Harold Hackett’s hobby, tossing messages in a bottle into the ocean, proves that even the most outdated and unreliable form of ‘social networking’ can still work in our booking the face, twittering the tweet world. He sent 4800 messages via the Atlantic Ocean and received over 3000 messages back from all over the world.
Hackett started this communication by chance thing in May of 1996. His method? Rather simple actually. He uses Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice or Orange Juice bottles to house his bright fluorescent messages. Hackett always makes sure that the messages are dated and checks the winds (preferring west or southwest) before he tosses them out to the ocean. Some messages are lost for 13 years before he hears a response.
It’s so cool, Hackett has received letters back from Africa, Russia, Holland, the UK, France, Scotland, Ireland, parts of New England, Florida, Norway, and even the Bahamas. After making so many worldwide friends, he still receives Christmas cards and gifts and little souvenirs from those places. Hackett says he still loves to do it “the old way”, he purposely doesn’t put his phone number in the messages so he has to get letters back.
I have to tell you, sending 4800 messages out and getting 3100 responses is a pretty damn good ratio. It’s more effective than some of my Facebook friends and Twitter pals who incessantly scream into the loudspeaker that social networking has become, at least. He might never meet these people but the personal touch of letters makes the world feel a lot more connected (in a heartfelt analogue sorta way). Check out Hackett’s full story at BBC. [BBC]