Pharmacy students' personal and professional use of social media

Ruth Jeminiwa, Fatana Shamsuddin, Kevin A. Clauson, Jeff Cain, Brent I. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Current literature does not describe behaviors or the overarching opinion of pharmacy students on the use of different types of social media for personal and professional purposes. The objectives of this study were to identify predominant beliefs among pharmacy students regarding use of social media for professional and personal purposes, characterize pharmacy students' opinions on the effects of social media on their professional career, and determine pharmacy students' perceptions of using social media as tools for learning and discovery. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was administered to pharmacy students at Auburn University (N = 450) and Lipscomb University (N = 212). Linear regression was performed to predict students' perceptions of the importance of social media to their future professional life. Results: The leading platforms commonly used by students for personal reasons were Facebook (92.5%), Instagram (70.5%), and Snapchat (70.5%). The most popular platforms used for professional reasons included LinkedIn (40.4%), Facebook (35.4%), and YouTube (29.2%). About 50% of respondents perceived social media to be important to their future professional life as pharmacists. Most students used YouTube and Wikipedia while studying or learning. The regression model predicting students' perceptions of the importance of social media to their future professional life was significant. Conclusions: Pharmacy students most commonly use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat for personal reasons, and LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube for professional reasons. Educators may leverage YouTube and wikis to support the education of pharmacy students. Pharmacy students appear to be more aware and active with security settings than previously reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-607
Number of pages9
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Pharmacy education
  • Social media
  • Wikipedia
  • YouTube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (all)


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