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It’s safe to say that there is not a streaming service, podcast, or cable TV channel in today’s modern world that does not offer some form of a true crime story. There are even TV channels solely dedicated to straight 24-hour coverage of true crime, such as the widely iconic Investigation Discovery channel. The fascination that started out from board games like Clue, to what is now an endless stream of true crime TV, why are we as a society so obsessed with playing the role of detective?
Known for quickly becoming one of the most compelling TV genres that completely immerses the viewer, as opposed to something you put on in the background while multitasking, true crime is an entire psychologically intoxicating experience. The excitement caused from watching something with such thrilling effects actually causes our brains to secrete higher levels of dopamine, essentially meaning we are somewhat chemically programmed to fall into the true crime TV addiction epidemic, whether we like it or not. But still, the question is, why are we primarily turning towards a dark and heavily violence based crime stories in order to catch our adrenaline fix, rather than something more positively intoxicating? That all comes from the way that our brains interpret this often disturbing information, and what our minds hope to gain in return of viewing true crime.
Reasons We Love True Crime:
The Detective Work:
Let’s start with the widely expressed idea that we as humans have the natural tendency to dislike the unknown, and a deep desire to want to discover the unknown. True crime is a poster child for that inner detective desire we all have, as the viewer is able to easily play along with the crime story in order to reach the end level of truth or justice. Justice is also a key word here when discussing why we are addicted to true crime stories. Now “feel good” is certainly not something that one would normally associate with that of a true crime story, however, there is a sense of positivity that is felt when going into watching a true crime show and knowing that in the end everything is going to turn out alright, or just knowing that eventually justice will be served. Along with this, we have the urge to understand why things or people are the way they are. People may tune into true crime stories in an attempt to wrap their brains around just how and why someone may experience the urge to execute the volatile crimes that they do.
As individuals, we may have different reasons for our true crime obsession. But it’s important to know that there is, in fact, a reason and that we are exercising and actively using our brains while indulging in these shows. True crime doesn’t seem like a genre that is ever going to disappear, but more likely, it is going to grow. At least we can all take comfort in knowing that our obsession is not unusual, nor unhealthy.