As a twenty-something-year-old living in a first-world nation, you can bet that I face sooo many hardships every day. From the inconvenience of suburbia to the throngs of Starbucks on every street corner, it’s a tough world out there.
I call them…first-world problems.
What are these “first-world problems,” you might ask? Well, according to a truly reliable source, it is defined as:
“Problems from living in a wealthy, industrialized nation that third worlders would probably roll their eyes at.”
Concise and accurate. Well said, Urban Dictionary.
You might have seen this #firstworldproblems hashtag floating around all over the Internet for a while, but the term “First-World Problems” actually dates back to as early as 1979. However, it wasn’t until 2005 that with the advent of popular social media websites like Twitter and so forth that the term came to mean something as a joke. By first-world participants, that is. This meta-reflexivity by users from well-off nations like the United States, Canada, those in Europe, and Australia has been at once something to poke fun at, as well as a sort of reflective exercise to show that, well, we’re spoiled as fuck. 😛
Without further ado, here’s a list of #firstworldproblems that I’m sure we first worlders can relate to:
- When the cafeteria runs out of spoons and you have to eat your soup with a fork. #firstworldproblems
- When you take one hundred selfies for Instagram but ALL OF THEM look gross. #firstworldproblems
- When your parents buy you a black Porsche car for your Sweet Sixteen. You wanted the blue one. #firstworldproblems
- When none of your friends have Venmo and you have to pay them in cash. #firstworldproblems
- When your computer dies just as you are about to put the finishing touches on your One Direction fanfic. #firstworldproblems
- When you run out of toilet paper in the bathroom and you’re still stranded on the seat. #firstworldproblems
- When your favorite store runs out of that cute dress that was on sale. #firstworldproblems
- When there’s no Wi-fi anywhere at this damn campsite! I need to let everyone know on Instagram that I’m being one with nature! #firstworldproblems
- When walking to your 8-am class from the college dorms is waaay too far. #firstworldproblems
- When your professor forgets to post that day’s lecture you missed, and the material will be covered on the Final exam. Tomorrow. #firstworldproblems
- When you’re on 1% of your cellphone life and you still have half a mile to go on Google Maps to the nightclub. #firstworldproblems
Entertained? I thought so. 😛
But on a *more serious* note: even though first-worlders complain about these things, one must not forget that other people in other parts of the world don’t have it as lucky. It is good to never take anything for granted, nor to put all of our eggs in one basket. I admit that, while I sometimes subscribe to these “first-world problems,” I also try to consider that I could be worse off than I was. I am blessed to be living in a well-off country with parents who worked hard to make my life comfortable, and I make an effort not to take my situation for granted. True, it’s a tough balance between being aware of other nation’s struggles and my own complacency within my life, but it’s something that I try to take into consideration every day when I see peers my age who are unaware of how fortunate they are to have easy access to food, shelter, and technology.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is this: never forget the history behind the lives we live now, for we all started in the same place at one point in time.
I know this post ended up getting real (a bit too real, for my taste), but I hope you see how this #firstworldproblem can be at once a joke and something to deeply consider in our daily lives. With that, take care.
– The Finicky Cynic
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