I’ve been a fan of Aziz Ansari since I saw him on Parks & Recreation. When I saw that he had written Modern Romance, I at first thought it was going to be his memoir. I was surprised when it was a book focused on researching how modern individuals find and maintain relationships. Because my expectation was so different I wasn’t sure what to expect.
What helped ease me into the book was the fact that Mr. Ansari takes his own personal experiences with modern romance and uses these as a jumping off point for the book/research. Mr. Ansari keeps his comedic voice throughout the book which keeps book from becoming too heavy, but doesn’t oversimplfy the topic either.
Mr. Ansari paired up with a sociologist and they explored the different facets of modern romance. While I may be a Millenial, I felt out of touch with what they consider modern romance. I met my wife at college and the most modern aspect related to our relationship was talking on cellphones and skyping during the two years we were at different schools and states. That was hard enough, but I can’t imagine trying to find my future life partner using an app. I can barely handle texting friends and worrying that they think I’m a weirdo.
The conclusion brought out one of the most important points, in my opinion, and that is while technology may help us expand our pool of possible romantic partners, we can never substitute face-to-face human interaction for text messages and swipe-rights. I like Ansari’s point that behind each picture and text message is a real person. Treating people as such will long a lot further than superficial “wsup” and “hey” messages.