There’s Nothing Like Being Rushed to Hospital to Make You Realize the Insignificance of Online Trolls

When you’re hooked up to an IV, the last thing you think is “I must reply to that person who hated my opinion”

Charlie Brown


Photo by Slim Emcee on Unsplash

Finally, the drugs had kicked in through the IV line that had become my new best friend, sending much-needed hydration and painkillers into my system.

For the first time in many hours, I could check my phone. It buzzed as I picked it up. A new email from Medium informing me that someone had left a comment.

I clicked on it and saw that it was some angry dude, upset that my opinion had contradicted his own.

I laughed, threw my phone back in my bag, and fell asleep.

At that moment, I can’t tell you how much I didn’t give a fuck about someone somewhere in the world getting their y-fronts in a tangle over something I had written on the internet.

And it’s a feeling I’m determined to hang on to.

You should too. No hospitals required.

The first time always hurts the most

My first experience with a shitty online comment was really weird because it was super personal. Some dude had stuck a handwritten note through my wine store’s letterbox informing me that the company would go out of business if I continued to close the store one day a week.

Then he took to Facebook and Twitter, asking me if I’d received his note, making nasty predictions about the future of my business all over the internet.

Man, it hurt.

I cried, I worried he might be right. I lost sleep. I also worried how far his anger would go — this was someone local who knew where my business was, after all.

Of course, it went nowhere. He stopped messaging after a few weeks and the store went on to be named the best independent wine store in the UK.

We never had to deal with a troll after that. We were a good business that cared about customer service.

But when I started to write full-time last year, I had to yet again come to terms with the fact…



Charlie Brown

Writer of opinions. Wine & food pro. Editor of Rooted, a Medium food & drink pub.. Niche-avoidant. Also at