First World problem

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First World problem is a slang term used to refer to the issues in First World nations that are complained about in response to the perceived absence of more pressing concerns.[1] The term was added to the Oxford Dictionary Online in November 2012,[2] and to the Macquarie Dictionary Online in December 2012.[3] It is a subset of the fallacy of relative privation.[4]

The term "First World problem" first appeared in 1979 in G. K. Payne's work Built Environment,[5] but gained recognition as an Internet meme beginning in 2005, particularly on social networking sites like Twitter (where it became a popular hashtag).[6][7] The term is used to minimize complaints about trivial issues by shaming the complainer,[8] or as good-humored self-deprecation.[5] UNICEF NZ conducted a survey of First World problems in New Zealand, finding slow web access to be the most common.[9]


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

  • Slow Internet access[9]
  • Not being able to find items in a shop[9]
  • Bad-tasting fruit[9]
  • Getting a bad haircut[9]
  • Television remote not working[9]
  • Poor mobile-phone coverage[9]
  • Phone battery dying (low-battery anxiety)[10]
  • Misplacing wireless AirPods. Apple Inc. attempted to alleviate this problem, which is its most frequent complaint about AirPods, by introducing a "Find My AirPods" application in 2017.[11]
  • Boring license plates[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hardy, Quentin (18 May 2012). "Eduardo Saverin's Billionaire Blues". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  2. ^ "First World problem definition". Oxford Dictionaries Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Word of the Year 2014". Macquarie Dictionary Online. Macquarie Dictionary.
  4. ^ Turkel, Bruce (6 September 2016). "All about Them: Grow Your Business by Focusing on Others". Da Capo Press – via Google Books.
  5. ^ a b "First World (Special uses)". Oxford English Dictionary Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Steinmetz, Katy (20 November 2012). "Oxford Dictionaries adds 'deets', '4G' and 'First World problems'". Time. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  8. ^ Glover, Richard (24 November 2012). "As the First World turns". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  9. ^ 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.
  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.
  12. ^ Let’s be thankful for first-world problems,, 22 November, 2017

External links[edit]