OK, so this is kind of hilarious: Salman Rushdie went on Goodreads and left negative-to-scathing reviews of popular and highly acclaimed books like Lucky Jim and To Kill a Mockingbird—thinking all the time that the reviews were private and would only help Goodreads generate reading recommendations to suit his taste.
I can totally sympathize. When I started using Instagram, I thought it was a tool similar to my camera, only with filter options to make my life look extremely well-lit. I thought that the photos I took went into a private gallery (like the other photos I took with my phone), and I could upload my favorites to Facebook, Twitter, or wherever else.
Needless to say, there was a moment of wild panic when I found out that those images were not private. Luckily, I hadn’t taken photos of anything strictly For My Eyes Only—I probably just bored a lot of people by regularly taking 12 photos of the same thing to get the picture “right.” But I’m scared of Instagram to this day and have ignored all “follower” requests since.
Said Salman Rushdie, about his reviews: “Turns out they are public. Stupid me. Well, I don’t like the work of Kingsley Amis, there it is. I don’t have to explain or justify. It’s allowed.”
Hear, hear. Social media is rough terrain for a lot of us, and we’re not even famous. And even if the rest of us think To Kill a Mockingbird is tremendous, I’m glad he stood up for his opinions—and his right to have them in the first place.