I'm not sure why 21-year-old Jennette McCurdy — the TV actress, singer and one-time star of Nickelodeon’s “iCarly" who currently co-stars with Ariana Grande in the comedy series “Sam & Cat" — wrote a blog post for the Wall Street Journal about meeting her internet crusher/crushee (who happens to be NBA player Andre Drummond) IRL, but I'm glad she did.
When I was younger, I met and solidified relationships with multiple friends and paramours online (thanks, LiveJournal/shut up, everyone), but I had to keep them secret from my "real" friends, who would've thought I was a freak, and my parents, who would've called "To Catch a Predator." But fewer and fewer people these days believe that IRL communication trumps virtual connection, and I like the idea of teenage fans reading McCurdy's story:
Also, what if the person I had built up in my head was different than the person I’d soon be sitting across from? What if technology aided and enhanced our conversations to the point where we felt crippled without it? What if two screens cannot properly replicate two humans after all?
Turns out, they can’t. Overall, the Andre Drummond I got to know in person is the same person he projects online, but it’s important to remember that the image displayed through a screen is in fact just that – a display. A person doesn’t converse in 140 characters, they don’t react in filters, and a well-played moment doesn’t loop itself every 6 seconds. We don’t live our life in glossy little quips, blips, and fragments, regardless of the fact that that’s what we’re encouraged to do in this day and age.
Of course, stars are not just like us. McCurdy's friend who also met her boyfriend online "is a popular entertainer and her pursuer was a popular YouTuber, so this whole courtship unfolded not only behind screens but also in front of millions of people." McCurdy was likewise worried about meeting Andre face to face:
When you don’t have a million people telling you how cute your attempted date joke was like they tell you how cute your emoticon tweet exchange was, will any real spark exist? Will the chemistry between two people fall short of the buzz of millions? Maybe the more really is the merrier…
According to TMZ, things are going well offline.