Now Shane Dawson is another self-made YouTuber in that he was there at the beginning and took advantage of the timing and opportunity given to him. But, can we say the same for the other people who have garnered a large following off of his back? But who are these people? Shanna Malcolm, Drew Monson, Ryland Adams, Bobby Burns and a number of other people. Now I’m not saying, once again, that these people don’t work for what they’ve got, but Shane Dawson featuring them in videos and promoting them gives them that ladder they need to get to the next level. They don’t need to do the difficult task of gaining viewers, simply keeping them and as long as they’re friends with Shane then that won’t be difficult. It is the equivalent of being allowed a billboard in Times Square just because of who you’re friends with. Not saying you didn’t work hard in making that billboard, but people wouldn’t see it if it wasn’t for your friend.

And finally, where would ASMR be without collaboration videos. The good ol’ “look at who I can get to feature in my videos” video. Most of the time this doesn’t improve sound quality, some people can do better on their own, but it’s shameless self-promotion using others to gain their audience. It’s not a bad thing, it’s how promoting your channel works, but it’s just that being friends with these people allows you the opportunity to create that channel with an already existing fanbase.

What I’m saying is that if I were friends with Shane Dawson, Simon and/or Lewis of the Yogscast or any ASMRtist with a significant audience then it wouldn’t be starting from square one for me. It would be like starting on square four or five from which it’s almost impossible to not garner the audience.

Oh and let’s not mention the added bonuses of better cameras, better microphones, better video editing software and editing techniques from professionals. All of these are things that square one starters don’t have. We have basic editing packages that we barely know how to use and basic cameras that we are learning with but we don’t get the view count for trying, we just get criticised that our cameras aren’t good enough or our video editing isn’t good enough.

I think this is one of the reasons I get uptight with YouTube a lot more than anything else, it’s that people complain and don’t realise the opportunities that they have been given, and it annoys me even more when these opportunities have been given through nepotism more than talent or interest.

This is also why I get uptight when people criticise me for asking for help. I’m asking for help to improve my situation, not just because I’m attention seeking (which some people have accused me of).

(As always, no offence is meant to anybody, I’m simply stating what I see from an outsiders point of view).

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What is ASMR?

ASMR has helped me more than I can explain. From sleepless nights, stressful evenings and just times needing to chill, ASMR has been able to provide me with the much needed relaxation. For some people ASMR is great, it’s able to help them sleep better, perhaps works well as background noise while they’re working or studying and even helps calm them down for stressful situations. For those that don’t experience ASMR though it can be a very confusing and slightly odd thing for people to become obsessed with.

The technical term for ASMR is Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s still a largely unknown area because of the personal nature of the experiences, the recentness of its popularity and it being difficult to measure.

Search ASMR on YouTube and you will come up with a whole host of videos that you may not understand. People tapping on boxes, dentists whispering to you, people offering to do your makeup. It’s odd if you don’t know why you’re watching it. You’re watching it for the “tingles”. The tingles that usually occur in the upper back, neck or head region. These tingles are brought out through various “triggers” (the box tapping, whispering etc) and so finding out if/what your triggers are is the first important thing. You may remember back to being at school when somebody asked to borrow¬†something and seeing them using it sent tingles up your spine. You may even remember hearing the sounds of scratching pens and pencils making you feel more relaxed than on edge. It’s different for each person and the best thing I can suggest if you think you may have ASMR or want to experience it is to look around for your triggers.

Personally I use ASMR as relaxation and comfort. I like the whispering videos because they feel close and intimate and it’s not something I get in every day life. The key ones for me are the sound videos. Tapping boxes, iPads, tables, glasses, bottles, etc. They all make different noises and for me they all elicit a sort of positive response in my body that makes listening to them enjoyable. Some videos I didn’t think I would ever like – for example mouth sound videos – because I can’t stand the sound of them in everyday life but the idea of having control over when you hear it is actually quite a nice feeling too.

One common misconception is that ASMR brings out sexual feelings when listening to it, and so people who don’t understand sometimes view it as slightly pornographic or “dirty”. It’s not. Most people have no sexual response to ASMR and it is in fact just a generic pleasurable feeling rather than anything linked directly to sexuality. Some ASMRtists¬†(the accepted name for somebody who makes ASMR videos) do use sexuality to encourage views of their videos but this isn’t to be confused with the response people feel from it.

I know of people who use ASMR to help calm them down before scary encounters. For some a dentist roleplay might seem bizarre but having a comforting and relaxing voice talking you through things is nice if you’re a bit nervous about your upcoming trip to the dentist.

ASMR is fully utilised with headphones because the sound is so close that you can hear every little movement. It’s also beneficial because sometimes ASMRtists can make it feel like they are talking into a specific ear (like somebody sitting next to you and whispering into your right ear).

The other great thing about ASMR is the community. I have never experienced such a friendly community. People watch these videos to relax and feel comforted, people make the videos to help and give back to people. Most videos I have watched have very few if any negative comments and sometimes people even offer constructive feedback about how to better enjoy a sound if you find something isn’t working for you. It is possibly one of the friendliest communities I have come across.

But where do I start?¬†This video is probably the best suggestion I can give you if you’re curious. It was the video I started with and some amazing effort has gone into making it. It includes a wide variety of triggers so perhaps skim that video and see if anything triggers you.

Some of my favourite ASMRtists:

Fairy Char ASMR

Mr Meridian ASMR

Sebastian ASMR

The ASMR Gamer

Fred’s Voice ASMR

These are just a few ASMRtists out there. It’s important to find one that you’re comfortable watching. Some have a preference over the gender of their ASMRtists and some just like the sounds. It is entirely subjective and you should be able to explore and actively participate in the community as much as you would like to.