Pharmacy students' use of social media sites and perception toward Facebook use

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Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate pharmacy students' adoption and behavior related to social networking sites (SNS) in general, and to Facebook in particular. In addition, this study aimed to explore faculty's adoption of Facebook from students' perspectives, as well as students' willingness, to "friend" their faculty.

Materials and Methods: A 19-item questionnaire was administered to a sample of pharmacy students (n = 195) at a School of Pharmacy. The survey included three sections. All questions were closed-ended. The first section had general adoption questions for different SNS. The second section had questions with regard to students' behaviors and attitudes related to Facebook in particular. Demographic data was collected in the third section.

Results: One hundred ninety-three pharmacy students completed the survey for a response rate of 99%. The top three social media websites with the most frequent usage were Facebook, Wikipedia, and YouTube respectively. Nearly, all the students (93.8%) had existing Facebook profiles. More than 70% of students had 200 or more Facebook friends at the time of data collection. Given the widespread adoption of Facebook, the majority of the respondents used it for social rather than professional or educational purposes. Even though 46.6% of participants thought that at least 40% of their faculty members use Facebook, slightly more than half of the participants (54.4%) refused the idea of "friending" their faculty. After conducting logistic regression, the predictors of "friending faculty" on Facebook among pharmacy students were the number of Facebook friends that a student has and race or ethnicity.

Conclusions: There has been a huge growth in the number and the use of SNS. Students, if they choose to, can take advantage of this revolutionary communication tool to advance professionally. However, the majority of students still choose to use Facebook for social purposes rather than professional or educational purposes.


Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health.

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