Therapy Time with Davie504

Even When We Try to Stick Ourselves in a Room, Isolated and Alone With Only a Computer to Entertain Us, People Like Davie 504 Connect With Us

Juliette Alvey / 12.4.19

If you are not familiar with famous YouTuber Davie504, just ask one of the youth in your life and chances are they will know who you’re talking about. Davie504 is the smartest bass player in the world. Although the bass is not an instrument that gets a lot of attention, somehow Davie504 has created a cult following with his YouTube videos, which are solely about bass, with his dry but hilarious schtick. His sense of humor, impressive bass playing skills, and creative ideas have won him 4.66 million followers (laugh reveal at 5M subscribers). But I would argue that the key to his success has been his brilliant way of tapping in to the human need for interaction. Watch a couple of the videos and you feel like you are in on some inside joke, even if you have never touched a bass guitar in your life.

His viewers are addressed as “Slappers,” because “slapping” is his preferred technique of bass playing (although he is a pro at all techniques). Throughout the videos he tells Slappers to “slap ‘like’ now” and to comment with opinions and feedback. He challenges other bass players to bass battles; he pays musicians on Fiverr to create hard bass solos, then learns them to judge which one is the hardest; he asks his viewers to send him bass memes; and he plays bass to random people he finds on the internet to get their reactions. There is an entirely alternate universe that looks a lot like a virtual version of the real world where people love, laugh, reject, compete, and basically do everything humans do only with headphones over their ears and screens in front of their eyes.

What really confirmed my impression of Davie504 as someone who understands the need for human interaction is the “Therapy Time” portion of his videos. This involves him staring at the screen with a blank but sympathetic expression quietly for about 10 to 15 seconds and then speaking some kind of response: “…That is a problem… Not epic… Not good… That’s good… I’m proud of you…” Obviously the responses sound ridiculous if you actually try to tell him your feelings. There is a whole subreddit dedicated to all things Davie504, and some have said that he encouraged them to do very irresponsible things when they spoke during his Therapy Time. Despite the ridiculousness of it, there is a genius aspect to the whole thing that creates a connection between Davie504 and his viewers.

God created us as relational beings. Even when we try to stick ourselves in a room, isolated and alone with only a computer to entertain us, people like Davie504 connect with us, albeit in a completely absurd way. The irony to me is that the online world is seen as a way to control life and create your own reality. Escaping is the goal, but the need people have for each other and for deep relationships probes even that alternate reality. This is our Father’s world, and there is no place to go where he is absent. I could translate Psalm 139 in this way: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go on Facebook, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths of Twitter, you are there. If I rise on the wings of Youtube, if I settle on the far side of Reddit, even there your hand will hold me fast.”

Although he (and I) will tell you not to skip any of this video, if you need a little Therapy Time today, skip to 8:23.