What I have found that it is a great thing to add friends here on duolingo. firstly to know that you are not alone in your quest to achieve whatever it is that you are looking to achieve learning a new language. Secondly, it keeps you motivated when you are feeling lazy or quite frankly half assing it when it comes to your studies. When I see my score board i am motivated to keep up with and often times stay ahead of my friends. Not that i have a complex of "oh i need to make sure i am better than my friends" but to make sure that i am staying honest with myself and to keep myself humble knowing that there are other people out there who are going hard putting in their time and effort as well.
I get pumped up knowing that there are other people like me that have a passion for learning languages so it motivates me to keep learning and hopefully them seeing me on the scoreboard motivates them as well
Follow for competition? I, too, deal with the same thing (Mostly with my dad)
I deleted about six languages to focus on Russian about a week ago and I am all for competition.