I recently borrowed the audiobook of Modern Romance from the library. (If you don’t belong to your local library, I would recommend it- most libraries offer ebooks and audiobooks that you can put straight onto your tablet and phone!) Listening to this was far more of a learning experience than I expected it to be, in the best way possible. I’m curious to know if anyone had similar thoughts and conclusions after reading Modern Romance!
Modern Romance was written by comedian Aziz Ansari and sociologist Eric Klinenberg. I’m obviously a fan of celebrity memoirs, á la Scrappy Little Nobody, Talking As Fast As I Can, I Don’t Know What You Know Me From, and You’re Never Weird on the Internet, to name a few. However, this is less of a memoir and more of a sociological look at dating in the 2010s- something that I admittedly am not incredibly well-versed in. M and I met in the traditional way (in the same classes and friend group in grad school), so I have zero experience with online and digital dating. While this book might be a little “been there, done that” for some people, it was a learning experience for me. Aziz’s tone walks a good balance between funny and eager, and I appreciated that he admitted straight off the bat that Eric contributed just as much to the book as he did.
One of the main points in the book is that because dating websites and apps provide so many choices to people that everyone assumes that there is always something better out there. From what I have observed in day to day life, this doesn’t just apply to dating nowadays- people seem to think that a different handbag will get more likes on their Instagram than their current model, a new car will be more comfortable, that another job will pay more and offer better benefits and be generally more perfect. People are willing to hop from situation to situation, person to person, and ignore the consequences that may arise. I’m fairly old school- I think that everything requires work and patience, and that an easy solution is typically something to be wary of. I also think that people forget this is goes both ways- do you want to be the one left behind because someone thought there would be someone better than you?
The other interesting point that drew me in was the overall discussion of communication and how it’s changing. I admit, I am one of those weirdos that uses full words and proper punctuation when I text and message people and I’m not known for being incredibly brief. Written communication can lead to misinterpretations, especially when things are left out and truncated. I think that we are giving away a whole lot for brevity and instantaneous knowledge. I honestly felt sad for the world when he said that the majority of breakups do not happen face to face or even over the phone- you feeling less awkward is more important than at least giving someone the respect of ending the relationship in person? I don’t understand how people can put themselves first to every single degree and think only of themselves.
How do you feel about modern/online dating and communication? Do you think we are moving forwards or backwards as a society?