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How We Use HeroMode: Quitting Reddit, Part 2

ยท 4 min read
heromode can help you stay away from bad habits, such as browsing reddit excessively

HeroMode can be used in many different ways. In a previous post, I had described how I use HeroMode to break my Reddit habit. And since then, I have been successful in staying away from Reddit for many months! However, recently, I noticed a bug in my activity calendar, breaking my Reddit streak. This is of course unacceptable! So we implemented a data sync improvement, which has been released in v4.1. Now I can see my Reddit-free streak hitting more than 180 days!

This post is a "Part 2 sequal" to the original post here.

Last November, I wrote about how I was using HeroMode to quit Reddit. At the time of writing, I was able to stay off Reddit for 78 days.

Since then, I continue to use HeroMode to stay away from Reddit. Every time I see my Reddit-free streak increase, I feel a sense of accomplishment.

However, recently, when I checked my HeroMode activity calendar for the Quitting Reddit adventure, I saw that my streak was broken!

Scrolling down my "Quitting Reddit" adventure, I checked if I had forgotten to mark a quest as completed, since I know I have not returned to Reddit. But, as you can see below, I did have all the "stay away from Reddit" quests completed, including on Jan. 29. Yet my activity calendar was showing a gap on that day, breaking my streak.

Activity with missing days.Quests showing that I did not miss any quests.

Above: My precious no-Reddit streak looks broken in the activity calendar, even though I definitely was staying away from Reddit everyday, as recorded by all the completed quests.

So it's time for us to squash some bugs! ๐Ÿ”Ž๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ๐Ÿž

A Data Tracker that Fixes Itselfโ€‹

Activity calendar is powered by a lot of data. We need to keep track of all the quests that were completed, even if they were completed a long time ago. So in order to store and process all this data efficiently without massive amounts of database reads/writes, we have implemented a data tracker that keeps updating itself in the background.

However, if network issue is encountered, it's possible that the data tracking process is interrupted, resulting in failed server write. However, since this issue is rare and unpredictable, it's hard to reproduce it. We can occasionally check if any of the quests are missing from the data tracker, but that'd require a lot of database reads.

On the other hand, we incrementally load older and older quests for each adventure as the user scrolls down the adventure page. This was exactly what I did. So if a quest is missing, we can easily find it and fix it.

Data Improvement is Rolled Out in HeroMode v4.1โ€‹

So we have added a new data sync mechanism that can catch missing quests and automatically add them back into activity calendar.

After implementing this additional data sync mechanism, of course I immediately tried it out. And it worked! My January was certified Reddit-free.

My activity calendar after implementing a data improvement, showing I was indeed Reddit free for the entire January of 2023.

Above: My activity calendar after implementing a data improvement, showing I was indeed Reddit free for the entire January of 2023.

More importantly, now I can see my Reddit-free streak has extended to 180 days! 180 days!! I have been off Reddit for half a year!!

I have been off Reddit for half a year!!

Above: After the fix, I can see I have been Reddit-free for 180 days!

But my Reddit streak is not the most important thing. The actual important thing is that this data implementation has been released in HeroMode v4.1, and is already available for HeroMode web. It'll also be released to HeroMode iOS in our next iOS app update.