Jennette McCurdy admits that she once "scoffed at the idea that anything real could stem from something as sterile and calculated as the Internet."
That's what the iCarly and Sam & Cat star writes in a new essay for the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog, the 21-year-old actress so moved to share her thoughts about falling for a guy online because...well, that's exactly what happened to her!
While it's perfectly common these days for the media to go nuts whenever one celebrity steps out with another, Jennette's new relationship with Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond made headlines even before the two met in person because it started on the most public of forums, Instagram and Twitter.
Andre, 20, had been paying Jennette, 21, attention online for some weeks before she finally tweeted him back in August, and they ended up meeting in person for the first time in L.A. over Labor Day weekend—a trip that was well-documented on social media, of course.
And now they're an absurdly adorable item! But Jennette reveals in her op-ed that she didn't blindly fall
Jennette recalls how the whole thing started when she got hundreds of tweets from fans encouraging her to follow @dre_drummond_ on Twitter, thanks to the "Women Crush Wednesday" posts and other sweet tweets he had devoted to her.
But she admits that she wasn't sold right away and did her research, checking him out on Google and Wikipedia and going way back through his Twitter feed to get a better sense of the guy.
As for his Jennette tweets, "I found it sweet, gutsy, and flattering," she wrote. "It's hard not to be impressed by a boy who will express his feelings for you in front of hundreds of thousands of people. I followed him back on Twitter and sent him a public message. We had a brief banter and then he sent me a private message with his phone number. Inevitably, I utilized it."
Actually, it's very easy to be not impressed by a stranger tweeting about you, so there was obviously something she liked about Andre right off the bat.
Jennette also admits to being a bit "unnerved" as Andre's visit to California approached as she wondered whether her "fears of the overhype of cyberspace" would become a reality.
"Granted, Andre and I had much more personal communication than the few flirty public tweets we would send each other every couple of days, but still... 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?"
Wise young lady, this one.
Happily, "the Andre Drummond I got to know in person is the same person he projects online," Jennette wrote. But she knows that she got lucky.
"Speaking to the time I spent getting to know Andre face to face, I can personally attest to the fact that the most prominent moments to me were those not chronicled," she continued. "They were the little things that a camera can't be whipped out fast enough to catch, the things too imperfect to be blasted out to the multitudes."
"If played right and used smartly, social networking can be like a little scrapbook for your personal life," Jennette advised. "It can be the bits you feel comfortable trimming with fancy scissors and gluing rhinestones on, pasting into a tidy book and displaying on a table for guests to see. Its point is not to take away from the experiences it chronicles, merely to commemorate them."
So why do she and Andre—who, because of the long distance, does have to be just a face on a screen sometimes—continue to share so much online with so many people?
"Well, because it's fun!" Jennette acknowledged. "It's like when you get a piece of good news and just have to pick up the phone and call a friend. There are some things that just feel right to share. "