Skype and Build-a-Bearville: Bridging the Miles Between Friends

We’ve been here in Barbados for twelve days but my daughter has been missing her friends a lot. Fortunately, we have Skype and Build-a-Bearville accounts to shorten the distance.

Today, I overheard this conversation while she was on the phone (aka Skype) with her good pal. My daughter’s Build-a-Bear avatar is named MaggieMay123 and her friend’s is AJ2Hip456.

MaggieMay123: Hold on, I’m going to do the Dance Sequence number 1 .

AJ2Hip456: Wait, why don’t you do the Trumpet? Okay, and I’ll dance. Start after three. 1 – 2 – 3.

And then AJ2Hip456 started dancing at the same time as MaggieMay123 played her trumpet. They both giggled.

The thing that was so nice about this interaction and the rest of their hour spent in Bearville scooting around to the Skate Park and the Coffee Shop (where they both got ‘jobs’) and Friendship Forest Park is that this is the same way these two play when they are right next to each other. It was as though there was no distance whatsoever.

My son has had his own web 2.0 interactions with another long-time friend. They Skype and talk longer on the phone than these two boys ever spoke before. They’ve played games via Skype.

When we return to Poughkeepsie, the continuity of friendship kept with these children will make it so the kids will not miss a beat.

In 2003, we lived in Trinidad for six months. We had a dial-up internet connection. There was no Skype back then. There was no Gmail. There was no Build-a-Bear or Club Penguin or Second Life. It’s like it was the dark ages and it was only six years ago. What will the fruits of the internets be in another six years?

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