51: Context is Everything

Grant Crowell on Media and Courtesy | ADHD reWired

51: Context is Everything

Social Stylist Grant Crowell on Media and Courtesy

A “social media stylist” who has worked in a variety of fields from video to marketing, to radio talkshow host, and more, Grant Crowell joins us to discuss both his winding journey to where he is today as well as his thoughts and goals towards social media. From struggling financially, to paying taxes late, and struggling to stay focused on the work he was given, Grant later found work he was motivated about, rebuilt his life, and seeks to help people build their social intelligence in the digital age.

About Grant Crowell:

  • Known as a “social media stylist”, Grant works in a variety of fields including, online marketing, social media, search engine optimization, and as a YouTube network manager.

  • In the past, Grant worked as a newspaper cartoonist, graphic designer, documentary film producer, and radio talk-show host.

  • Grant was a member of the first ADHD reWired Coaching and Accountability Group.

Grant and ADHD:

  • Looking back to psychiatrist notes from when he was younger than five years old, Grant thinks their assessment was very indicative of ADHD without actually going the length of mentioning it specifically.

  • Without a diagnosis or an understanding of what he had, parts of his life were challenging. In particular, he found himself often over-promising and under-delivering and found it challenging to stay engaged during boring classes.

  • Grant cites his lack of working memory as his greatest hindrance, it sometimes leading to arguments with his then-wife.

  • [Working memory: one’s ability to hold on to information while engaging in tasks separate from their intended task. So, if one is temporarily interrupted, their ability to return to their original task following the interruption without forgetting what they were doing is a display of good working memory.]

  • Working for a credit rating firm out of college was tough to manage due to the type of work.

  • Married at the age of 24 to a woman with bipolar disorder and depression, his lack of relationship experience lead him to struggle to be in a healthy one.

  • Sleep became a problem compounded in with his working memory issues.

  • Due to major sleep apnea, Grant had crashed his car twice in the middle of the day, and once right outside his house. This was a turning point after which he sought help.

  • After being diagnosed with ADHD in 2003, Grant began taking medication, though eventually stopped because of what he felt it did to his personality and how his spouse reponded.

  • Only after he was part of a much more supportive relationship and had his working memory problems highlighted, did he return to the medication.

  • Grant had not paid taxes for five years and was otherwise in a major financial crisis.

Strategies and Recovery:

  • Grant would come up with ideas while running and try to remember them by assigning each one a representative letter and then repeating the letters in his head until he was able to write down notes at a later time.

  • Aside from mediation, the two most important assets that help most with ADHD are a supportive, understanding spouse and a good job.

  • Having a good job hugely impacts your energy level and energy management is important.

  • With his new relationship, he had found someone willing to take the time to help him overcome the problem areas in his life (e.g. the taxes).

  • Eric: it’s heartening to hear that, despite being in such a bad place, you were still able to work your way back out eventually.

  • Grant was actually able to receive a reprieve from the Illinois Department of Revenue because his psychiatrist sent a letter describing his situation.

About Social Media:

  • Grant defines a “social” person as: “Someone who makes a personal investment to make genuine relationships for shared value.”

  • Today, consumers have much more power than they used to. Consumers can become producers, influencers, and celebrities much more easily than ever before.

  • Despite the power to reach so many people and have a larger impact in the world, some develop a disconnect between the way they act when communicating socially over the internet versus communicating in person.

  • Without certain cues present in face-to-face communication, like facial expressions, body position, and voice intonation, it can be easy to misread the intentions or thought behind online text communication.

  • Be mindful that there real people on the other end of your communications.

  • Part of Grant’s goal as “the social stylist” is to help other people improve their communication skills online.

Social Media Faux Pas:

  • Don’t treat these social platforms as billboards; engage with an audience through them.

  • Pay attention to how much broadcasting you’re doing versus how much listening you’re doing.

  • Respond to other people’s content and try to keep in mind that you don’t have to be the center of attention all the time.

  • Grant: If you want my Like or my attention, you have to pay attention. If you want a positive review on LinkedIn but have never had a conversation with me, there’s something wrong with that.

  • Be mindful of social context. A lot of people are so concerned with trying to be discovered, popular, and awesome that they forget to be helpful.

  • Grant has received a large number of connection requests via LinkedIn when he’s looking for a job, but receives spam from them if he accepts.

  • Someone starting an instant messaging conversation before  going silent for extended periods of time without any warning could be seen as annoying or impolite, depending on the context.

  • Some businesses create Facebook pages and only post content to them, never communicating with the page’s followers or responding to comments.

Handling Social Media with ADHD:

  • Eric, when deciding to respond to comments on Facebook, is often overwhelmed with ideas. He sometimes talks himself out of responding because he feels his comments might end up being too long and take too much time to compose.

  • Grant: Consider creating your own Tumblr page where you could publish longer-form content. Link the Tumblr site to the Facebook community to tie the two together.

  • Multi-tasking is a big problem, especially when someone with ADHD is doing it. “With social media and ADHD, you can really busy getting nothing done.”

  • Don’t have multiple chat conversations active at the same time.

  • Write one thought per email. Make the emails shorter and to the point, as opposed to writing an essay.

“Virtual ADHD”:

  • The idea that all of the cacophonic digital media in today’s world could cause ADHD.

  • Eric’s response: no.

  • There’s a difference between exhibiting behavior and having a condition.

  • Grant would see others at work exhibit behavior similar to his as a result of their hectic working environments.

  • Eric: It’s important to remember that just because behaviors may look like ADHD doesn’t mean that they are actually part of it. These contexts can exacerbate those with ADHD, but they won’t cause ADHD outright.


  • As a way to channel some of the extra thoughts and creativity resulting from his ADHD, Grant decided to make an e-book out of all of the weird words, sayings, and phrases he thinks up.

  • The book is comprised of “big ideas, small wonders, and unfinished business”.

  • DQ: Digital intelligence – concerning combining emotional intelligence with a digital environment

  • Girk: Someone who identifies as a geek, nerd, and dork who is striving to be an awesome social citizen.

  • Boyfind: Someone who is not quite a boyfriend.

  • A Lovable: Someone you don’t want to say you’re in love with, but you like hanging out with them.

  • Google Hangover: A Google Hangout that goes on way longer than it should.

  • Losing-My-Mind Map: A mind map that just has way too much stuff.

  • Auto-incorrect: When your smartphone’s auto-correct is frequently wrong.

  • iMoan: The feeling one has when seeing people waiting around for the next iPhone.

  • Conversation Catalyst: A person who might start a conversation with a funny phrase or insight

  • Di-sexual: Someone who has a sexual preference for their digital device over other people.

Products and Services Mentioned:

Random Question Round:

  • Name and describe an invention you would like to see created or improved upon.

  • If you had designed a computer system capable of interpreting emotional intelligence-related information and translating it to others, what would it be called?

  • What would you suggest to the board of Facebook for improving the social part of the website?

  • You create the next big social media platform. What is it called and what makes it different?

Find and Contact Grant Crowell:

Other information:

  • Visit for Carolyn D’Argenio’s list of her top audio-book picks, complete with preview links.

  • Connect with people virtually using Eric’s favorite video conferencing and connectivity platform, Zoom, by visiting – the basic service is totally free.

  • If you want you hear your question or comment on a future episode, go to and look for the comment form, or click on the yellow button for either “Be a Guest” or “Record your question”.

  • Are you looking for a coach? You can schedule a free 20-minute consultation with Eric. Go to and click the blue “Schedule an Appointment” button


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