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First World Problem

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First world problem

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The term first world problems (often abbreviated to "FWP")[1] refers to issues perceived as difficult to those residing in the more developed nations (i.e., the Wikipedia:First World), but which are banal when compared to the difficulties encountered by those in the less developed Wikipedia:Third World.[2][3]

First World Problems is often used in a derisive manner towards those who complain about the problems they experience in the "Wikipedia:First World" on a regular basis.[4] However, it is also used by scholars and economists in studying the relationship between the Wikipedia:Third World and the Wikipedia:First World.[5][6][7][8][9]

A Wikipedia:Wall Street Journal article described Wikipedia:terrorism, Wikipedia:viruses, and Wikipedia:natural disasters as "increasingly tough First World Problems."[10] Similarly, Wikipedia:economists working in South Africa have described that country's "science and technology infrastructure as 'a first world system being used to tackle first world problems'" and which are therefore unable to cope with the more serious problems of that nation's population.[11]

It is also argued that in nations like China (WP), where there is a great divergence between first and third world areas, that the "First World Problems overshadowed the Third World ones."[12] In something of an about-face from the standard attack on First World Problems, development communication scholar Srinivas Melkote insists that "development communication activities" developed to address Third World Problems can in fact be utilized to combat "First World [P]roblems that have arisen after development"[13] (such as AIDS (WP) and teenage pregnancies).


[edit] History of the term

The exact provenance of this term is uncertain, although some believe that it originated with the 1995 song "Omissions of the Omen" on the album Wikipedia:Last of the Ghetto Astronauts by Canadian singer/song-writer Wikipedia:Matthew Good. Over time, however, it has taken on a wider significance, being used in humour;[14] Wikipedia:David Rakoff's book Don't Get Too Comfortable[15] is subtitled "The Indignities of Coach Class, the Torments of Low Thread Count, the Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems."[16]

Political circles[17]

Computing discussions.[18]

[edit] References in music, literature, film, and TV

"First World Problems: 101 Reasons Why The Terrorists Hate Us" is a book by Ben Nesvig [19]

  • "First World Problems" is a song by Chicago punk band Wikipedia:Scalpers
  • The Onion "I am so starving" piece [20]
  • Satirewire's "Starving, Dying Poor to Get Much-Needed Net Access" news short [21]
  • "First World Problem" is a song by Wikipedia:Nerdcore hip hop musician Wikipedia:MC Frontalot from his album Zero Day
  • "FIRST WORLD problem" is a web series written by and starring Stacey Linnartz and Jeremy Rishe, directed by Cameron Bossert
  • According to Knowyourmeme.com, “The Real First World Problems” Tumblr was created in 2008 and the Reddit page “First World Problems” originated in January 2011.

Many computer games, notably, provide a degree of First World escapism via a simulation of Third World Problems. For example, the 1980s ASCII-based dungeon crawler Rogue provided those First World denizens who had overcome the First World Problem of not owning a Wikipedia:computer to experience such Third World Problems as starvation, Wikipedia:existential Wikipedia:ennui, and life-or-death hand-to-hand combat.

[edit] "First World Problems" and the 1%

First World and Developing World countries all have their 1%, and the two distinctions are not mutually exclusive (in one sense, they are the same problem on a different scale. First World countries are the privileged among countries). However, admitting to FWP is easier than admitting to being the 1%, and political pundits or their wannabes will conflate the two in their critique of such, as a Business Insider critique of Adrianna Huffington's Tweet shows:People Who Tweet About #firstworldproblems Are Obnoxious

  Employment prospects Social Interactions Technology Consumable Goods Status
First World upper 20% Problem "If I get enough face time with my clients, I can steal them and swing an agency of my own." "I was rejected by an internet message board for lacking a salon of bright friends." "My Wikipedia:Zune's wireless transfer playback is unfairly limited to 3 plays." "Even Wikipedia:Sharper Image products are low quality, these days." "Everyone gets what they deserve; the problem is people not accepting that"
Third World upper 20% Problem "If I could move to America, I could reach my full potential, but even Europe isn't hiring anymore" "I was rejected from getting a master in a foreign university because they did not even consider my current degrees on the level of their own" "Because of the illegal nature of my software I cannot get it to run well or use it when working with foreign companies that want me to abide by their laws of patents and such and the legal software is too expensive for me to buy it" "My Wikipedia:McGriddle's folds were not injected with enough syrup this morning." "If I work hard, I will get what I deserve; the problem is people not accepting that"
US poverty line "I can't believe they say to get a job. There hasn't been a job invented there isn't a reason to not hire me for, or fire me from, or they haven't cut the pay of. If I could get some benefits and still work, it would be worth my while. I'd be taking a job away from someone else, of course..." "I am not a second class citizen. Personally, I do not want to bring children into this wicked world" "The people in my neighborhood spend too much on things that break too quickly; across town, they spend too much on things that become outdated too quickly" "If I do not eat fast food, I can make it last until the end of the month. Don't know what I would do if I had kids" "Opportunities to advance are not afforded by the current economic system. The rich have so much; it is not fair"
World average "With the Wikipedia:microloan program in this district I bought a sewing machine and I take in repair jobs. Paid back the loan, and bought some fabric. But the orders are slow" "There are no good jobs here. My children probably won't get a good enough education to make it in America either." "I cannot make it last until the end of the month. Not with the food prices going up" "I have all I need. What I want, I get to choose one of those" "The developed world has the opportunity to advance the economic system of the developing world; it is not fair, but it is not smart, either; our development is another market for them"
World poverty line "Unemployment? There are only, starving people, and people who manage to avoid starvation" "People here are good to me. But they cannot afford to help, either" "My brother writes, first his neighbor's plough fractured at the weld, and then the oxen got sick; my brother has not been able to work for weeks, and thinks maybe he could do better in the city" "Just my luck, to get sick as soon as I came to the city. At least there are doctors here; I hope to afford that soon" "I'm so hungry."

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. First World Problems. Wikipedia:Reddit. URL accessed on 25 January 2012.
  2. Hardy, Quentin Eduardo Saverin’s Billionaire Blues. bits.blogs.nytimes.com. The New York Times. URL accessed on 4 July 2012.
  3. DiMargo, Carissa Latest First-World Problem: Starbucks Raising Prices. NBC Washington. Wikipedia:NBCUniversal. URL accessed on 4 July 2012.
  4. Petri, Alexandra Is Occupy Wall Street a first-world problem?. ComPost. The Washington Post. URL accessed on 4 July 2012.
  5. Sklair, Leslie (1994). "Capitalism and Development in Global Persepctive" Leslie Sklair Capitalism and Development, 1st, p. 372, London u.a.: Routledge. URL accessed 4 July 2012. "The 'developmental successes' of capitalism in the Third World, therefore, mainly consist of partially solving Third World problems (like absolute materil deprivations) and replacing them with First Problems (like new diseases, some gross forms of environmental degradation and ennui)."
  6. Žižek, Slavoj (2006). The Parallax View, 1., pbk. ed., p. 433, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. URL accessed 4 July 2012. "...attempts to dismiss First World problems as trivial in comparison with "real" permanent Third World catastrophes are no less a fake--focusing on the "real problems" of the Third World is the ultimate form of escapism, of avoidng confrontation with the antagonisms of one's own society."
  7. David T. Suzuki; Holly Dressel (2004). From Naked Ape to Superspecies: Humanity and the Global Eco-crisis, Rev. ed., p. 404, Vancouver: Greystone Books. URL accessed 4 July 2012. "...biotech companies focus on First World problems like adult-onset diabetes and infertility."
  8. Ananya, (2003). "Paradigms Of Propertied Citizenship: Transnational Techniques of Analysis," Urban Affairs Review, 38, 463–491.
  9. http://www.pkarchive.org/trade/harvard.html
  10. Henninger, Daniel (2 September 2005). "To Understand Katrina's Problems Read 9/11 Report". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112562889661629997,00.html. Retrieved 4 July 2012.</li>
  11. Deborah, (1994). "South Africa: Science and Technology for All," IDRC Reports, 22, . </li>
  12. Annual appeal (01.67/2004) (China). ifrc.org. Wikipedia:International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. URL accessed on 4 July 2012.</li>
  13. Srinivas R., (1993). "From Third World to First World: new roles and challenges for development communication," Wikipedia:International Communication Gazette, {{{volume}}}, 145-158. </li>
  14. Gross, Terry 'First World Problems' with David Rakoff. Wikipedia:Fresh Air. Wikipedia:NPR. URL accessed on 4 July 2012.</li>
  15. Don't Get Too Comfortable, Wikipedia:David Rakoff, (2005, ISBN 0-385-51036-5)</li>
  16. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4867332</li>
  17. http://eatthestate.org/10-09/ChickenLittlesFirst.htm</li>
  18. http://pixelnomad.com/archives/2005/5/16/first_world_problems/</li>
  19. First World Problems: 101 Reasons Why The Terrorists Hate Us", Ben Nesvig</li>
  20. I am so starving, Wikipedia:The Onion</li>
  21. Starving, Dying Poor to Get Much-Needed Net Access, Satirewire</li></ol>

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