Aziz Ansari Would Prefer No Photos With You

Recorded on August 22nd, 2016

Aziz Ansari 2012 Shankbone

Freakonomics Radio recently re-ran this interview with Aziz Ansari. As you might expect, he is devastatingly smart. He co-wrote a book called Modern Romance (which I have not read) about the reasons that people date and marry today and how the rituals and methods behind those have changed from olde times. It sounds like less of an Aziz-standup book than one about a subject he was interested enough in to do actual research on.

So, smart dude, and one who freely admits his weakness for reading too much of the internet and wasting time on Facebook. And that makes me appreciate even more his distaste for taking photos with fans when he’s out and about. It’s not that he’s too good for it. It just gets in the way of being with his actual friends, and the photos aren’t that important anyway:

And you know, if people ask for a photo I have like a nice way of telling people, “oh I’d rather not take a photo but what’s your name? Thank you so much for watching my work and I’m genuinely very appreciative.”


So it becomes this whole thing. So you can either do that or you can have this real moment with a person where you say, “hey, how are you? Like, what’s your name? Like, thanks for watching my stuff. And I’m happy to do that.” That feels like a real thing to me.

Note to self: Resist the urge to take photos when I meet my celebrity heroes. Some people may be very cool with it. For others, it’s just one more annoyance in a long day, and would I really want to be the source of that? What would it prove anyway? That we’re now buds? No. It would prove that we were both in front of the same camera at the same instant, but not much else. Why can’t we be secure in the authenticity of a moment with another person, where we talk and listen to each other and we don’t ask them to give us yet one more thing?

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