This is NOT an affiliate post. I am in no way affiliated with Duolingo, I'm just a big fan.
The title of this post is "how I kicked my social media habit with Duolingo" and it's true, I did. But if I'm being totally honest with you, it totally happened by accident. It might have just been a coincidence, but it ended up being the most effective thing I've ever tried to reduce my time spent on social media, and so I wanted to share it with you guys so you can give it a try as well.
I took some French in high school, and a little in college as well, but never felt like I knew enough to consider myself able to converse with a French speaker if I traveled to France. It's a skill I have always wanted to possess, but hadn't ever fully committed to. So, at the start of the new year, as people often do, I decided I wanted to really make an effort this year to finally learn French - like really learn it. And I started working on Duolingo.
I've used it a little in the past, but I was really determined to make progress, so I spent more time in the app during each session. I really enjoyed the activities, and even felt like the tips helped me learn rules that I couldn't quite understand when I first tried to learn them back in high school. At first, I would do it for a few days, then maybe forget for a day or two and then return. I was enjoying it, but some days found myself forgetting about it.
Around this time, completely by coincidence, I decided that I needed to delete some of the social media apps off my phone. In a moment I'm not proud to share (I could write a whole separate post about this), I realized that my muscle memory reaction when I opened an internet browser was to automatically start typing in the letters "fa..." not to mention, it was always the first app I opened every time I unlocked my phone. This was a very upsetting revelation to me, and I decided it needed to end, so I deleted it off my phone.
In the days that followed, I would open my phone, and navigate to where the Facebook app had been, but as luck would have it, Duolingo had shifted forward to take its place. Since I was already there, I would think "oh yeah, I should do my lesson" and open the app, resulting in completing more lessons during the day. And I started to become sort of addicted to Duolingo.... but with such a more productive result than any social media app!
I've crushed through SO many lessons, and now I NEVER skip a day, and not only because it took the spot of Facebook on my phone. I push myself to finish in the top ten each week to move on to the next league, and I can see my skills growing by leaps and bounds in ways I never have before. Like I said at the start, it was a complete accident, but I feel more mentally clear and focused, and I feel proud of the accomplishments I've made in my language acquisition. Now I can't wait to take that trip to France and be able to navigate my way through the country with ease.