Amaya Dorman. (Photo by Lilly Kubit/PublicSource)
by Jourdan Hicks, PublicSource
In this conversation with Pittsburgh Allderdice senior Amaya Dorman, she discusses her observations of lifestyle content on social media; its effects on teens’ aspirations and values; and the challenges she faces to maintain her individuality.
Jourdan: Hey, y’all. I’m your host, Jourdan Hicks. Welcome back to From the Source podcast. This week we’re looking at the link social media has to teen aspiration, culture and behavior. Let’s check in with one another. We’re four episodes in and each week, no matter the topic — be it youth violence, teen activism, or mental health awareness — social media has been brought up in every single conversation.
Jourdan: Social media can help us find community, share art, music, events, advice, recipes. But as it brings some of us closer together, it also deepens a divide across age groups. If you’re a teenager, it could be hard for you to imagine your email account being the entirety of your digital profile. Like the whole thing. That’s everything. Your e-mail. For adults, creating a new profile on the newest platform, keeping up with the newest dance trends and lingo may feel far too overwhelming, creating a tension between adults and teens over social media engagement and activity. Is it time well spent or is it time lost?
Jourdan: This week, Amaya Dorman will help us to parse out the use and outcomes of teens consuming entertainment and lifestyle content, and how Amaya’s personally using her social media page to immerse herself in a lifestyle that’s curated for her, by her.
Amaya: My name is Amaya Dorman. I’m 17 years old. I go to Allderdice High School. I work at Tsaocaa in Squirrel Hill. It’s a bubble tea place.
Jourdan: Although Amaya may be known as the bubble tea connoisseur and taste expert at Tsaocaa, you ain’t hear from me, but you heard it from the streets, her professional goals include studying law and becoming a civil rights attorney. Amaya lives in Swisshelm Park with her mother. When we first met, Amaya struck me as a little serious, a little reserved. But when we started to talk favorite foods and hobbies, she opened right up.
Amaya: Like sushi’s like my top, and then everything just, like, falls beneath it. Like, I love a good burger, love a good burger, I love a good burrito.
Jourdan: I met Amaya through her mother. Her mother recommended she respond to our callout for teen guests.
Amaya: I think that definitely, like in my family as a whole, I’m definitely seen as the smart kid or the kid that is going places. But then at the same time is this, like, very opinionated individual and like, does things that we do not understand.