book number ten of 2016: modern romance [aziz ansari w/ eric klinenberg].

i got into a bit of a reading rut last month and decided to take a break from little women to read aziz ansari’s modern romance. i have read snippets of it online over the last six or so months, and i knew it would be a short, interesting read, which was exactly what i was after.

the world is available to us, but that may be the problem.

in modern romance aziz, with the help of public sociologist eric klinenberg, takes a look at the modern world of dating and romance and analyzes how it has changed in recent years. the dawn of the internet and the massive reach of smartphones has revolutionized the dating world and has completely changed how people meet and interact.

where marriage was once seen as a way to escape home – especially for young women – and ads for partners were often placed in the classified section of newspapers, nowadays people are turning to their computers and phones to find their matches.

and that’s not the only thing that has changed. people are getting married later in life, and many are opting to date casually or have long-term, live-in relationships rather than get married at all. the entire conversation around dating and marriage has shifted as technology has made us all more connected, and ansari explores all of this in his book.

finding someone today is probably more complicated and stressful than it was for previous generations — but you’re also more likely to end up with someone you are really excited about.

in addition, ansari also looks into the global realm of romance and dating. on visits to tokyo, buenos aires, and paris, he and klinenberg explore how different cultures around the world approach relationships, from the dwindling birth rates in japan to the oft-perceived oversexed culture of south america.

and finally, ansari looks into the difference between passionate and companionate love and how relationships have evolved over time. he discusses cheating, open relationships, how technology has made it easier to snoop on your partner, and many other aspects of relationships that have come to the forefront in the last decade.

ansari and klinenberg performed extensive research, held focus groups around the u s and abroad, and moderated subreddit threads to gather the information for modern romance. they spoke with sociologists and relationship experts about their findings, and the amount of time and detail they put into the book is evident from the beginning. it’s a fascinating look at relationships and romance in the modern age topped off with ansari’s incomparable wit, and it’s an easy, interesting read*.

my goodreads rating: 4 out of 5 // average rating is 3.84 [i really wanted to rate it 4.5]

for me the takeaway of these stories is that, no matter how many options we seem to have on our screens, we should be careful not to lose track of the human beings behind them. we’re better off spending quality time getting to know actual people than spending hours with our devices, seeing who else is out there.

have you read modern romance? what did you think of it?

xx

*i read the kindle version, because i found it on amazon for $4 sometime last fall, but i would also like to pick up a paperback copy of it to have a better look at the graphs and statistics that are presented. i also think the audio version would be interesting, since it’s narrated by aziz.

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