Issue: March 2010
BYPOINTS: Future Shock

If there's one thing we humans are really bad at, it's predicting the future. Or, to be more precise, imagining the future. Think about it: When it comes to picturing our lives beyond the horizon, we have a long and embarrassing track record of shooting ridiculously high ("It won't be long before we all have flying cars!") or ridiculously low ("Television is just a fad!"). I suppose that's because it's a truly rare person who can clearly imagine something that has never existed, or something that he or she has never seen or experienced. Think of the Anasazi people 1,000 years ago, living in the cliffs of what is now Arizona. How many of them do you think were able to imagine an ocean? Or a communications satellite?

By now you must be worried, or at least wondering what I've been smoking. Since when, you wonder, does Sayles start off with a high-altitude observation on human nature? Doesn't he usually yammer on about judging crab recipes or his last trip to Solomons or his impossibly cute grandson Frankie? Yes, those are good examples of my typical subject matter here. But this month I'm thinking big, because . . . well, because this seems like a big moment for us. Are you ready? Okay, here it is: Chesapeake Bay Magazine now has its own Facebook page! . . .

Did you hear me? I said we now have our own Facebook page! . . .

Hello? . . . Is this thing on? . . . I know you're out there; I can hear you breathing.

Funny, I get the same reaction when I tell people about this in person. Maybe it's because half of them aren't the least bit surprised—and in fact wonder what took us so long to get here—and the other half have no idea what I'm talking about. (The who book? The face what?) And that's okay, because I identify with both ends of the spectrum. It wasn't that long ago that I hadn't the faintest idea what Facebook was. And of course now I wonder why we were so slow to realize what a natural supplement it is to the magazine—what a splendid gathering place it can be for the tens of thousands of like-minded people who are our readers.

So if you haven't already done so, join the CBM Facebook fun. Logically enough, the page is called Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Just type those very words into the Facebook search box, and, bada-bing, you're there. Then click on "become a fan," and, bada-bing, you're a fan.

What does that mean? Well, going right to the heart of it, it gives us a more immediate connection to our readers—and you to us. Until now, with the conventional publishing process, the lag time between our writing an article and your reading it was approximately 53 years. Yes, as I write these words, it is 1957, but you will not read them until March of 2010. As you can imagine, that can be a problem if there's something we want you to know right away, such as this: Online balloting for our2010 Best of the Bay Reader Surveyis now in progress! To cast your votes, go to our website,www.ChesapeakeBoating.netand click on the Best of the Bay link on the front page.

And what does that have to do with Facebook? Simple: If you'd been a fan of our Facebook page, you'd have known that 53 years ago. And, as a bonus, you'd have known not to invest your money in flying cars.

Tim Sayles, Editor