Friday, July 4, 2014

"There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing."---Aristotle

A lot of you guys on facebook know I have been working on this blog entry for a bit. It was actually requested from quite a bit of people (ASMRtists and viewers). I mulled about it, and I finally decided to publish it today.  I hurt my back recently lifting something heavy like an idiot (used my upper back instead of my legs).  I am currently icing it down with a frozen bag of spinach, and using my sister's laptop to write this.  I logged on, found the standard number of trolling/hate messages to me, and thought "I'm stuck on my couch. My back just became the Duke of Douchebaggary.  I can't do anything.  I'm going to do this."

If you display yourself on the internet, you are almost certainly going to come into contact with WTFery.  ASMRtists are no exception to this.  While there are some super thick skinned and witty troll slayers in our wonderful little niche (shout out to the gorgeous and talented Amal---one of the best brains around town, and one of the most unflappable people I have ever encountered), many people enter the community not knowing what to expect or how to handle what is said to them.  Even seasoned ASMRtists can be wounded by internet shenanigans.  As a result, many leave, take hiatuses, close their channels, or take things to heart.  So for this entry, I want to talk to you about what kind of things might be said to you, why they are being said, and the options you have upon receiving them/finding them. By no means is my word law---I am just a dorky girl who talks to her camera for hours in her pajama pants---and I am going to speak to you from my experiences.  I am going to give you examples of things that have been said to me, but I don't want this entry to be something that makes you mad or sad.  I have cherry picked some of my favorite comments/messages that I have used to cheer up other ASMRtists, or just crack me up.  I want it to be something that can make you laugh, and perhaps inspire you to keep trucking no matter what someone says to you about your endeavors.  Let's give this a shot, shall we?

What I am going to say might sound harsh, but stick with me, alright?  You are going to be judged.  I am not saying that you need to be complacent with the judgments, or that people are right to judge---I am saying it's going to happen.  The possibilities are endless:  If you don't show your face, people will attack you for your anonymity.  If you show your face, people will call you an attention whore---heck, even if you just show a picture of yourself, you can get called a narcissist.
Ex.  "Did you REALLY need to paste a picture of yourself on this video? Are you that needy?? It's a damn audio only asmr vid, you could of put some relaxing picture of a pond, or lake, or anything, f***ing eagles flying in a shape of a unicorn. But instead it's of you cam whoring. What? Did you think we'd forget who makes the videos /u/sailorchell?  Like come on, this comes off so attention seeking it hurts, or like gender manipulation. It's almost as bad as those YouTube vids that have a pair of tits as thumbnails for a video like "here is a list of my fave movies". Vying for views with shallow actions just turn people off. We want genuine, sincere asmrtists, not someone who is basically that kind of girl who you'd see taking a sexy fullbody shot just to show off a new mug she got."

 If you are a male, there are people that will attack your sexuality. If you look nice, people are going to say you are using your sex appeal to get views.  If you have breasts, there are people that will call you a slut.   If you have a high voice, people will call you fake. If you have a deeper voice, people will say you are using your sexuality to get views.  If you are confident, people will call you a bitch.  If you are unapologetic about doing what you want, people will call you arrogant.  If you are open about your life, people will use the info to hurt you, or question your character.  If you are shy/introverted, people will tell you you don't belong on the internet.  You might hear these things, and you might hear them often. It doesn't matter how well meaning you are or how many subscribers you have---the dark side of the internet can be like a bouncing little demon baby, full of unconditional malice, and there will be days that it wants you to be its playmate.

 You might encounter trolling.  A troll post is one that's intended to get a rise out of you and/or your viewers.  They're looking to incite an emotional response.  Many times you will see them on loads of other ASMR channels trying to goad people into interacting with them.
Ex:. "F*** you *****. You're so annoying. I am a dude btw, so you know I'm not just some jealous ho; this is a genuine statement."
You might get creepy messages.  This is when someone tries to engage you in an unwelcome sexual way, or trick you into fulfilling a fetish request.  It is important to note that everyone's definition of a creep is subjective, and not all comments that have to do with your appearance are made with the intent to engage with you in a sexual way or objectify you, not all fetish requests are made in a disrespectful way, or that any sexual comment is made by a creep.  What matters is what your own personal boundaries are---unwelcome is key.
Ex: "i would really like to stick my ***** inside your *** while your ********. that would be swell.... i bet you have sexy feet too. lets take ***** together baby. then we can **** like bunny rabbits.i wanna suck ur toes and lick ur ***."

You might find there are people who loathe you.  A hater is someone who vehemently doesn't like you.  They don't know you, but they've convinced themselves they've got you pegged.  Haters are loyal.  They're the ones subscribed to you just to thumbs down your vid.  They're the ones who make a point to down vote you on reddit no matter what you post.  They comment on your vids/threads to tell you how inadequate you are.  You exist, and they want to let you/everyone else know how much you suck for existing.
Ex:  "Look at this white knight party you have going for yourself. You must be very pleased. I love how they all march over here to come and prove a few theories right about our rotund, reigning asmr queen. My shock is pretty low over the fact you've pretty much proved a comment I made last night right. I think it's well known by now that you read everything and anything to do with you. Got to fill that lack of self esteem and inferiority complex somehow."

There are people who will insult you because you/your videos don't fulfill their individual wants/cater to them in the way they think you should.  These people don't care that you aren't creating content for other people, because you should be doing everything you can to please them specifically. If it doesn't work for them, that means you don't work at all.  These are not people offering constructive criticism (constructive criticism is valuable and can help you grow as a content creator)---if you aren't acting in accordance with their wishes, they can attack your character, discredit your work, and sometimes even threaten you.
Ex:  "It's funny how a certain "supporter" of my channel can find the time to manage her own channel and read through her facebook, and yet can't find the time to "support" my own work. If your just going to tell me something I want to hear just to make me happy so I'll shut up for about to seconds, I will be incredibly disappointed. Yeah those 22 thousand subs of yours are blind to how you really are. I think its pretty obvious your aren't creating anything to help anyone. You just looking for attention for the least amount of effort. Way to fool about 22 thousand acting like your someone your not..."---a person who didn't like when I declined their many requests to make my channel a commercial for their let's play channel.
There are some people who can get unhealthily attached to you.  To them, you are not a stranger on the internet making ASMR vids, you are someone they have decided/imagined belongs in their real life.  These are the people who might try to find out where you live.  They watch who you interact with, they ask people they think know you for information about you, etc.  There are some days you might wish they were trolling.
Ex.   "It makes me a little uncomfortable that you never tell me anything...First, I wanted to let you know that in your last video, in the time light pass through the focus of the camera, causing a violet flashes deform your face to the viewer . I noticed this when passing the video frame by frame...I don't hesitate because of your silence. I felt , however , your signs , your keys , your hints, your little winks. Maybe just see what I want to see. I have so much fear that you don't want to want me!...If I changed my channel was not to deceive you, but to make this exchange between you and me more private."---excerpts from months of letters from someone who created multiple accounts.

There will be people who won't like how you comment to people.  There are those who won't like if you stand up for yourself or your peers, or even make light of negative comments.  Some people feel like you exist solely for content, and you shouldn't have a voice aside from the function they designate for you.  If you respond to comments/videos in a way they don't approve of, they feel it's a negative reflection of your character.
Ex.  "Heather I would appreciate clarification. You recently commented on an animal abuser's channel named Jenna Marbles. The woman is pictured shoving a helpless animal into a shower. I reported this video to YouTube and to PETA. You're supposed to be the Anti-Jenna Bush, the Anti-American Sorority Whore. Please tell me you didn't endorse this woman or I'm unsubscribing. You're Morrissey remember? Not Kardashian...You would note that I have unsubscribed from this channel although I have remained with Mariya. The only BS here is from your beloved director who feigns empathy while endorsing albeit impliedly cruelty."

Not every negative or harsh message/comment is intended to harm.  There will be people that just don't like you or your content cause something about you or your vids don't work for them, and they might let you or others know---but they aren't doing it with the intent to hurt you.  They are just stating their opinions, and while it might not be awesome to hear, it doesn't mean they are "bad."
Ex.  "I tried to like HeatherFeather but her voice just annoys the crap out of me. I wish it didn't because she seems to produce creative and regular content."

Why am I telling you all this?  This entry is long, and it might be things you already know, or seem obvious, and/or trivial.  If you watched my Draw My Life, or frequent my blog, you know I'm a spiteful woman who believes that "success is the best revenge," and I believe that people who are trying to hurt you are irrelevant.  But admittedly, I have really thick skin.  Not everyone has thick skin---and even those who do, aren't impervious to being hurt.  If it helps to visualize it this way, think of a mean spirited/unwelcome remark as a paper cut.  Is it going to kill you?  Nope.  Does it hurt?  It can.  Now think of getting bunches of paper cuts every week.  For some people (regardless of subscriber count), they come every day, across multiple mediums.  Eventually for some, it can become a death by a thousand paper cuts (death being a metaphor for closing their channel, or losing their drive to make vids, etc).  People tend to remember the bad more than they remember the good, and it just takes one "cut" to get under your skin.
SPOILER ALERT:  We know what happens to Drogo...

I have talked about giving power to people in "You're Not a Purple Frog" and I have talked about recognizing comments as being relevant or irrelevant in "True Life: I am an ASMRtist".  I want to talk about being "selfish" now.  Your channel is an expression of you.  It's your territory.  It's your place to create.  As such, it's important that you like the space you've created for yourself on Youtube.  We make videos for other people, but it's important that you make videos for you first.  Doing what you want, having fun with your ideas, enjoying the time you put into your channel---these are things that keep you driven to produce more.  If you are doing what you love, it's a lot harder for the kinds of negativity you might see to taint your endeavors.  Don't be scared to be "selfish," and try new things, or stick to old things---don't be scared to make yourself happy and comfortable.  It's your time and resources you are putting into your channel---spend them on something you can love.

Making videos for yourself and to your standards doesn't mean you don't care about your viewers---quite the contrary.  It means you care so much about your viewers that you want to give them the best work you can deliver without compromising yourself.  You aren't going through motions when you make a video.  It means you are giving them genuine efforts with the best attempts you can muster to give them something they can be proud of too---having viewers that are proud to be your viewers means more to you than just numbers.  Taking in the constructive criticism without taking in the nonsense, acknowledging the incredibly important feedback from your viewers, having pride in your accomplishments, investing yourself in your endeavors, enjoying working hard on something, all lend to producing better content for people---the people you WANT watching your channel.  As much as I am proud of my Youtube journey, I am SO proud of the friends and viewers I have---I have said it before, and I'll say it again:  They are some of the best people on the internet.

 Even though some of this might sound like common sense or redundant, I'm not sorry for writing this book of an entry---because there are lots of people in our little niche...and in life in general who think they have to accept/deserve what's thrown at them, or internalize it, or allow it to permeate their real lives in toxic ways.  You are allowed to curate your comments section so people aren't fighting with each other instead of relaxing.  You are allowed to block people.  You are allowed not to care when people don't like you.  You are allowed to be unapologetic for who you are and what you create.  You are allowed to disregard comments, and you are allowed to laugh at them.   You are allowed to make content in the way you see fit.

The people who find you are effective for them will let you know, and you can take pride in helping an audience that is supportive and kind and there for what you want to do.  You are allowed to be proud of your work.  You are allowed to be proud of yourself.  You are allowed to be happy.  So do what makes you happy.

I hope that this entry (if you made it this far) made you laugh, smile, feel determined to keep going.  I want to reiterate that I don't know everything.  I don't have all the answers.  I am not an expert or an authority that has any clout or control over the internet.  I have been a Youtuber for a little over a year and half and feel insanely lucky for every experience I have had as one.  I have met so many people I like and so much company that I care about, and I just want to keep seeing you all around the tube.


  1. So much awesome troll's bane here. This article is an effective, lactose free alternative to weapons grade Miak™.

    "...dorky girl who talks to her camera for hours in her pyjama pants"

    A HA! I freaking knew it! And you know what it's appreciated.

    Content creators of all sorts regularly face (and find the will to ignore) the ugliest comments at every turn. Heck, even average users commenting on something positively will often attract the worst trolls for any reason they can find.

    I'll un-troll a little here. At times I'm convinced Dark is actually your enigmatic laptop loaning sister, your acting is that spectacular. Thanks for putting up with the deficient side of the internet's and for generating consistently awesome content for us viewers.

    Seriously you're casually dressed creations saved me from Insomnia, anxiety and depression countless times.

    1. Points for Earnest Scared Stupid reference.

    2. Huh??? M I A K ?

      - Trantor

    3. Well, that boots my confidence. Sorry to hear about your back.

  2. listen to this song ARCH ENEMY - You Will Know My Name (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

    You Will Know My Name

    Their judging eyes watching me
    It's all I've ever known
    When I try to open up my heart
    I am ridiculed and torn apart

    Your damn jokes I'll never get to hear
    Behind my back at my expense
    There's something inside me
    And I know it's good, I'm not evil
    Just misunderstood

    Do you see me now?
    Do you hear me now?
    You will know my name
    Do you see me now?
    Do you fear me now?
    You will know my name

    To try and break my silence
    Strip you of your dignity
    Tear down your perfect world
    Your perfect lies

    No more jokes I'll never get to hear
    Behind my back at my expense
    There's something inside me
    And I know it's good, I'm not evil
    Just misunderstood

    Do you see me now?
    Do you hear me now?
    You will know my name
    Do you see me now?
    Do you fear me now?
    You will know my name

    You will know my name!

    Do you see me now?
    Do you hear me now?
    You will know my name
    Do you see me now?
    Do you fear me now?
    You will know my name

    You will know my name!

  3. Your article's simultaneously alarming, concerning and more than a little hilarious. Some of your examples are 100% wtf.

    I admire how you put yourself out there and are ready to deal with the weirdos -- man, there are some crazies out there. Major kudos for dealing with this. As a notionally well-balanced individual (with self-signed certificate of proof, natch) I tend to forget about some of these wackier aspects of the Internet's collective persona.

    Ok, positivity time: that you're so fabulously varied with your ASMR productions is what I personally enjoy. Whilst I don't like every single thing you publish, the fact it's all really well made and is bound to be making thousands of other people happy is a marvellous thing. Much win abounds.

    For every one crazy, there's a thousand people quietly appreciating you and your fellow creators' hard work, in case you ever forget!

    The insight you offered here is fascinating and makes me newly appreciate an aspect sometimes neglected by us lot who simply sit back and enjoy what you produce.

    (sidenote: 'dorky'? Nooooononononono. You're unequivocally a fully fledged hardcore nerd. [join us, join us, join us] [we have cookies])

  4. You have quality videos and are a quality person.

    This is an excellent guide for how to live on the internet.

  5. I was stuck on a couch for a while after shoveling snow up to my waist. If you feel the pain almost constantly there is a good chance that there is a tight muscle that is pulling on the injured muscle. The trick is to find the way to release that tension. In my case my sore muscle was just below the shoulder blade. It turns out that a muscle in my chest was pulling on it. So, to release that tension I had to walk through a door way with my arm out like I was taking an oath. I had to use the doorway to stretch my shoulder back as hard as I could. An hour later the seemingly unstoppable pain was almost completely gone. I hope you find what works for you.

    As far as the rest of the post is concerned. I can only respond in relation to myself. All I know is that you are the most amazing person I have ever seen. I sort of regret ever seeing you. Now whenever I meet someone I think might be 'special' my mind automatically compares them to you. Well, the you in your videos anyway. And' you know what? There is no comparison. You are that amazing. Did you sneak in another gummy worm? Anyway, I get rather tired of it ,anyway. My only request from you has been a room full of wind chimes. And you are really letting me down. :P I would love to be your dream guy. But I have to come to terms with the fact that many others would to. And you say you're not looking anyway. I know that sometimes I cross reference one person's vibe in another person's context..... I would imagine that would be even easier with so many people. The main thing I irritate people with is a strange sense of humor. So, have mercy on me my amazing queen. Off to work I go........ literally

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. You're awesome Heather. I know I say that a lot and with this blog entry you've gone and made me say it again. Much love, gratitude and respect to you :)

  8. (derp..tablet..forgot to click "comment as" first *sigh*) Take 2!

    You're a lovely decent person, Heather person. Nowadays, that tends to be a target for a lot of asshats who get off by trying to paint such people as being as mean, deceiving, or cruel as they are, or only feel fulfilled if they're putting others down to feel better about themselves. Some massive sickos and childish people out there. So thank you for taking your time to write this book of yours ;P

    Thanks muchly for all your hard work and content. (Keep having fun)
    Don't THINK I've commented/said anything dodgy.. Meep, If I have, I apologize.
    I hope your back feels better soon.(I'm reminded of the old show Dinosaurs "Hurling Day" episode. "Earl, lift with your knees!" NOT THE MAMA!)
    And lastly, thank you for being you. Goodness, goofiness, and all! =P Don't change freak. We love ya.

    Happy 4th, Heather person =)

  9. I can definitely sympathize with this. I used to write. I wrote a lot. Even got published a couple times. But constant little criticisms from outside wore me down and eventually I stopped. Oddly enough, it was after learning about asmr vids and watching them evolve into more and more complex pieces that I became inspired to pick up the pen again. I'm sure you won't see this, Heather, but if you do, thanks. You and the other asmrtists helped bring the words back. Don't let the trolls wear you down.

  10. Not everyone is grown up or mature enough to accept new idea's or possible new ventures. Just remember - dont feed the trolls

  11. I know u like quotes Heather, so here's a good one that has a lot of relevance. Hope this helps someone :-)

    Never blame anyone in your life

    GOOD people give you happiness
    BAD people give you experience
    WORST people give you lessons
    & BEST people give you memories

    Remember that ;-)
    Remember who's words matter to you

  12. Just listen ....

    Sometimes you wonder if this fight is worthwhile
    The precious moments are all lost in the tide, yea
    They're swept away and nothing is what is seems
    The feeling of belonging to your dreams

    Listen to your heart
    When he's calling for you
    Listen to your heart
    There's nothing else you can do
    I don't know where you're going
    And I don't know why
    But listen to your heart
    Before you tell him goodbye

    And there are voices
    That want to be heard
    So much to mention
    But you can't find the words
    The scent of magic
    The beauty that's been
    When love was wilder than the wind.....

    Listen To Your Heart
    Roxette ...

    kisses fron Brazil .......

  13. Thank you for this!
    I made my first ASMR video last week. I intend to make more.
    "Brace for Impact" seems to be the theme here.

    PS: Speaking of constructive input: I've noticed that for the past three emails announcing your upload, the link to your blog is truncated when we click on it. I use Gmail.

  14. After over a year of listening to your voice, I can honestly say: you are still like an audio rock I lean onto when things get tough.

    It saddens me to see how some people have spoken to you. I am happy to see this has not dis-swayed you from your course. You are a great artist. I can't even call you an ASMR-artist, cause I feel it no longer covers the entire scope of your creativity.

    You make vids that you love and you put a lot of work in them too. I hope you keep remembering every day that that is EXACTLY what most people probably love about you and your work.

    Bridget Jones Diary: we love you "just as you are"

    Thank you for all your hard work and devotion to quality
    Take care
    Hope your back is healed by now
    Big warm hug from me

    Anna K

  15. Who WATCHES asrm videos anyway? I just shut off my screen and go lie on my bed with my headphones on. You're supposed to relax, no?

  16. You may have your less than social moments. Don't we all? Insert nuclear explosion here. But don't ever forget that when you are being your level headed self on a scale of one to ten you are batting a thousand to me. Or you'll make me cry. If I had to choose one person to see every morning across the 'breakfast' table it would be you. It would be an honor to look after your cats for you. I used to practice talking to cats (in their native tongue) on the way home from high-school anyway.

  17. This is a great message for anyone who fears rejection or judgment from sharing their chosen form of free expression, be it on the internet or just in the everyday world.
    Still, I can't believe there are people who could actually hate someone as good as you, Heather.
    I don't think these people are aware of how much effort goes into what you do.
    I'm proud to be a fan of yours, and I'm grateful that I was able to discover your channel when I did.
    Whether you know it or not, you've helped me through some very tough times, and have always been there as a source of comfort and friendship to me.
    When you see the haters and trolls, remember too that there are countless more people like me who love and support you.
    Thank you for everything. Especially the tingles.

  18. Thanks for sharing that Heather :-)

  19. So very well said! Bravissima! And pajama pants are the best ;)

  20. Again I feel like I'm in trouble for liking you?.... How can people not feel like they know you? A lot of your video time involves you sharing what seem to be your personal thoughts... I must apologize, but i will like you even if you hate me. And for the record I've never had a sultry fantasy involving you... But... ttps://

  21. It takes real bravery to put yourself out there, especially these days when it seems that there are so many that love nothing more than to spew anonymous hatred at complete strangers out of boredom or malice or both. You may even get a few on this post from those who will most likely not even read past the title or the first paragraph. Any artist in any medium has to deal with criticism, but for those that choose to express their art online random hatred is a volume business. It is inevitable that my own son will have an online presence in the near future, and possibly as a YouTuber himself. I only hope that I can teach him to be as strong and pragmatic as yourself in dealing with the amount of misplaced hate that he will encounter.

  22. I know its hard but take it from whom it comes.... some people really have nothing to say and then they simply HAVE to say something bad...:-/