First World problem

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For the "Weird Al" Yankovic song "First World Problems", see Mandatory Fun.
For the MC Frontalot song "First World Problem", see Zero Day (album).

First World problem is a slang term used to refer to issues in First World nations that are complained about only because of the 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]

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] The term is used to minimize complaints about trivial issues by shaming the complainer,[7] or as good-humored self-deprecation.[4] UNICEF NZ conducted a survey of First World problems in New Zealand, finding slow web access to be the most common.[8]

Relative privation[edit]

It can be an example of a red herring fallacy that of the fallacy of relative privation.


  • Slow Internet access.[8]
  • Not being able to find items in a store[8]
  • Bad-tasting fruit[8]
  • Getting a bad haircut[8]
  • Television remote not working[8]
  • Poor mobile-phone coverage[8]
  • Phone battery dying (low-battery anxiety)[9]
  • Apple Inc. attempted to alleviate the most frequent complaint about its wireless AirPods, by introducing a "Find My AirPods" application in 2017.[10]

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. ^ 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. 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. ^ Glover, Richard (24 November 2012). "As the First World turns". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Harper, Paul (8 October 2012). "Kiwis complain about 'First World problems'". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Sum, Eliza (28 July 2016). ""Battery anxiety" making smartphone users miss meetings, dates and jeopardise relationships". Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  10. ^ Stampher, Jillian (January 24, 2017). "Solving First World Problems: Apple To Release 'Find My AirPods' Feature With Latest iOS Update". GeekWire. 

External links[edit]