No doubt."This story forms the spineless spine of a larger argument about how online dating is changing the world, by which we mean yuppie romance.The argument is that online dating expands the romantic choices that people have available, somewhat like moving to a city. For example, if you give people more chocolate bars to choose from, the story tells us, they think the one they choose tastes worse than a control group who had a smaller selection.
Thankfully, the piece still has some of Ansari’s sense of humor, like when he compiles data on what makes an effective Ok Cupid photo and offers this advice: If you are a woman, take a high-angle selfie, with cleavage, while you’re underwater near some buried treasure.
If you are a guy, take a shot of yourself spelunking in a dark cave while holding your puppy and looking away from the camera, without smiling.
The question at hand in Dan Slater's piece in the latest Atlantic print edition, "A Million First Dates: How Online Dating is Threatening Monogamy," is whether online dating can change some basic settings in American heterosexual relationships such that monogamy and commitment are less important.
Given that Aziz Ansari’s stand-up is filled with jokes about dating in the internet age, it would seem like a safe assumption that his new book Modern Romance would be equally flippant.
But Ansari seems to be taking the topic seriously, teaming up with sociology professor Eric Klinenberg to really analyze contemporary courtship.
And in an op-ed for the New York Times, Ansari and Klinenberg reunite to offer solid, if slightly familiar, advice about “How To Make Online Dating Work.”The article tries to remove whatever stigma is still left around online dating, noting that sites like Ok Cupid, Match, and Tinder should be called “introducing services” since the dating itself still happens in the real world.When it comes to practical advice, Ansari and Klinenberg suggest not filtering people too harshly based on their profiles and giving them more than just a first date because “few people initiate romantic relationships based on first impressions.Narratively, the story focuses on Jacob, an overgrown manchild jackass who can't figure out what it takes to have a real relationship.The problem, however, is not him, and his desire for a "low-maintenance" woman who is hot, young, interested in him, and doesn't mind that he is callow and doesn't care very much about her.No, the problem is online dating, which has shown Jacob that he can have a steady stream of mediocre dates, some of whom will have sex with him."I'm 95 percent certain," Jacob says of a long-term relationship ending, "that if I'd met Rachel ofﬂine, and I'd never done online dating, I would've married her..Did online dating change my perception of permanence?