Messages in Bottles: A Different Kind of Social Networking

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A man named Harold Hackett has decided to go a rather poetic route to connect with people around the world: messages in bottles, a form of communication whereby a message is sealed in a bottle and thrown into the ocean. It seems his bottles, sent from Tignish, Prince Edward Island, have made it to as far France, Germany, the United States, even Africa. By 2011, he had set 4,871 bottles adrift, with over 3,100 responses from people around the world.

Admittedly, I love the idea of messages in bottles, and I think it’s pretty incredible how far this man’s messages have gone, but I am not so fond of the amount of pollution already found in our world’s oceans. 4,871 bottles is a lot of plastic… and to think that over a thousand bottles have not been found, and that he had planned on setting out more since 2011, is a little disconcerting to me. What do you all think? Could this be more of a problem than a creative idea?

To read the article about Harold Hackett’s bottle messages, click here.

Posted by Mary Rose Fiondella

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3 thoughts on “Messages in Bottles: A Different Kind of Social Networking

  1. I think it is a cool idea and I also think it is worthwhile for him since he is getting plenty of responses, but I think being eco friendly and conscious of what is going on around the world is more important. I’m trying to put myself in his shoes and reading all of the notes that people write to him must feel pretty awesome and now that I think about it, there really is no other way to replicate what he is doing. If he were to write the same things on the Internet that he does inside of the bottles, then maybe he would receive negative feedback or none at all. The messages he receives must all be positive ones if he keeps doing it. There is also something mysterious about what he is doing, but in an intriguing way so I think he should stop putting pictures of himself in the bottles just to maintain the mystery, but that is just my opinion. LOL

  2. It’s an awesome idea in theory, and yes it is great he is getting responses, but not at the expense of the environment. Our water system is already polluted enough, and the worst part is this man puts them in without considering the ecological consequences. However, I do agree with the person above me; obviously he must feel good doing this and feel awesome getting so many responses. I tried a message in a bottle when I was a kid, but to no avail (sigh). It’s a more personal way of getting to know or meeting someone halfway across the world who you would otherwise never have known anything about, and it’s much more fantastical since it’s a message in a bottle.

  3. In a world that only seems to be moving faster and faster when it comes to digital and virtual communication, it’s absolutely refreshing the learn about Harold. He is really embracing the human part of communication that we have lost to technological advances and scientific improvements. It melts my heart to know that somebody is still interested in human-to-human interaction off-screen. The time and effort he puts into these messages is priceless.
    Yes, I do see why it could be bad for the environment and why it’s possibly not the best way to bring back human interaction without technology. However, the fact that he is one of the few people who are still trying to embrace and ressurect non-digital human interaction, I have to overlook the environment for now. The positive impact of what he is doing for people and what he is making them aware of outweighs the negative impact he may cause to the environment—which I do not assume to be much, since many of the bottles were found floating and unharmed.

    I love stories like these! It’s so nice to see people reaching out to strangers in such a personal and intimate way. The world needs more Harolds.

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