Social Networking and its Impact on Academic, Social and Family Life of Medical Students in Karachi, Pakistan

  • Shiraz Shaikh APPNA Institute of Public Health




Shiraz Shaikh, Faryal Abdy, Syeda Rida-e-Zehra, Munnaza Obaid, Zehra Rizvi, Sumaiyya Gauhar



To assess the impact of social networking on a academic, social and family life of medical students in Karachi, Pakistan


A multi-center cross-sectional study was conducted in four medical colleges of Karachi, Pakistan. A questionnaire based representative multi-stage cluster survey was conducted. A total of 728 students were inquired about impact of social networking on their academic, family and social life. Based on time spent on social networking in hours per week, participants were categorized into three groups including those who spent 1-7 hours per week, 8-14 hours per week and 15 hours and above. Comparisons in differences among three groups on their perceptions of academic, family and social impact were statistically analyzed using the Chi-square test.


The mean age of the students was 21.02 years and 78% were females. Almost all of them (94.2%) had access to Wi-Fi connectivity at home and 71.7% used SMART phone as a primary tool of connecting to Social networking sites. Top five sites used included Facebook (99.3%), Skype (60.3%), Whatsapp (44.4%), Viber (30.6%) and Twitter (28.6%). In comparison to those who spent 1-7 hours a week on SN activities, those who spent 8-14 hours per week and 15 hours and above were significantly less likely to have A-one or A grade in exams (p=0.029) and engage in physical activity or sports (p=0.024). Both groups were also significantly more likely to report pending assignment (p=0.032), decrease in concentration (p=<0.001), sleeping late at night (p=<0.001) and affected performance next day (p=0.003).


The students perceived that social networking had negative impact on their education and physical activity. Awareness interventions on healthy uses of social networking sites should be designed. Medical Universities should also focus on engaging students in sports activities which may help in reducing the unnecessary excessive time spent on social networking.


Key Words

Social Networking, Internet Use, Medical Students, Academic, Family