The pattern of Social Media Use and the Impact of Medical Students’ Learning

Sairaa Saeed AlQeas Alqahtani @SairaaO_o and Mashael ALRowaished @Mashail_R – King Saud University, College of Medicine, Riyadh


Study design:  Cross sectional descriptive study using on line Survey Monkey.

Study setting: College of Medicine, King Saud University, , Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Sampling technique: With 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error. the sample size was estimated to be 306 students . With an expected non-response rate of 30%, 400 students were invited to participate. The sample was stratified to include the study years and both sexes proportionate to their numbers. The excel program was used to randomly select the study population.

In February 2013, the survey instrument was uploaded on monkey survey and the link was sent to the selected students. Golden Survey Monkey plan was used for the data analysis.

Results and discussion: All the 400 medical students filled out the study instrument (response rate of 100%), an indicator that the group is comfortable with filling out an online survey;. Male students represented 59.0% of the total population.. Survey responses indicated that 98% of medical students used social SM and 70% of the students checked it on a daily basis more than four times. While at lectures, more than 70% of the students checked SM.

SM was used for entertainment. (95.8%) to stay up-to-date (88.3%,), and to socialize (85.5%). WhatsApp emerged as the favourite application among 87.8% of the students followed by YouTube (60.8%), and Twitter (51.8%).

There was a statistically significant association between the male sex and the usage of YouTube (p=0.003), and Facebook (p=0.006). On the other hand, female students had statistically a higher rate of using Instagram (p<0.001), Path (p=0.001) and Twitter (p=0.04) than their male counterparts.

There was a statistically significant association between the GPA and the frequency of checking SM while at lectures (p=0.04).

Conclusion: The results of this study revealed not only the expected high rate of SM use but had also found that around three quarters of the students checked their SM while at lecture. This indicates the need to confirm this finding in future studies and to design a campaign of education in this regard.