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“Leave the Feed”: How Dylan Huey’s New Book Equips Creators To Champion Mental Health, Nurture Authentic Relationships, And Thrive In The Creator Economy

"Leave the Feed": How Dylan Huey's New Book Equips Creators To Champion Mental Health, Nurture Authentic Relationships, And Thrive In The Creator Economy

Dylan Huey, a recent USC graduate and founder of the national organization Reach, has launched his new book, “Leave the Feed”, alongside James Petrossi and Manasi Patil. The book, which hit shelves on April 23, 2024, is a reflection of Huey’s experiences as a digital creator, entrepreneur, and influencer manager. “I’ve personally been super passionate about the influencer space, being a content creator back in 2016, as early as me being 15 years old,” he says. “I managed a few influencers, with over 100 million followers, and from there really loved both ends of the social media landscape.”

During his time at USC, Huey ran a student organization called USC Reach, which he has been able to expand  into a national organization spanning 75 universities, with over 2,500 creators and more than 400 million followers among its members. “I was able to perfectly blend my passions for entrepreneurship and content creation together through this organization,” he explains. Huey is now the CEO of its national organization.

“Leave the Feed” draws upon Huey’s unique perspective as both a creator and an influencer manager. The book offers insights into the world of social media and provides practical advice for those looking to thrive in the digital space successfully. With the launch of the book, Huey aims to share his knowledge and experiences with a wider audience. “Leave the Feed” is expected to appeal to aspiring content creators, influencer managers, social media enthusiasts, and more generally, your average consumer of social media..

"Leave the Feed": How Dylan Huey's New Book Equips Creators To Champion Mental Health, Nurture Authentic Relationships, And Thrive In The Creator Economy

A Movement for Healthy Social Media Consumption, Mental Health Awareness, and Authentic Connections

Inspired by Huey’s own experiences with bullying and the mental health struggles faced by many creators within the Reach community, “Leave the Feed” aims to promote healthy social media consumption, raise awareness about mental health issues, and encourage authentic connections. “We wanted to build a movement for people, especially those facing mental health, to motivate them to realize that social media is only one aspect of relationships”, Huey explains. 

Referred to as “the antidote for the social dilemma,” the book is structured as a 30-day interactive workshop, helping readers consciously reflect on their emotions, relationships, and social media habits. “It helps you circle back to what’s important for you. Your emotions, your relationships, etc.,” Huey describes. “You can read any book, any text, but it’s another thing to really be interactive and take in consciously the things that we are telling you from the book.”  Each chapter focuses on a different topic, featuring exercises such as mindfulness practices, journaling prompts, guided meditations, and activities, along with contributions from 30 Reach members sharing their stories and advice. “There’s chapters that requires you to journal in the book, there are guided meditations or mindfulness exercises and activities.”

“Leave the Feed” also addresses the issue of creator burnout, which Huey himself has experienced. The book aims to help creators reconnect with reality, humanity, and themselves, understanding that their motivation should stem from a mission beyond chasing likes and followers. “At the end of the day, you should have a following to meet a mission,” Huey emphasizes. “Once you understand your mission, then it makes it so much easier to be motivated to want to continue.”

Ultimately, Huey aspires to make the conversation about mental health and healthy social media consumption a constant, year-round discussion, extending beyond the 30-day format of the book. “This isn’t something that we should be talking about for a month, this is something that people should feel encouraged and be excited about,” he says. “This book really allows individuals to call for a change and call to have their relationship with themselves and their loved ones, their friends and their audience,” Huey concludes.

"Leave the Feed": How Dylan Huey's New Book Equips Creators To Champion Mental Health, Nurture Authentic Relationships, And Thrive In The Creator Economy

The Role of AI in the Creator Economy: Balancing Efficiency and Authenticity

As the creator economy continues to evolve, Huey highlights the increasing role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the industry. While AI has the potential to democratize content and empower more creators, Huey emphasizes that it should not be seen as a solution to creator burnout. “AI is still relatively new, so it’s hard for us to be able to say it’s going to solve the creator burnout,” he explains.

Just as social media has its pros and cons, Huey believes that AI brings benefits such as increased efficiency but also poses risks to authenticity and community building. “At the end of the day, the creators that are growing the fastest, that are building a community, that are being able to interact with fans and have fans encouraging them, are the creators that are authentic, personable, honest and relatable,” he says. Huey maintains that even if creators use AI to boost their productivity, they still need to focus on understanding and engaging with their audience, fostering a sense of friendship and connection. “You still need to be that community builder that speaks for social media and for your audience,” he advises. 

Huey’s commitment to fostering authenticity and genuine connections in the creator economy is evident in the positive reception and impact of “Leave the Feed.” Since its release, the book has garnered significant attention and support from influencers, celebrities, and readers alike. Through different events organized by Reach, the book has been featured and promoted to a wide audience.

“On these events, we were able to feature the book and get influencers and celebrities to have access to it,” Huey shares. “A lot of them have reached out to the ‘Leave the Feed’ team, asking how they can get involved and how they can be able to promote the campaign,” he says. Huey emphasizes that the book’s focus on wellness and mental health makes it a universal topic, resonating with creators and consumers alike. “It’s been incredible to see these audience members, these followers of these creators, really being interested in what this movement and what this book is about,” he says.

As Huey reflects on the journey of creating “Leave the Feed,” he expresses his pride in the collaborative effort that brought the book to life, “It’s an amazing book, and it was a year of work. It was super inspiring being able to work with two amazing co-writers and the Reach members to make this book come to life,” he says. “I hope people enjoy it and are able to resonate with at least one chapter of the book. Because each chapter speaks for different people.”

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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