The Internet is an innovation we all have come to love. It is a source of education, entertainment, and pure joy. But for every bright side, there is always a dark one. From the spreading of hatred and false information to the glorification of terrible people, we can explore the dark crevices of the internet and its impact on today’s youth.
One of the most popular current obsessions of the web is the romanticization of serial killers and murderers. Astonishingly, this trend is nothing new. Previously in the ’70s cults flocks of fans of serial killers like Ted Bundy would write love letters and have them be delivered to their jail cell. As reported by Crimeviral the fans in question claimed that a “charismatic and handsome” man like Ted Bundy would never hurt a fly because he doesn’t look like that type of person. Moreover, social media now has opened up new possibilities and given „fans“ a bigger platform to voice their opinion.
After releasing the documentary Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes Netflix had to ask viewers to stop calling Ted Bundy hot. The documentary presented gathered footage and recorded audio of Ted Bundy while he remained on death row.
The movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starring Zac Efron didn’t help the situation either. By choosing an objectively attractive man as the actor for the serial killer, Netflix achieved to do the fans justice once again. The portrayal of the past teen heart-throb being a serial killer made the viewers even more confident in their fondness for these people. Professionals diagnosed this concept as “Hybristophilia”. Take this as an example: society teaches some women to “fix” their partners, which is called being a fixer. These people want to provide love and affection for the ones incapable of loving them. Their goal is something along the lines of being the only woman the man learns to love. Which is a result of fixing their partner’s problems and changing their beliefs through affection.
If Bundy is old news to you, the show YOU on Netflix must be something you’ve heard of recently. It is known that the beloved show, just a few months after airing, already got a second season. While that is a good thing on the outside, we must address what the show is about. The main protagonist, Joe Goldberg, saves Beck, the love interest, and immediately becomes obsessed with her. As a result, he is ready to eliminate every problem crossing his way to become her partner. His alleged „love“ becomes so deep, that he kills and tortures people to achieve his goal. While a psychological thriller isn’t anything horrendous, the fans’ reactions sure are. Teen girls have been obsessing over Joe to an extent that even the actor felt obligated to explain that his character’s personality and savior complex is not attractive. He needed to remind his fans that being fond of a serial killer is unhealthy.
By glamorizing serial killers, we allow these types of behaviors and personality traits to be normalized thus making some less likely to treat these disorders. If you or someone you know has been displaying concerning thoughts or behaviors, seeking help should be a priority.
Sadly we focus so much on the killers, we forget to be reminiscent of the victims. The women that lost their lives deserve better and should be mentioned and remembered. Ted Bundy got his attention and Joe his next season, while women like Beck are mostly forgotten about.
In memory of:
Lynda Ann Healy
Donna Gail Manson
Susan Elaine Rancourt
Roberta Kathleen Parks
Brenda Carol Ball
Janice Anne Ott
Denise Marie Naslund
Melissa Anne Smith
Laura Ann Aime
Debra Jean Kent
Caryn Eileen Campbell
Denise Lynn Oliverson