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Livermore Rants and Raves, also known as LRR, is a local Facebook page known as an epicenter of drama. Ultimately, it’s what most older adults consider as their social media. Livermore Rants and Raves is about Livermore residents who want to complain or give praise .regarding businesses and organizations

From learning new spots to eat in town, to finding live music, the platform offers a plethora of uses for its members.  For those who use the platform for good, the page can be a great place to connect and become closer to those in town. However, not all aspects of the site smell like roses.

Ultimately, the negative posts can cause problems within the community and start drama between folks who tend to stir the pot. In addition, the negativity provides a basis for division and catalyzes internet wars between neighbors. . 

Oftentimes, there are disagreements, fights and controversies that form as a result of posts which  proliferate hate. Even though there are positives, the cons may outweigh the benefits. 

According to Dr. Marie Mesmer, a psychology professor at Las Positas, the page encourages community awareness.

“I use the page for multiple uses, such as restaurant recommendations and the safety of what is happening around town,” Mesmer said.

Community awareness aims to increase the city’s knowledge of available programs and services. It gives insight, background knowledge and information on what the people are looking for. 

Jim Kovarik, another member who’s been using the site for several years, relates to Mesmer on that level.

“I use LRR to voice my opinions, give accolades when they are due,  find events, restaurants and places to go around the immediate area and beyond,” Kovarik said. Other members, such as Terri Bush, share the same positivity and love for the page.

I find that it’s a hub of information. From power outages, strange sights, sounds, tastes, best tacos and live music, there’s someone who knows or can point you in the right direction. There can be a bit of bullying that takes place. The moderators work overtime to try and keep all members following the rules.” Terri Bush said.

Though the platform has proven useful, the dark side of the page is not all that it’s cracked out to be. Out of the astonishing 30,000 Facebook members in the group,  one could only assume the extent of its patrons’ gossip and opinions. The question begs itself— how far do middle-aged men and women go on the heinous streets of the internet? 

 Livermore Rants and Raves is crawling with members offering their two cents on issues that don’t concern them. One slight inconvenience and the page morphs into a dog-eat-dog world.  

Like everyone else, I initially thought it was just a friendly Facebook page that older people use to complain or rave about popular places to peruse in town. Soon enough, I discovered it was much more than that. 

Essentially, it can be a place in which anyone with a device has a platform to voice their opinions. Though many controversial posts end in arguments and feuds, it’s a risk that people are willing to take a load off their chest. Clearly, some people say what’s on their minds and have no problem with the repercussions. 

“I do like the drama at times…” member Katy Goddard Escott said.   

 However, Goddard isn’t alone in that regard. Many members of the site contribute their own drama for others to feed off. 

“Nothing like having struggling people living in the richest part of town! This will make it more friendly like SF City and downtown Oakland… wow Livermore City is growing up!” Adam Sadowy said.

That said, the page and its admins uphold specific rules to de-escalate such disagreements. According to admins Monia Pezzi and Suzy Tee, members are not allowed to bully others. Though I guess homeless people are not considered victims of bullying on this page.

Aside from plain disrespect, posts also act as records of negative experiences at certain businesses. Member Liz Pugh Voisen, for instance, recants her experience at Livermore nail salon Tips and Toes 2, and how the business royally screwed over her daughter during her nail appointment.

According to Voisen, the employee grabbed her daughter’s hand and intentionally ruined her nails, so she could then return her money to her daughter and tell her to go somewhere else. In addition to cutting her daughter’s nail and breaking her skin.

Vivian, the nail tech, grabbed both of my daughter’s hands so aggressively I almost wanted to choke her but I kept composed. She cut my daughter’s nail up high on one side and it hurt her. My daughter didn’t wince, Vivian then discarded her hands and said ‘I give you the money back and you can go somewhere else’ We were shocked and horrified by this treatment!”

Overall, this page creates a space in which people can speak freely, most times without consequence. However, with the boldness comes inconsideration.

In finding out all of Livermore’s most pressing gossip,  I hope to never visit a Livermore dog park or a nail salon again. 

Asia Alpher is an arts and entertainment editor and the social media editor for The Express. Follow her @asiaadanae.



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