Well not really - just don’t practice for a day right? Oh wait, streak freezes. OK, don’t practice for a couple of days. Three? No, five? No, more! What?
The above screenshot shows my use of Duolingo last month (June 2022). Approaching a 3,100 day streak, currently on 3,097 days. Yet I missed half of the days in the month, including five days in a row. Twice.
I’ve maintained this “streak” for almost eight and a half years. Including while travelling, across time zones, with patchy internet access. Even with four days in the hospital. But really it doesn’t mean much given it’s now quite hard to lose a Duolingo streak.
When I hit 3,000 days I jokingly minted an NFT of it because, well why not? But really that goes to show how little it is actually worth.
I realised last month the app hasn’t been of much use to me, in terms of learning, for a while. Probably since 2018. Possibly longer. So I decided to let go of that streak. “Hang on tightly, let go lightly”.
However habit (eight years of habit) kept me opening the app when I had the odd moment of downtime. The app would tell me I was close to losing my streak, so use a freeze. At one point it seemed I had lost the streak as the counter was zero. But then I was offered the chance to restore it.
Of course, it’s understandable why Duolingo allows the freezes and the ability to restore - Maintaining a streak keeps you going back to the app. More time on the app means more ads being shown.
Same old same old.
So if you’re currently maintaining a streak, on Duolingo or any other platform, take a moment to reconsider if you’re doing so for yourself or for the platform. If it’s the latter then perhaps let go lightly as well.
By the end of today I should have lost my 3,097 streak. For real this time.