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Public Service in the Age of Popcorn Brain

By Alannah Dragonetti

You wake-up in the morning and wrap your arm around your significant other...to reach your smartphone on the other side of the bed. You tune-out of conversations with family members to view the thoughts of your Facebook friends. How do we know this?, you wonder in between glances at your Apple watch. Because these behaviors are symptoms of popcorn brain.

Coined by researcher, David Levy, in 2011, the term, “popcorn brain” refers to the impact heavy technology use has on cognition. You see, each new email, direct message and hyperlink offers a new piece of information that we are eager to process. Over time, our brain rewires to seek fresh information at every turn, leading to shortened attention spans and heightened expectations for delivery time.


With the average American spending 10 hours a day immersed in the online world, popcorn brain has escalated from epidemic to evolutionary development. Government at all levels has discovered that the best way to connect with the public is through a screen. Cold Wars have given way to Twitter wars and campaign slogan buttons have been replaced with hashtags. Join the revolution! GovPilot can help.


Once You Pop...

GovPilot offers a number of public-facing tools that popcorn-minded constituents will appreciate. Sharon Abramski, Clerk/Treasurer of GovPilot client, Manorhaven, New York, is one of the many satisfied government users kind enough to review GovPilot on online software directory, Capterra. In her review, Ms. Abramski remarks that constituents have “very little trouble” completing and submitting the GovPilot digital forms located on Manorhaven’s official website. This is a common sentiment. GovPilot digital forms are easy to access, present fields in a logical order and can be submitted directly through constituents’ desktop, laptop or mobile device on any day, at any time.

Our mobile app, GovAlert, offers constituents an even higher level of convenience. Available for both Android and iOS, GovAlert, sits on the homescreen of users’ smartphones, beside Instagram, Facebook Messenger and other popular apps. In the time it takes to shoot a text message, users can craft a comprehensive non-emergency concern report, complete with images, and route it to the appropriate government official.

Submissions that come through GovPilot’s digital forms and GovAlert mobile app are handled by an upgraded, automated backend that smooths processing and cuts response time, like buttergreat for popcorn minded constituents who hate to wait.popcornbuttermain.jpg

Commonly requested data sets can be published on GovPilot’s public-facing geographic information system (GIS) map. Accessible via the client’s official website, the GIS map becomes a font of civic information for residents curious about their area’s infrastructure and other resources.

Adopt GovPilot and adapt to a changing government landscape.


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Tags: Constituent Engagement