Boca Raton-based home security provider ADT conducted a survey of 1,001 Americans who consume true crime content.
True crime has taken over popular culture, evolving from a niche topic into one of our favorite entertainment and storytelling genres. But watching or listening to true crime stories or mysteries has entered our psyche, and as we become aware of the need to protect our families, our buying habits turn to security devices.
The survey showed that women are more likely to experience negative emotional consequences after consuming this type of content. Compared to men, women were more likely to worry about their family's safety (31.3%), their own safety (27.7%), and to feel anxious, scared, or paranoid (24.4%, 23%, and 22.2%, respectively) after reading, watching, or listening to true crime.
Yet women were almost twice as likely as men to consume true crime every day. The most popular formats included TV shows (87%), movies (75.4%), and books (43%). Less than 28% of people listened to true crime podcasts, which were more than twice as popular among millennials compared to baby boomers.
Over two out of three (69.1%) people in the US believed that the events portrayed in true crime content could happen to their own family. Over two in five (44.1%) check their locks at night, 16.4% carry pepper spray, and 15.6% go out in groups only.
The most popular home security additions chosen by respondents were surveillance cameras (which were installed by 10% more men than women), a doorbell camera, and a security system.
People enjoy being scared in situations they can control and are comforted by horror movies or TV shows -- even shows that are tense and unnerving. Knowing that these shows are not real can make horror stories entertaining and enjoyable.
Almost two out of three (57%) of people said that they preferred true crime content with actual footage or recordings, and nearly as many (56.9%) said footage or recordings made the content scarier.
Over two out of five (44.3%) reported taking a break from true crime content as they found it too overwhelming for them.
The survey showed that installing security cameras made people feel less scared about being home alone at night – down from 44.5% to 23.2%. Occurrences of nightmares and hearing noises also reduced after installing security cameras.
Installing security cameras can be really simple. I installed an outdoor security camera in less than 20 minutes last week, and I am testing several more indoor cameras which have added to me feeling more secure.
If you need peace of mind, buy a low-cost security camera. Then you can watch all of the true-crime stories you want to without being overwhelmed.
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