MY THOUGHTS ON THE BITSRIPS INVASION
About a month ago, I was perusing the Facebook place, and I noticed something was seriously different. There were cartoon strips everywhere. I couldn't scroll for more than a page length without some cartoon strip showing up with different characters and scenes.
But something just didn't add up... the artwork was amazing, and the layout looked just like a professional had designed them all. Each cartoon strip was slightly similar but unique in nature.
However, there was one huge thing that each and every one of them had in common:
They weren't funny.
Not only were these cartoon strips lacking any trace of humor, they were just plain stupid. Almost every strip that I viewed didn't have a story line or punchline.
Instead, there were random references to things that I couldn't have had a clue about as to what was being referenced.
Then it dawned on me... these were being created by Facebook users. Apparently they had all found some way to create their own custom cartoon strips. That explained the this-is-entirely-not-funny aspect. But how were they making them?
I had to dig a while, but then I discovered the "Bitstrips" app on my Android device (you can get an iOS version too). The precipice is that you can create your own custom avatar, and even avatars for cartoon versions of your friends.
Next, you get to choose from a variety of pre-made cartoon scenes or progressions, and all you have to do is fill in the text bubbles. The end result? You get your very own high-quality cartoon feature! Unfortunately, they don't supply the humor.
The problem is, 99% of people are not very good at comedic writing. Instead of making a cartoon strip that would be understood by any reader, and written for humor value, we have "Bitstrippers" who create cartoon scenes involving their friends involving situations that only they would understand.
What is so annoyingly common is that the Bitstrippers create cartoon strips from inside jokes. But why does this rub people like me the wrong way?
It's due to the nature of a cartoon strip. When you are perusing Facebook or other social media site and you come across a cartoon, you get instantly excited because you anticipate something that will give you a good laugh. The Bitstrippers fool you into thinking you're about to experience a great funny, but you are completely let down when the cartoon makes absolutely no sense.
Right when I was able to write this off as a pure annoyance plaguing Facebook, someone tagged me in a Bitstrip cartoon with an inside joke that involved an experience between only myself and the Bitstripping creator. What happened next surprised me...
I laughed insanely.
So I decided to dig further into this Bitstrip mess, and I found that a great number of my friends had avatars set up when I perused my Bitstrip app account on my Samsung Galaxy 4 smartphone. Then came surprise number two...
I found a friend's avatar that made me break out into laughter because it looked just like him. Then I had a second surge of uncontrollable laughter when I instantly thought of an inside joke cartoon strip that I could create starring the two of us.
Could this be the start of my downfall? Will this lead into an addiction? Will I become an annoying Bitstripper that drives everyone insane with comedy-less inside jokes and situations that absolutely no other person will understand?
The jury is still out on that note. Time will only tell. In the meantime, I'm still of the opinion that Bitstrips need to disappear from the Facebook universe, never to be found again. I'm close to disabling it on my own Facebook account. And I don't want to be assimilated into the Bitstripper Borg population.
But will I miss out on some tremendous fun?