As a suspicious person, I can't help but question motives.
But, what of less nefarious, more subtle hidden motives?
The guy that friends you on facebook because he wants a job and feels you can make that happen. The NRA robo-calls. The seemingly helpful semi-famous photographers on social media who happen to offer training, ebooks, prints, iphone apps, camera accessories and cardboard stand ups of themselves for sale on their sites.
Look, I get it. People gotta eat. I don't hate commerce and I sell stuff too.. It is when that line between "content' that "commercial" get blurry is where my consumer spidey-senses begin to tingle. I attended a webinar recently on photography as an art form. It was a good webinar. It was a paid webinar. I enjoyed it, I got something out of it. I like the person who put it on, I think he's honest and sincere, despite relative fame.
They had stuff to sell. I bought some. Everything was "above-board" and open. I like that!
Then, I'm listening to talk radio the other day. Commercials start to take on the format of a "news desk". "Hey, this is Art Artinson here from the Institute on Made-up made-upness. This just in, there has never been a better time to invest your savings in a company that sells and processes information related to the acquisition of the details necessary to begin investing in Gold!! Gold is at a 2,000/year high. Not sense Cleopatra has gold been valued and as those evil democrats continue to kill our country, it will only go higher!!!!"
(I'm not a democrat or a republican)
..and the ads don't stop there. "Food Insurance, Hero Tabs, e-Cigarettes"... and all manner of nearly-scam-seeming items for sale. The ones that really get me are the in-midst-of-the-content ads. "Let me take just a minute to tell you about (blah). I use it, love it. I keeps me (happy) and makes life better. Go to (blahblahblahDOTCom) and use referral code (TalkingHead) for a .01% discount".
I kinda shudder to imagine the closed-minded demo-republicrat hanging onto every word with their check card in hand. That's probably not the economic stimulus we needed.
I had a guy, awhile back, friend me on G+ to push on me the merits of Islam. I think it is great when people are excited about their beliefs and this guy was a well-meaning soul. But what was his motive? To follow my photography and programming exploits? Nope. Every day, I'd get these notes on how in Islam you can astral-project to some other time or location or the immense sense of peace it brought to his life. The guy was a living breathing brochure.
Hey, cool man.
I'm happy with my vacuum cleaner, I can pray for myself and I'm not looking for magazine subscriptions no matter how badly you deserve to go to college. I'm happy with my Tupperware and I know where to buy soap.
The sad part is. When my virtual doorbell rings and the person standing there is simply inviting me over for coffee, I will miss at least the first 5 minutes of our conversation while I size them up for potential commercial dangers...