Earlier this year, I had a go at learning a new language on one of those language apps. It wasn’t very successful and started to feel like a bit of a chore, which isn’t the point, so I gave up after a few months.
I still have an account, though, and this particular app isn’t keen on letting you go. I occasionally still get a jolly email from them asking whether I’m going to come back. I don’t mind that. I do my thing and they do theirs, and everyone’s happy. Things are OK.
Suddenly it’s not OK. Now the little cartoon owl is angry.
The message just gets worse from there. “Keep Duo happy, do your lessons” it says. Then it tells you an ominous parable about your feckless ways: “Every year, learners say they’ll learn a new language and Duo gets excited. Then they almost forgot their lessons, and Duo gets sad. That won’t happen this year, right?“
Then there’s some other distracting guff, before it finishes with an outright threat. “I’m going to make you do your lessons… by any means necessary. No one wants to see Duo when he gets upset. A few minutes of daily practice can keep Duo smiling in 2024. And a happy Duo means a safe and happy you.”
Screw you, Duo. I’ve unsubscribed.