From D-squared Digest, months ago:
If I have one piece of advice to give after years of frequenting the most troll-heavy regions of the ninternet, it's this: Never underestimate the proportion of your readership who are housebound or suffering from serious mental or physical illness. In an absolutely frightening proportion of cases, when you find yourself asking the question "Jeez, does this guy ever leave the house?", the answer would make you weep. In an absolutely frightening proportion of cases, when someone makes a comment like "god, why don't you just get a life/get a girlfriend/get a job?", they are making a suggestion that is roughly as unrealistic as ordering their enemy to sprout wings and fly. Why is the internet such a mean place? Because so many of the people writing on it are in more or less constant pain. Why do people take things so seriously on the internet? Because for so many of them, it is their only source of human contact.