Stickler For Fun

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The promise and demand of social media has become overpowering for many, especially young people. High schooler Ruchir Baronia has this Perspective on his ongoing battle to be free.

Have you ever met a stickler for fun?

I know. It sounds like an oxymoron.

How can one be both a stickler and fun?

I asked him this the other night. He dwells under my bed—haunting me with his intense, burning eyes and red, hot skin. When I leave my bed, he leaves with me, and lives within me.


He has desires.

I have my own.

Sometimes they clash.

I let his overpower mine. He is My Devil, manifesting himself in the form of ideal Instagrammers, stellar Snapchat stories, and fomo-filled fallacies. He wants me to have fun and find excitement in life, but the pressure is too much.

How can I find excitement in every ordinary thing I do if the very definition of excitement is to have an out-of-the-ordinary thrill? I don’t know, so I put on a facade, and I pray it protects my skin from combusting under his perpetual, burning gaze.

But I’ve learned something about My Devil. He lives in the future. You see, My Devil expects. He anticipates. He looks forward to. But he doesn’t live. And that is his weakness. I can lap My Devil by running behind him.

My entire life, I’ve been looking forward. I’ve been yearning, imagining, anticipating the next milestone. But the more I looked towards the future, the worse the present became. So I quit.

I quit seeking joy, and began living spontaneously. Once my life became present, I received the greatest present. My devil, Social Media, who once weighed down on my shoulders like 100 pounds of bricks—now feels lighter than a Cockatoo’s feather.

The moment I began living in the present, the future fell into place. After all, the future is where the devil lives.

With a Perspective, I’m Ruchir Baronia.

Ruchir Baronia is a senior at Daugherty Valley High School in San Ramon.