Spirit Payton is taking over the internet with her ASMR YouTube channel, ASMRTheChew.
ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a colloquial term defined by Urban Dictionary as meaning “a static like or tingling sensation on the skin that begins at the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine, triggered by specific acoustic, visual, and digital media stimuli.” It is said to produce a mildly euphoric effect, and can be induced by repetitive sounds, usually — but not always — soft ones.
A clip of Payton in a red mock turtleneck top, lips painted in a matching hue, munching on Claussen’s kosher dill pickles in front of a microphone has gone viral. Payton’s videos have become successful Twitter and Instagram memes, and have inevitably brought the curious to her YouTube page.
There, Payton's 119,000-plus followers enjoy the sounds of her quiet voice telling personal stories and her loud crunching, tapping, and slurping in the hundreds of videos she posts eating everything from noodles to popcorn even to fried chicken.
The single mother, who in the description on her GoFundMe page says that she suffers from “severe rapid degenerative bone disease and anxiety,” originally started the channel to manage stress and reduce anxiety after learning about ASMR from her teenage daughter. The viral star says that she now creates these videos because she wants to spread the healing effects of this auditory-based phenomenon to the world.
“I started my YouTube channel to help other people deal with anxiety, depression, sleep problem [sic] and more while vlogging and sharing my true life,” she says on GoFundMe. “I try to bring humor, peace, positive energy, love, advice, helpful tips for anxiety, pain, depression, health, and self love.”
The YouTuber created the money-raising page to be able to invest in better quality cameras, microphones, and lighting. She has plans to establish a post office box in the future so viewers can contact her more personally and send food for specific eating requests.
Many YouTubers create food-related content, of course. Check out this man who ate 13 pounds of Chips Ahoy Cookies, with milk, in a single sitting.