First Person: Unfriending a Facebook Friend to Save a Friendship

Yahoo Contributor Network

Yahoo News asked voters to share stories about relationships gone sour during the election -- and how they're working to mend fences. Here's one person's story.

FIRST PERSON | Because of the election,I had to ignore one of my oldest friends.

My name is Kathy Foust from Knox, Ind., and I am in my late 30s. If there is one thing I have learned during my time on this Earth, it is the value of relationships that span the decades and embrace even the worst personality flaws.

I met Matt when we were teens. We had both gotten into trouble and as a result, we each were sent to live in a residential placement for wayward teens. There, we experienced some travesties that can only serve to bring a group of people closer. Attempted suicides, attempted arson, violence, tears, broken hearts, friends with self-made wounds from the war in their hearts, and pretty much every other teenage dilemma that could possibly manifest itself in physical form were all part of our daily lives.

We lost touch, but found it again on Facebook. A small group of us reconnected and care as much for each other as we ever did.

I almost let politics change all that with Matt. What teenage years and the trauma of all that we went through could not tear apart, the 2012 presidential election had the potential to annihilate.

There was no one single argument. There were no words of separation. A simple click of a button took my friend from someone who was on a select list to someone who no longer existed in my virtual world. In truth, we never actually said a harsh word to each other. We did say plenty about politics though.

He used terms like "lazy," "stupid," "welfare," and "socialist," while I threw out terms like "compassion," "opportunity," and "equality."

We debated political topics in Facebook, sometimes in such a harsh manner that friends outside of our personal little circle would voice questions as to how we ever became friends in the first place. That's when I knew I had to unfriend a political adversary in order to keep a friend.

On the night of the election, we made the choice to resume our friendship in the morning, no matter who won.

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