Living on a remote island, on the edge of an ocean you can feel quite isolated. One day Harold Hackett threw a glass Pepsi bottle overboard while fishing. That first bottle simply included a name and address and requested a response. After receiving his first letter in reply, his hobby was off and running. Over the last two decades, he has sent out over 4,800 messages in a bottle from Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province along the Atlantic coastline. He waits for a westerly or south westerly wind – and then goes down to the beach and lets them sail away. Every message asks for the finder to send a response back to Hackett, and since 1996 he has received over 3,100 responses from all over the world. Some responses come 11years later!
But written responses aren’t the only thing that Hackett receives in return. In many cases, he strikes up friendships with the people he hears back from, typically he receives 150 Christmas cards from the people he’s contacted by bottle each year. Hackett has no plans of stopping, either; he plans to continue sending out letters and building his social network until he is no longer able to do it. “I’m gonna go as long as I can”. The worlds first social network – the Atlantic Ocean!