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Aziz Ansari knows you’ve read his texts

His new book explores dating in the age of “Read at 4:33pm” messaging

By Simran Bhalla  June 17th, 2015

Aziz Ansari’s new book, co-written with sociologist Eric Klinenberg, explores dating in the age of the “Read at 4:33pm” message. In Modern Romance, he approaches the issue with a somewhat-awkward combination of comedy and statistics. A few things to note when mixing social media and your sex life:

Your internet activity will be your downfall

Ansari wants us to stop being bad texters. You message someone and see that they’re “typing…” but don’t receive an actual response for hours. Meanwhile, they retweet @RushdieExplains, post a smoggy sunset on Instagram, and file a Zomato review. Is there a more infuriating modern experience than waiting for something we know can be instant?

We’re all optimisation experts now (or are we?)

Ansari’s telling us what we probably know, but might be in denial about: the superficial categories that we list for online dating – Tall! Wears glasses! Hates Game Of Thrones, loves Downton Abbey! – don’t necessarily translate to a good IRL match. On the other hand, it might be good to know up front that the man you want to date is not interested in befriending your cats.

What about anti-modern romance?

Ansari joins the legion of NRIs marveling at the success of their parents’ arranged marriage, and is eager to compare choosing a wife based on a brief meeting, or according to a list of parent-approved qualities, to swiping right or filling out an OKCupid form. But if we’ve always been governed by the same instincts (hot or not?) and used similar tools (newspaper ad, meet, what’s Aziz got to offer us?

Modern Romance (Penguin Press) is out now 

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