Why I hate Bitstrips

I Will Dance on Bitstrips GraveI thought the future of communication would be infographics and PowerPoints.

Infographics were a cool way to communicate data visually. Then they just became ways to take a message and put some design on it. Every idiot with access to a graphic designer or Microsoft SmartArt has an infographic.

Powerpoint is the poor man’s infographic. The design is already done for you. You only need to drop in pictures you stole off Google Images. The funny thing is business folks put more thought into a handful of bullets, an Excel graph, and a table in a PowerPoint than any paragraph they write.

Maybe this is why they teach “Language Arts” now instead of English.

But move over infographics and PowerPoints! Here comes Bitstrips.

Take everything you hate about selfies, mass-produced content and people’s bad sense of humor and you get a perfect storm of social media shit.

Bitstrips is an app that allows you to make a cartoon version of yourself and your friends, drop them in a template, add some text and post it to Facebook. Bitstrips comics can even be made on your crappy smartphone.

The creators of Bitstrips are evil geniuses. They figured out a way to lets people express themselves creatively. They hijack the Facebook Newsfeed and its preference for image content. The comics are inherently social because they pull in your friends.

But for all the smart things with Bitstrips, there are so many things that are terribly wrong.

  • They’re generic. Bitstrips are templates. Sure, there are thousands of templates, but when you have a hundred friends sharing comics, you’re bound to see the same template over and over. It gets real repetitive real fast.
  • Bitstrips only make sense to a small group of people. When you have 700 friends, a majority of them don’t know everything about you.  Your crazy comic makes sense to one or two of you, at best. The rest of us are annoyed at another meaningless thing in the newsfeed.
  • People aren’t funny. The biggest issue with Bitstrips isn’t the app itself, but the people who use it. People like to think they’re funny. Most of us aren’t. As someone who has written humor pieces for years, take it from me. It’s hard to be consistently funny to a broad audience.

You can hide Bitstrips on Facebook easily by clicking the arrow on the top left of a Bitstrips Facebook post. But that doesn’t stop the people who cross post them to other social networks. I’m looking at you, Instagram “friends.”

I have seen the future, and it looks like a bunch of crappy single panel comics. You’ve been warned.

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