Modern Romance: An Investigation Book Review
Aziz Ansari is a funny guy. This is his comedic attempt at mixing sociology (the study of culture and societies) and a book deal worth several thousand dollars.
He has a funny video on youtube talking about his dating life. In it he talks about texting with a girl for a while, back and forth, and every time, she responds readily, and quickly. But when he asks her out on a date, she completely drops the conversation.
While disappointed, this was not his first time. In fact, he met another girl some time later, and they went on a date together. Drinks, food, entertainment, and then back to his place. After spending the night together (whether it was with sex or not), she goes home.
After texting her again a few times, he proceeds to invite her on another date, but once again, the conversation goes completely silent.
So Aziz decides, this is the thesis of his book…
But more generally, how has modern dating changed since the 1950's in America, the differences between urban and rural dating cultures, and the differences between Argentinian, Japanese, and French dating.
As well, he covers how the influx of mobile app dating (Tinder, OKCupid, etc) has influenced the culture of sport dating, marriage, and the overwhelming amount of choice and decision making.
It's amazing what is happening within the dating scene. At one point, you would meet someone in your building, through a friend, or within just 1-2km from you, you would connect, and date them in order to start a family.
But now, people connect from dozens, if not hundreds of kilometers, and seek to find a partner who fulfills every desire, including sex, family, passions, and is a ‘soulmate'.
Unfortunately, there is just too much selection now, which causes a dating-style attention deficit disorder. In effect, if your ‘soulmate' does not perform within a narrow criteria, you have too many other options.
“another woman recalled being so hooked on Tinder that she was on her way to a date and swiping to see if there was another more attractive guy out there to meet up with in case her existing date was a bust.”
Even the social stigma of meeting a person online has become an issue of the past.
Another interesting contrast was between Argentina and Japan. In japanese culture, men and women are having less sex, resulting in a declining birthrate. The men and women are, essentially, too scared or uninterested in interacting with eachother. While in Argentinian culture, the men are incredibly aggressive and persistant, because the women present a social defence to ‘not seem easy'.
The dating scene has evolved so rapidly because of technology, that we can't be certain of what to expect in the next 5-10 years.
But, just as my own personal vision, I expect Virtual reality (VR) to play a heavy role in human mating. In fact, I expect VR, and the mix of sex toys, and unlimited choice of pornography to overwhelm the need to seek out a sexual partner for many. This is already happening with Robots and virtual reality in Japan.
If you like sociology, and are curious about the current revolution in dating, then I recommend this book. Was Aziz Ansari funny? Only slightly. But more important is the message.