Holidays always make me think about my friends and family especially those from my childhood or earlier career days who have become a part of my fondest memories. The best part about TRUE friends is that even though you may not see or talk to them often, when you do meet up, it is like old times.
Facebook has helped many people reconnect and that is true for me too. I have many of my high school friends that I have been reacquainted with as well as new friends and it is a convenient place to stay in touch. On buildabearville.com we wanted it to be a place where old and new friends could connect. The fun thing about online friends is you can seem to have a lot more than you would ever have in real life. One such friend is Michelle—known in BABV as IzzyFluffed. This past week she came with her daughter Kayla (LilFluff) to meet me and get a tour of our World BearQuarters. It seems that Kayla really wanted to meet us and what a treat it was for me. We talked for an hour or so and shared many stories about friends we had made in BABV like MomMusicLover and KimberlyMay17. Without Buildabearville.com I would not know these ladies and nor would I have their input to help make our company better. That is a great friendship—one with give and take! I hope to meet as many of our buildabearville.com Guests in real life as I can.
Tomorrow Hannah from Georgia is stopping by to say hello on her Spring break. I can’t wait to meet her. To me, meeting people in real life is the ultimate fun thing to do.
I talk about friends a lot because to me they are so valuable. I am a lucky person—I have lots of friends. One such very special friend and long time acquaintance is Mike Duke. Mike and I have known each other for about 25 years as we used to work together. Recently he was named the CEO of Wal-mart and now runs the largest company in the entire world. To me he is a rock star–a very down to earth one at that! He is the same nice man that he has always been even though he is one of the most important business leaders in the world.
Last week he invited me to attend one of the famous Wal-mart Saturday meetings and asked me on stage to be “interviewed.” Mike and I both love our jobs and bringing great stuff to our stores so he asked me about merchandising and ideas and it was so much fun. I am always glad to share my know-how with others and so is Mike. Here is a picture of us:
After the meeting my other friend that live in Arkansas, Peaches, had some of her friends that love BABW over for a teddy bear tea and we had a blast. I wish I could do this more often. Itw as relaxing and FUN to meet so many Moms and their children who love BABW so much.
On buildabearville.com (and many other virtual worlds) you can click on someone you meet and ask them to be your friend—as easy as that. In the real world making a true friends is way harder but well worth it. In the virtual world being a friend is also MUCH MORE than a click. The object is not to rack up so many names of people you really don’t know but instead to find some friends who share your values of fair play, honesty and integrity. They aren’t bullies or mean to anyone but kind and helpful and always smiling. They aren’t greedy trying to get something you have worked hard to buy or collect with a promise of something they have when they really don’t. I say pick your friends in the virtual world the same way you would in the real world –because they are a good person and a good bear.
Recently in order to make room for more fun stuff on BABV and also to load all the neat things we have even faster we say than many of our citizens have thousands of “friends.” Not real friends but the kind you click on and never see each other again. In fact, of the people that have 200 or more friends, few even had contact with or traded with 50 of those friends. So, we asked people to minimize their list—not minimize their friends. As you know I speak to many of the citizens on a daily basis through email and here is what one said: “I have this friend in BABV who is trying to get me to trade something and I don’t want her to.” THAT IS NOT A FRIEND BY ANYONE”S DEFINITION..online or in the real world. In this world of virtual everything some lines gets blurred but the friendship one must not! The internet is a great place to reconnect with old friends and stay in touch with all friends but nothing beats the connectedness of REAL face to face friends. People you can look in they eye and know they are being truthful or that they really are who they say they are.
I love the ease of the internet—it has made connecting with our Guests so much easier but nothing is as fun as meeting them in person and seeing the sparkle in their eye. Lucky me—Hannah is coming to meet me tomorrow!
Hugs to all.