Today I experienced the infamous streak shortening bug - and I’m glad!
I’ve never been a streak fanatic. There are many websites and apps with this feature, but I’ve never paid it much attention. However, when I started using LingQ in October, I decided to use the streak for the first couple of months, simply to keep myself on track and to create a habit. As I spent more and more time on LingQ, my streak grew to over 250 days. And gradually it became a burden. Why? Because my ability to read and understand Italian also grew, and much faster than I expected. Increasingly I was reading and listening things without importing them into LingQ, simply because I could understand them without extensive dictionary support.
At some point I realized that keeping the streak was becoming counterproductive. I could read and listen to native content for hours, but it had no impact on my LingQ statistics, so I felt obliged to come to LingQ and read something just to keep my streak alive - or worse, just cheat and click mindlessly on unknown words. Also, as my vocabulary grew, it was becoming harder and harder to reach my daily LingQ target. But I also realized that I didn’t want to lose my streak, because it looked so nice. Even though I knew I didn’t really need it anymore, even though it became a burden rather than a benefit, I still hesitated to drop it.
And now the streak shortening bug has come along and solved this problem for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really sorry for people who feel the loss of their streaks, and I hope this will be resolved. If it happened to me three months ago, I would have probably reacted differently.
On the other hand, my experience shows that no metric, tool, or motivating feature is useful if it’s not useful for you. So if you have a really long streak, why not use this situation to rethink whether it’s outlived its usefulness?