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Why Are People so Obsessed with True Crime?

Culture

Our fascination with true crime has caused the morbid genre to boom all over platforms. There is a huge market for these videos with creators often featuring other skills like doing their makeup while telling the story. They have definitely managed to cater to a number of people watching. And in fact, consuming true crime and sharing it has led to unearthing more tips to some unsolved cases. Surprisingly enough, there have been instances when this led to closing of many cases.

Whether it's TikTok, YouTube or podcasts, you can always find a whole market of these videos trending. But why are we so drawn to horrors? What kind of affects does it have on modern society?

Why do we heavily consume true crime?

The most basic answer to knowing what draws us to true-crime stories is the thrill factor. Throughout time, it's been proven over and over again that we love an adrenaline rush. However, after more thought, I came to the realization that this world-wide addiction to true-crime can be attributed to the exploration the genre promises. Humans are naturally curious, we want to get at the heart of mysteries, and solve puzzles. We want to know the whys, whens, and hows of situations. Sometimes, it can even make us feel safer.

Research shows that women are the largest true crime audience. Through studies, researchers have gathered that women tend to observingly consume true crime. If we know the whys, whens, and hows, then we know how to protect ourselves. By watching more and more stories about a variety of different criminals, we learn more about how to avoid them. It makes sense that women are the biggest demographic, since we tend to be victimized more often.

People are always subtly attracted to chaos and disaster. There’s this darker side to humanity that we want to explore without taking part in it. In a way, true crime allows us to indulge in these desires while still holding us to a moral compass. This is why dark tourism, tourism that is associated with tragedy, exists. It's a way to physically get closer to a story while remaining safe.

The effects on modern society

Though it's fun to be on the edge of our seats, indulging in too much true crime can distort our perception of reality. On a day-to-day basis, people will start making decisions based on fear or risk. While it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions (especially as women), living with paranoia is not the proper way to go through life.

Unfortunately, a huge psychological concern could be romanticizing criminals. Some cases have ended up being so brutal that they practically turn infamous. Perpetrators become household names in pop culture. This, at times, has led to copycat cases, where people commit the same crime. These reasons could be for fame, to pay homage, or simply to do something better. The biggest concern about this would be the possible increase in stereotypes. Crimes can slowly start to be associated with a particular group, causing social issues. In a time when there are already social injustices, we cannot afford to create more.

Is it bad or dangerous to be “obsessed” with true crime? No. Like anything, you should always stay aware of what you takeaway after a session. Are you left feeling anxious? If so, then it would be good to take a break for a bit. Continue enjoying true crime TikToks, podcasts, and YouTube videos while always taking reasonable precautions to ensure your safety.

Lusiana Avalos
1,000+ pageviews

Lusiana is studying Journalism at London Metropolitan University and studied Media and Communications in Switzerland. In her free time, she loves to read, write, and works as a freelancer.