To whom it may concern.

You may believe that because we are neighbors, I don’t mind getting an unsolicited text from you, from my friendly neighborhood. 732 area code. And you may believe that wording it in a very personal way makes it seem friendly and harmless as though we know each other.

But you’re wrong. It just feels bothersome. And Icky. And wrong.

Running up to election day, there are so many things to dread.

The incessant, radio and TV commercials, the signage, the Twitter wars, the signs being stolen from the other side.

Bob Healey - Bob Healey Jr. for Congress/YouTube
Bob Healey - Bob Healey Jr. for Congress/YouTube

There’s so much that we all have to endure in the days before it’s all over.

But there’s one aspect of this year’s election day that I never saw coming.

Your Political marketing texts.

This is the first year this has happened to me and I’m not sure if you did this in past elections.

But this year I received dozens of texts from you in the past few days, from every candidate from Congressional candidates to dog catcher.

And interestingly, I received them from both sides of the political aisle.

It’s kind of creepy when a Board of Education member from your town sends you a text.

After all, this is not a national database that just picked my number randomly from a computer.

You are presumably people I walk by in Wegman’s and somehow you have gotten my number and start spamming me.

Somehow it feels ruder than when I get texts like this from anonymous people in China. Because you’re my neighbor. I trust you.

I really don’t understand how this is happening.

And when you send these marketing texts do you really believe that I will heed the message that comes to me, intrusively, on my phone in the middle of the day, as opposed to hearing it in the media?

It almost makes me want to vote against you. Almost.

In the olden days, when candidates would ask for my vote going door to door it seemed friendly.

Not that anyone loves having their door knocked on, but at least you could give a candidate credit for doing the work.

For getting out there and pounding the pavement.

Text marketing seems not only lazy but nosy.

After all, I can choose to not open my door to a candidate.

But I can’t choose to not receive a text message from you on my phone.

Yes, of course, I could simply ignore it or text stop. (Although, interestingly, I have heard that people who try to get the texts to stop were unsuccessful in doing so.)

But it’s not a matter of that.

it’s a matter of the intrusiveness and the feeling of a lack of privacy that texting evokes.

Do these marketing messages do any good?

I have no idea about their effectiveness.

All I know is that it feels wrong and sometimes even creepy.

Yes, I know you’re running for Congress.

Yes, I know you’re running for commissioner. But your texting me makes me want to stay away.

Is there a point where this type of spamming can become counterproductive?

I’m not sure if you’ve heard this from any of your other constituents, or potential ones, but I know I’m not the only one.

Next election, I hope you’ll do exit polls to find out the effectiveness of your texts, and to see whether people actually responded to them.

Especially if some of them responded negatively.

Will you find that people actually voted for you because of a text they received that morning? I doubt it.

In the meantime, can you kindly remove my number from your list?

Judi Franco

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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