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Empathy and Social Media (TikTok) with Dave Shaw (@hellodaveshaw)

Updated: Apr 22

Episode 18 - The Professional Empathy Podcast

Empathy and Social Media with Dave Shaw

Summary, videos, timestamps and highlights.

Listen on Podomatic or watch the episode here.


On this instalment of The Empathy Podcast, Leanne welcomes British TikToker Dave Shaw (@hellodaveshaw) to the show. Throughout the episode, Dave discusses his experience as a user and creator on the social media platform, TikTok, and how it has given him some purpose during the COVID-19 pandemic after his job was made redundant. Leanne and Dave thoroughly discuss the pressures of social media, and how it can spur on an addition to creativity and validation but doesn’t come without risks. In this enlightening episode, Dave shares how everyone can employ empathy when using social media in order to have fun and stay positive.

Watch Snippet (2 mins):

Watch full episode here:

Timestamps and Highlights:

[1:16] After a short reel of @hellodaveshaw’s TikToks, Leanne gives the owner of the account, Dave, a warm welcome to the show. Dave introduces himself to the audience and shares how he began his journey on the social media platform.

[7:10] Leanne and Dave discuss life in lockdown, mindless scrolling, escapism and how TikTok’s platform interface allows parasocial relationships to form.

[8:54] Leanne and Dave talk about maintaining a following on TikTok, the platform’s ‘like’ function and comment section, and how this can be a positive and negative influence on a creator’s and user’s mental health.

[20:14] Dave shares his personal experience on TikTok, and how the platform’s user experience is designed to keep an individual using the app. He also shares with Leanne how he tries to keep a schedule and set personal boundaries.

[22:32] Leanne asks Dave about the pressure to stay ‘relevant’ on the platform, analytics, and how the algorithm favours creators that post more frequently.

[29:15] Leanne and Dave discuss how long it takes to create a 15 second TikTok, and how self-critiquing can be a main aspect of the process.

[33:32] Leanne and Dave discuss the need to be aware of how addictive TikTok can be, the addiction to creativity, the want for recognition (i.e., uneducated use of hashtags) and experiencing “like spike”.

[38:22] Dave shares with Leanne how his TikTok persona compares to his ‘in real life’ persona, especially in relation to employability and personal relationships.

[50:59] Dave and Leanne share their final thoughts, emphasising that TikTok is meant to be light-hearted fun but there is a ‘dark’ sight to all forms of social media. Dave and Leanne also iterate that the platform allows authenticity to be present, in comparison to more visually based platforms (i.e., Instagram).


· “[TikTok]’s like a casino.” Leanne, B.

· “I will redo, and redo, until I’m happy with [the post].” Dave, S.

· “[Creators] are showing their best self. Even those who are ranting have curated themselves in a way.” Dave, S.

Key Points Discussed:

· Is it important to set personal boundaries (i.e., screen time) when using social media?

· Does the comment section and online ‘trolls’ take a toll on creator’s mental health?

· How can social media affect personal and “in real life” relationships?

· Does the ‘like’ function on TikTok create false validation? Are users constantly chasing the “like spike”?

Connect with Dave Shaw:

Connect with Leanne Butterworth:

· Empathy First:

Hi! I'm Leanne Butterworth, Empathy Speaker and Educator, University Lecturer and Mental Health Advocate.

Empathy First is a Brisbane-based social enterprise offering Empathy workshops, online courses and individual Empathy coaching to help you build connection and strengthen your relationships for personal and professional success.

Contact me today and let's talk about how you can put Empathy First.

58 views1 comment

1 Comment

Great! It's a very interesting episode, it's a pity that it has very few views and likes. If you want to increase its popularity, try tiktok promo.

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