Oh boy oh boy! If I didn’t already have a crush on Aziz Ansari before reading this book, I definitely do now. Holy smokes that man is adorable!
This book read kind of like a bunch of blog-entries strung together; like something from thegloss.com from way back when it was awesome (I don’t know what’s hip now as I am no longer young, #obvs.)
Modern Romance is a sociological study of technologies impact on modern dating patterns and relationships. As we travel through America, Japan, Paris and Brazil we get different stats and a crazy amount of research from the different countries. Seriously, focus groups! Pie Charts! Comparative data! And numbers and in depth interviews! And then Aziz came in from time to time to talk about food a LOT.
For me the balance between serious study and crazy penis jokes was perfect. I love diving into technology and how all them zany young-people-apps affect human behavior. And I have a weekness for Mr. Ansari’s squeeky babyvoice. I didn’t do the audiobook (though I should have!), but I imagined his inflection all the same – especially the times where he actually demands it…bossy man, that Aziz Ansari!
However, as someone who studies and works with technology for a living, sometimes his conclusions were…
“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.”
I mean…It’s not that he’s wrong, it’s just the patterns around texting/instant messaging are so fascinating that it’s not enough to just conclude there. He says himself that he longs for a simpler time, but the times they are a-changing. For young people, it’s not impolite to reply to a text while hanging out physically with someone else – in fact its the opposite. Young people relate to each other through temporality rather than physical distance and they absolutely have a predetermined temporal sequencing. It’s just different from ours. And in those instances Aziz was just a little too “outside” to be truly objective and to truly understand.
And then at other times, he was dead-spot-on-right. It doesn’t really matter wether you met on tinder or at volunteering at the local truck rally.
“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.”
Say it with me now…