First World problem

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First World problem is an informal term for the issues in First World nations that are complained about in response to the perceived absence of more pressing concerns.[1] Although it has been described as "a subset of the fallacy of relative privation", the term is also used by many people to acknowledge their gratefulness for not having worse problems, and recognise their problems in a global context.[2] The term has been used to minimize complaints about trivial issues and shame the complainer, to generate humour at the expense of first world culture,[3] and as good-humored self-deprecation.[4]


The term First World problem first appeared in 1979 in G. K. Payne's work Built Environment,[4] but gained recognition as an Internet meme beginning in 2005, particularly on social networking sites like Twitter (where it became a popular hashtag).[5][6] In 2012, UNICEF NZ conducted a survey of First World problems in New Zealand, finding "slow web access" to be the most common.[7] The phrase was added to the Oxford Dictionary Online in November 2012,[8] and to the online Macquarie Dictionary in December 2012.[9]


Things that have been cited as being First World problems include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hardy, Quentin (18 May 2012). "Eduardo Saverin's Billionaire Blues". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  2. ^ Turkel, Bruce (6 September 2016). All about Them: Grow Your Business by Focusing on Others. Da Capo Press. ISBN 9780738219202 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Glover, Richard (24 November 2012). "As the First World turns". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  4. ^ a b "First World (Special uses)". Oxford English Dictionary Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  5. ^ López, Tracy (11 July 2012). "How acknowledging your "First World problems" can make you happier". Voxxi. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  6. ^ Steinmetz, Katy (20 November 2012). "Oxford Dictionaries adds 'deets', '4G' and 'First World problems'". Time. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Harper, Paul (8 October 2012). "Kiwis complain about 'First World problems'". New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  8. ^ "First World problem definition". Oxford Dictionaries Online. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Word of the Year 2012". Macquarie Dictionary Online. Macquarie Dictionary.
  10. ^ Sum, Eliza (28 July 2016). ""Battery anxiety" making smartphone users miss meetings, dates and jeopardize relationships". Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  11. ^ Stampher, Jillian (January 24, 2017). "Solving First World Problems: Apple To Release 'Find My AirPods' Feature With Latest iOS Update". GeekWire.

External links[edit]