Has the service on your phone failed while uploading that adorable picture of your kitten?
Have your shoelaces come untied while walking down the stairs? Will your thermostat not understand the perfect 74 degrees that you want? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you have a case of first world problems.
This term was first heard in the song “Omissions of the Omen” by Matthew Good. “Someone would love to have my first world problems.” By this he means that his first world problems are much more favorable than another person’s (real) problems. It’s like comparing pizza sauce on a favorite sweater to an impoverished family’s mud shack being destroyed by an earthquake. First world problems are minor inconveniences in the lives of the well off.
This idea caught on more with the creation of a “First World Problems Rap”, and then a slightly more artistic rap, both carrying the same general message. The greatest promoter of First World Problems came with the creation of it in meme form. By becoming popular in this way, FWP as a joke brought attention to the ignorance of such complaints and caused people to think about the real problems out there, such as hunger and disease.
I chose this term and phenomenon because it’s fascinating as an issue of class difference. Even though a person is well-off, happy, and aware of the struggles in other countries, they still find some reason to complain.
What is it that makes us complain?
One major thing would be the availability of more: more things, more money, more choices. This is a product of the capitalistic ideology present in the First World. Everyone has their own struggle and their own problems. In a way struggle itself is fairly subjective, but it’s a solid fact that hunger is a larger struggle than which sweater and short combo to wear. So even though everyone has the right to complain about their problems, there should still be an awareness of the more significant struggles present.
Honestly, I just want to know what “second world problems” entail.