Mukbang and ASMR eating has been the ongoing trend of this “new generation,” which is usually on the phone screen, scrolling through social media for hours. People always love to follow the upcoming trends and enjoy them by either trying them out or watching them. Many might have heard the term ASMR and also might say that it’s relaxing and quiet and it affects their mood.
So what is Mukbang and ASMR? Why are these two terms trending?
How did it start, and what are its effects?
The word mukbang (meokbang) is a blend of the Korean words for “eating” (meogneun) and “broadcast” (bangsong), also known as “broadcast eating.” Mukbang was live-streamed for the first time in South Korea on AfreecaTv in 2010. It gained more popularity because of its stiff contradiction to Korean society, gender norms, and food etiquette. Simon Stawski was the first-ever Canadian blogger who started the Eat Your Kimchi video blog after moving to Korea and introduced Mukbang in 2014.
In the video, the host, a common man with a regular job, does a live stream and interacts with his audience, and eats large quantities of food. A large quantity is considered an understatement for something like Nuclear Fire Noodles or 50 mozzarella sticks. Sometimes it can be more than just binge eating; a few hosts also show the complete cooking and then eat it.
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, known as ASMR, refers to content that includes sounds like whispering, which makes some people experience strange feelings that are enjoyable, like goosebumps, chills, tingling, etc. These sounds are recorded using binaural microphones, which create a sensation or a feeling of being with the person in the room who’s speaking.
Why has it become so popular?
Mukbang is also known as ASMR at times because of the various eating sounds (slurping, chewing, etc.) one produces, which cause some kind of relaxation to a few who are watching or increase hunger. It is always recommended to wear headphones while listening to ASMR. Even Americans have started to step into the field of ASMR eating with eating etiquettes, and their food includes spicy wings, atomic fire ramen, Taco Bells, and In-N-Out burgers. There is no need for viewers to pay any amount of money to watch these Mukbang or ASMR videos.
There are many people who watch these videos just to insult the hosts or the bloggers just for the way they eat or for the sounds, but recently there has been an increase in the subscribers and followers for such videos on Instagram and YouTube. Many have stated that these videos provide them with knowledge about different foods and ways to cook them.
The most popular food when it comes to ASMR eating is seafood. The cracking sound of a crab is loved by many, as said Vlogger Blove. According to Simon, dining is a social activity, plus no one likes to be left alone since most Koreans are bachelors and teenagers who stay alone. They obviously can’t hold back the urge to socialize while eating, and he thinks that they find Mukbang the way.
Many Mukbangers are famous, like Zach-Choi, Dorothy, SAS-Asmr, etc. Mukbangers earn a good amount if they are popular on YouTube. Soo Tang, who has more than 400,000 subscribers, said that if one is popular on YouTube through these videos, he/she can earn $100,000 a year in the U.S.
Now, many questioned the Mukbangers about how they stay skinny and fit even after eating so much, to which one answered that they exercise many hours a week and avoid eating anything for the rest of the day except for the time when they are filming.
The Bottom Line
Even though many people hate watching these videos, it provides a kind of satisfaction and relaxation to most people. That is the very reason why it’s trending. So why not go ahead and watch some videos?
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