Bitstrip is a new Facebook app which is quite fun to use – provided your good friends also create their own Bitstrip avatar. It proved so popular within the first few days that the program crashed. The app writers were a little ambitious, and have now removed a few of the flexibility features which made the app all the more appealing. Creating one’s avatar is quite easy and choices as to eye, ear and nose shape, hair style, clothes and accessories, and physical build all help to make one’s avatar fairly realistic.
Before more samples, a little linguistic pedantry. I suppose the compound name Bitstrip comes from the word bitstream and cartoon strip. It is not a cartoon strip strictly speaking, because you only have the option of creating and displaying one frame at a time. It is, however, a bitstream in the loose definition of the word, I suppose, although not in its original sense, since there is no audio involved. The added dimension is that this app name is a noun and a (transitive) verb. When you have created several Bitstrips, you get feedback on your Bitstrip app which tells you that “You bitstripped Jane” (not her real name). I am so glad of the prefix “bit”, because otherwise I could have some complicated explaining to do. I have taken the liberty of using the verb intransitively in the title of this post.
I applaud the Bitstrip team for realising that it can be a little lonely in cartoon-land all on your own, so have made it possible for you to have fun with one friend at a time.
The captions can be edited, and you have complete freedom on the content of the speech bubbles. You can use them to poke fun at yourself, highlight a talent of a friend, and poke fun at a friend, all at the same time.
Sometimes, the scenes Bitstream makes available to you and what has occurred in your day come frighteningly close to reality. This might lead you to do what I did: consciously interact with a manifestation of a computer application, but give it an anthropomorphic twist, just so the folks on FB know you haven’t lost all your marbles yet.
Not only did I have bureaucratic madness to contend with yesterday (see previous post), I have also had a good number of forms to fill in lately and after seven months of sitting on the sofa and working on my laptop, have finally returned to my beloved office where I now have a decent Internet connection. When things like this happen, it is quite nice to do a Facebook update in the form of a cartoon, especially as the whole situation has been quite ridiculous anyway.
In my case, all of the above serves as an interim measure, while I procrastinate with the perfection of my own – manual – cartoon-drawing abilities.
We live in a crazy, mixed-up world where we are never entirely sure with whom, or with what, we are interacting. We might as well have some fun while we are at it. Tongue-in-cheek the other day I remarked to a friend that I “do not have an alter ego”. Her response was, “I know”. While I ponder on that, at least I can take comfort in the fact that I have bitstripped her.