Publisher: Penguin Audio (June 16th 2015)
Audio Book: 5 CDs
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?
Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?”
But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.
For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. They enlisted the world’s leading social scientists, including Andrew Cherlin, Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before.
In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.
I original tried to read this book, but I kept hearing everything I read in Aziz’s voice, so I just listened to it instead…It worked out pretty well.
Like most fedora wearers, he had a lot of inexplicable confidence.
In case you’re unsure of what this book is about, it is a non-fiction book about dating in the modern world. Not only is it non-fiction, but it’s not even about Aziz’s dating life (though we do get little sneak peeks), it’s a sociological look at romance in the modern world, which means research, statistics, and fun facts (with the help of sociologist Eric Klinenberg)!
“Unlike phone calls, which bind two people in real-time conversations that require at least some shared interpretation of the situation, communication by text has no predetermined temporal sequencing and lots of room for ambiguity.
Did I just use the phrase “predetermined temporal sequencing”? Fuck yeah, I did.”
This was an interesting read that took a look at how romance has changed over the generation, especially with the addition of all the new technology and how that has changed dating culture. Aziz’ humour is laced throughout the book as he provides us with how texting, social media and dating apps affects dating. We get stories, of the romantic, awkward, horror and hilarious type from a wide range of interviews. I particularly like the cross-cultural take on how romance/the dating culture is different.
Overall, a fun listen with things learned and anecdotes to have you giggling. Aziz kept me entertained with his side comments and commentary and the information was expected and some was enlightening. If you have an interest in how romance has changed and been influence by technology and the times, it’s an informative read.
When I’ve really been in love with someone, it’s not because they looked a certain way or liked a certain TV show or a certain cuisine. It’s more because when I watched a certain TV show or ate a certain cuisine with them, it was the most fun thing ever.
Find Aziz Ansari:
a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.