Have you seen Instagram posts on a particular gooey malleable textured ‘substance’ that gets a million likes?
A term born out of Reddit in an attempt to describe the explainable pleasure kindled in the heart of the viewer, has also been labelled on this substance as “oddly satisfying”.
This ‘substance’ that has made its way to kids and adults hearts alike is none other than slime, who’s origin started in Germany in the 1970s.
You may ask ‘why is slime so popular?’
It has become a huge phenomenon on the Internet, where many people have posted videos related to slime and I myself has also jumped on the bandwagon.
Perhaps the reason may simply be because everyone is all following trends, but a stronger argument lies in a phenomenon known as ASMR.
Videos on slime are visually pleasing and relaxing to watch, which is the resulting effect from ASMR.
Hence, the term “Oddly Satisfying” has been coined for slime. The following are significant reasons for the popularity of slime.
Slime is popular for its aesthetic quality
Firstly, many people are willing to spend their time watching oddly satisfying videos because we all have a desire for satisfaction or pleasure. Social media has a language for it, where the deliberate recreation of visually pleasing elements coupled with squishy or crunching sounds has created value for the watchers.
Be it watching soap cutting, slime making or pressure washers cleaning the pavements, the unifying thing about these vastly different models is due to their aesthetic quality.
Take a look the video above. Did you feel compelled to watch it again or to go onto social media accounts to find similar videos? If your answer is yes, this shows why slimes are so trendy and being labelled as oddly satisfying.
There’s crunchy slime, sparkle slime, butter slime, all available in any color or multicolored that you can ever imagine. That textural and visual range is all part of the art of slime.
Now that we know that we all crave for the satisfaction that slime provide, let’s understand about the sensory stimulation.
There are different forms of stimulation that we can get from slime, be it the watcher or the player.
Some of the stimulation include visual, auditory and tactile. The person playing with slime enjoys all 3; tactile, visual and auditory stimulation at the same time.
While the person watching videos do not have tactile sensations in real life, those videos integrate strong visuals and sounds.
Hence, the watcher gets satisfaction from seeing pretty slimes and hearing gooey and squishing sounds.
On a side note, some people add in the 4th sensory pleasure to their creations by adding in essential oil in their recipes, giving it aromatherapy properties.
The emotional component behind slime
There is an emotional component to slime that makes it a good partner for ASMR. Majority of the ASMR videos feature an attractive woman looking down at you and whispering softly evokes the memory of your mom whispering to you right before you fall asleep every night.
These memories are comforting; and it veers you into a relaxed mode that helps you to get good sleep. Childhood memories are simple but they hold a significantly powerful part in our lives and minds.
Similarly, we have mirrored slime to Play-dohs and associated it with our childlike tendencies. When we were younger, we learnt fine motor skills from our sense of touch.
The mirror neurons are activated in our brains as we watch motor movements where we can relate it back to our childhood.
Repetitive hand movements while making slime
Repetitive behaviors coupled with looking at hand movements can be very soothing to some as well. This is why ASMRtists like to play with slime or watch others play with slime, as it evokes the memory of them doing it themselves.
Children are soothed and comforted by repeated motions such as moulding slime together, and this behavior may very well remain in their lifetime.
Slime help us to destress
Slime are popular not just because of its aesthetic beauty and uniqueness, they help people to destress too. Our sedentary lifestyle has also contributed to our desire to play with slime.
Art therapist Nadia Jenefsky says that “We are all more stressed and just having something to fidget with or play with in your hand is a good way to discharge tension or stress energy.”
Slime is a simple but very effective stress toy that is now being used in psychotherapies to treat anxiety. Studies showed that playing with slime takes your mind off stressors and calms your nerves.
“Especially if you are stressed because you have to sit at a desk or on the subway. Our high levels of stress, combined with high levels of inertia, make us want to discharge physical energy through stress balls, slime or coloring books.”
Personally, I love making slime because it helps me to destress. The whole process from bringing all the ingredients together to needing it to a dough to then beautifying my slime has made it a pleasant experience.
The satisfaction I get is from repeated hand movements like a ritual, and using slime as my artisan stress ball.
After learning about the benefits of slime and the surprising link of ASMR and slime, would you want to make your own gooey slime? Read on for the instructions or catch my experience of DIY slime here!
As an ASMRtist, I love to explore different sounds and objects to play with and slime is right on my top list!
Slime is very popular because of the ease of making it. Coupled with unlimited amount of combinations of colors, glitters, and decorations you can add them to, it has proven to be well-liked by kids and adults alike.
I’m 20 and entering adulthood in 8 months, but I still got really excited thinking about making my own slime!
A quick search on Google provided me with multiple results on ‘How to make your own slime’.
As a student with little spare cash, I naturally went into looking for the cheapest way to make slime, preferably with household items. The one that caught my eye was creating slime with just 3 household ingredients! I thought that it was perfect because I happen to have all the essential ingredients at home.
What’s more is that it’s safer than the alternatives as it doesn’t require the use of Borax. Borax is a chemical cleaner, so I felt that long term exposure to it will be bad for skin and health.
If you are making slime for children, do use the ingredients that I will be recommending instead!
I only wrote down the main ingredients that I would need and proceeded to make my first slime, which I thought would be an easy process. I was so wrong and it didn’t turn out to be as pretty as I wanted it to. 🙁 Nonetheless, I continued experimenting with the 3 ingredients and eventually, I learnt how to create the perfect slime after a few tries.
The 3 main ingredients that I required were contact lens solution, baking soda and washable school glue. Baking soda and contact lens solution were easy for me to obtain as my family bakes often while I also have bottles of contact lens solution in my bedroom. In fact, contact lens solution is essentially saline solution, which is just a mixture of salt and water.
I am looking at using just salt water for my future ASMR slime video to experiment if it still works perfectly so do stay tuned! However, the problem that I faced was figuring out what washable school glue is…
The brand of glue that is recommended on the websites could not be found in Singapore. I was clueless about the different types of glue but I am a glue expert now! The ideal glue for making slime is actually the most common glue that you can find in all stationery stores. Do get the washable one as it got to be waterproof.
These are the 3 essential materials to make a slime, but I went on to an art shop to purchase some food sprinkles, buttons and glitters to decorate my slime!
Now, here comes the fun part of DIYing my slime! The first step was to prepare a plastic mixing bowl and plastic spoon. I poured the entire bottle of glue into my mixing bowl and added purple food coloring to it. However, I added way too much food coloring on the first try.
The purple color that I got was too dark and dull as seen at (6:30). Despite my mistake, I proceeded to add in approximately 1 teaspoon of baking soda into my purple glue mixture and stirred till even. The last basic ingredient is none other than the contact lens solution. I added in about 2 tablespoons of it and stirred more.
What I noticed was that the mixture harden a little and became more firm. Upon touching, I still felt that the mixture was still too sticky on my fingers and I had to add in more contact lens solution.
When I say to add in more contact lens solution, it actually meant to add in A LOT more contact lens solution! The bottle of glue can probably make a palm sized slime, so adding in 2 tablespoons of the solution is not sufficient. I would recommend using at least 5 long squirts of the solution.
That way, the slime will not be too sticky on your fingers when you first touch it to play.
When it comes to decorating your slime, you can go nuts! For me, I took a while before deciding on the food sprinkles because I thought that sprinkles are small and comes in several vibrant colors, my slime will definitely look super pretty!
When I transferred the sprinkle-filled purple slime to my hands to mold, the sprinkles quickly disappeared from my sight. The reason was because I did not add in sufficient sprinkles.
At the end of my video, I was left with more than 2/3 of the sprinkles. I would highly recommend you to use the whole bottle of sprinkles for one batch of slime so that you will be able to see the decorations on it. You definitely won’t regret it!
Tips to note before your slime creation:
A travel-sized contact solution (60ml) is enough for 1 batch of slime. It can be found at all drug stores at about 2 SGD.
Cover your table with a tablecloth or newspaper for easier cleanup after play. Though I didn’t make a big mess in my videos, I realized that small sprinkles tend to fall out of my mixing bowl.
Consider getting decorations at the stationery store i.e glitter, food sprinklers, Styrofoam balls to add into your slime creation. Be as creative as possible!
Do not touch your face while playing with slime!
Wash your hands right after playing with slime. My fingers smelled like glue and were a little itchy after 1 hour of play, but a quick wash with soap solved the problem.