Being An Internet Troll Is Weird, And I Pity You

by Katie Cloyd
Originally Published: 

Being an internet troll is so … weird. Have you ever really stopped to think about that? I mean, they’re everywhere. Who hasn’t had a run-in with a piece of shit Internet troll online at least once? As a person who writes a lot about living in a fat body, I probably get more than my fair share. Most of the time, it’s just a man with no self-awareness blathering on and on about how he doesn’t want to sleep with me. (What a loss!) Sometimes it’s other women insulting my body, my intelligence and my credibility which is a huge fucking bummer.


Women tearing down other women in 2021? Gross.

Anyway, I’m a human being so yes, this shit hurts sometimes. But it’s also just really strange.

Are you the kind of person who says nasty things online to people who didn’t do anything personal to you at all? Let’s dive into why that’s a fucking bizarre life choice.

You could be doing so many cool things.

Being a total dick to strangers who have done nothing to hurt you is a strange life choice. You’re wasting your own life. Who cares if it’s only a minute or two? Do you know what you could do with the one minute it took you to jump online and body shame someone you’ve never met?

In the time it took you to inform me that you’re a miserable asshole by saying rude shit to me, you could have watched a delightful TikTok video of a happy panda eating a whole entire squash. Do you know how cute that is? You’d have that visual to think back on forever, but you’d rather just hurt someone’s feelings. That’s not normal.

In just a few minutes, using the same phone or computer you used to be a douchebag for absolutely no discernible reason, you could have used YouTube to learn how to fold a fitted sheet or poach the perfect egg. Those are useful skills, and it’s fucking bizarre that you’d rather be an Internet troll than learn them.

You are lucky enough to have free time, and you’re squandering it trolling.

I truly need to know how the hell do you find the free time to abuse strangers online. You have limited minutes in a day. All my minutes are taken doing productive, useful shit or at least renewing, relaxing stuff. Somehow you have so many unscheduled minutes that you can chose to spend some of yours calling me a “fat fucking piece of shit?”

Why aren’t you busy? Don’t you work? Have kids? I work AND have kids. If I wanted to insult someone online, I’d have to put a reminder in my calendar. My three children are adorable little time sucks. Also, my essays that you think are “stupid fatty garbage” don’t write themselves. “Glorifying and promoting obesity” is time consuming, y’all. My schedule is full.

A life of the kind of leisure that you clearly enjoy is literally unfathomable to me, so congratulations on being independently wealthy, I guess.

That level of anger just isn’t normal.

If my body makes you so upset you have to waste your precious moments to go out of your way to be ugly to me about it online, something is wrong with you. I don’t know how else to put it.

Normal people with normal lives don’t willingly spend their free time purposefully hurting other people. If my body triggers anger and hate in you, that is some deep-rooted shit you need to work on.

I’m just over here existing. That should not infuriate you. I’m happy. I’m fat. You can either take some intentional steps to work on your feelings about it, or you can die mad about it. But you can’t shame me into misery.

Shitty troll opinions are not part of my compensation package, no matter how much you think I deserve them.

You think I have to accept some random Internet troll’s ill-informed word vomit as an unfortunate part of my life because “I signed up for this” by “choosing” to be fat and daring to talk about it like it’s not a tragedy.

Being fat is not “my choice,” because it’s fucking complicated, and that’s a gross oversimplification, but being at peace with my body is my choice.

Saying, “Don’t talk openly about your life unless you want to entertain my insulting and ignorant opinion,” is stupid. It’s just an excuse that garbage people use so they don’t have to do better. Nobody who tells their story “deserves” to be verbally trashed by unhappy losers who just refuse to choose kindness. Stop saying people shouldn’t speak on their experiences unless they want to be criticized.

Start saying, “I refuse to work on my compulsion to be mean and hateful. I choose to unleash my pent-up anger on innocent people instead of putting in the work it would take to become the kind of person who would not even consider doing that.”

All the insults in the world are just not going to silence a determined person.

When someone has passion and a lot to say, nothing you come up with will silence them. For me, it’s fat-related stuff, but it can be anything. My gay and trans friends take unfathomable amounts of abuse, but they keep writing because their work matters to the people who need to read it. My Black friends are inundated with white supremacist poison at every turn, and yet, they continue their anti-racism work. Parents who advocate for their children with special needs do so knowing that they will inevitably see people call their children names and say horrible things about their existence. The list could go on forever. People tell their stories because doing that is vitally important to human connection.

Do you really think being an asshole to someone is going to dry up their passion and make them go away?

No. Of course you don’t. You just think your crappy opinions are as valid as someone’s hard work. Well, they aren’t. Being an internet troll takes no intelligence or skill.

Other people can see the venomous things you say.

I couldn’t care less if some self-loathing jerk who sees my work online likes me or not. There’s a 100 percent chance I don’t like them either.

But other people can see the hurtful, ignorant shit you say. Some of them will be deeply affected by it. When you set out to hurt me, I might feel the sting for a minute, but ultimately, I’m going to collect my paycheck and forget you existed.

The other people who read your comment might not be where I am in my journey. Your bullshit might hurt them. When you set out to make me feel badly, did you mean to drag a bunch of innocents down, too? Did you bother to think about anyone at all?

If you don’t like what someone has to say, how about you just … don’t read it?

It’s not normal for you to go out of your way to waste even one minute of your precious life on anything that’s not for you.

It’s super weird to waste your own time then be really pissed about it.

If you are a person who enjoys being hurtful to strangers online, I feel bad for you. On the rare occasion that some internet troll manages to get to me, I can turn to my community. My loving husband, my beautiful children, my devoted parents, girlfriends I’ve known since I was in the single digits, and even colleagues will remind me who I am.

I can’t imagine your life is that full because you’re trapped in a mindset that is full of poison and hate. The life you live makes me very sad. There’s something better for you than what you’ve chosen.

It’s way past time for some intentional self-improvement. The best thing you can do to start is to embrace the concept of shutting the hell up. You’ll be better for it, and the world will be a slightly kinder place with one less Internet troll running around.

When you just fucking DON’T, everybody wins.

This article was originally published on