Waterloo's Soroush Ghodsi, 13, explains how young teens use social media

When Soroush Ghodsi, a 13-year-old from Waterloo, isn't in class at Laurelwood Public School, he's writing about technology.

When Soroush Ghodsi, a 13-year-old from Waterloo, isn't in class at Laurelwood Public School, he's writing about technology.

The teen has two posts so far, and his second, entitled A 13-Year-Old's View on Social Media, has received more than 900 recommendations.

"It's been very positive. I've been overwhelmed the past few days," said Ghodsi in an interview with CBC News.

Medium is a platform where any writer can post a story. The goal is to get as many recommendations as possible, which pushes your content into the Most Read section.

Ghodsi wrote the post after reading another post on Medium by a 19-year-old titled A Teenager's View on Social Media

"Although it provided some insight into our(teenagers) world, it was written by a 19-year-old, someone who to me is an adult," Ghodsi wrote. "Here is social media from mine and my friends eyes."

In Ghodsi's piece, he lists Instagram, Kik Messenger and YouTube as being among the most influential social media apps among kids his age. Twitter gets a mention too, but it's only for the "core group of kids at school" – himself included.

"Twitter is seen as Instagram with no pictures," he wrote. "Barely anyone gets it and those that do think its just for adults and that its a copy of Instagram."

​Ghodsi's post does not mention Facebook, which the company says has 1.44 billion monthly active users.

The popularity of Kik messenger, based in Waterloo, may come as a surprise to adults who have never heard of it, as 70 per cent of Kik users are under 25 years old, according to the company website.

Ghodsi estimated about 80 per cent of kids in his class have smartphones and all of them use Kik. The remaining 20 per cent use their parents' smartphones to access the messenger service.

"There's a lot of messaging apps out there that are far more popular with adults, but Kik specifically is very popular with kids. When everyone's on it, you can't be on another platform," said Ghodsi.

"The platform itself has some pictures, and it's easy to use. I think that influences kids a lot."

A recent blog post on Kik featured a graph on usage in California, Washington and Oregon on May 7. The blog indicates that usage peaks around 10 PM when kids are saying good night to their friends.


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