If more books were this relevant and entertaining maybe the 23% of American adults who did not read a single book last year (Pew 2014) would consider stepping away from social media long enough to crack open a book. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari speaks to those currently on a journey to find "the one" who feel lost and confused by their inability to navigate the modern relationship. Ansari could have easily relied upon his dry humor and sardonic wit to write a comedic book on any topic, but he chose to examine the modern romance. Ansari acknowledges that he relied upon a team of experts, consulting a cadre of the country's leading social scientists, including field research conducted by revered NYU Sociologist, Eric Klinenberg, and utilizing data collected by leading online dating websites to explore contemporary dating culture in depth.
He begins the book by interviewing old people to determine how the search for love, dating, and marriage has changed over the last several decades. As might be expected, he soon reaches the conclusion that meeting one's mate was simpler in an age when couples were encouraged to marry young and often lived or worked in the same neighborhood, or even apartment building, as the person they ended up with.
As the book progresses, the ever humorous and charming Ansari, explores the roles that the internet and social media have played in complicating the dating process. He relates the story of his own texting experience with a prospective love interest that fizzled in his phone and prompted him to write a book on the subject. His candid discussions about his emotions relating to love and dating provide a glimpse into the gender neutrality of feelings like apprehension, disappointment, and the fear of rejection.
In addition to being very humorous, Modern Romance is extremely relatable. Who among us has not felt the pang of confusion at seeing those three text dots appear only to disappear again with no response or explanation or felt the nagging compulsion to snoop through a prospective mate's phone? The book proclaims that for better or worse dating culture has been forever altered and that modern dater's must learn how to navigate social media and cultural norms. It is well worth the few hours required to crack it open and read it.