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To want to scream the next time I see some write 'first world problem'

(24 Posts)
witchface Fri 19-Oct-12 12:21:21

I know it's a meme but it makes me think the people who follow it are just bloody thick! The term third world came from old world (ie Europe etc), new world (ie the americas) and then third world (very poor countries).

If you want to patronise people by saying they can't complain about their problems then go right ahead but for the sake of my sanity please stop this first world shite!

DixieD Fri 19-Oct-12 12:29:04

Ooooh I didn't know this. Thanks for that OP. I'll store it for future use. Love little facts like that. Although you can understand the use f first works tbh. No one would have a clue what you mean if you said 'old world problem'

ikigai Fri 19-Oct-12 12:29:42

I thought it came out of the cold war - 1st world the usa and allies, 2nd world the ussr and allies, 3rd world everyone else.

Of course we're not meant to use 1st/3rd world anymore - would you prefer "challenge specific to the global north"? grin

DixieD Fri 19-Oct-12 12:29:44

* of first world

Proudnscary Fri 19-Oct-12 12:35:43

This is a bit of a first world gripe, OP

witchface Fri 19-Oct-12 12:39:42

LOL proudnscary

WinklyFriedChicken Fri 19-Oct-12 12:45:17

Does my head in too. Practically every problem everyone has, no matter how serious, wouldn't be a problem in the so-called 'third world' - eg seriously ill relative in hospital? In the Sudan they'd just die. Can't get a job? If you lived in Afghanistan you wouldn't even be allowed an education (as a female) never mind a job. So if I want to complain that Asda haven't delivered my order don't belittle me by saying 'at least you're danger of starving to death'. At least not until the full comprehensive ranked list of problems, along with the complaints-allowed cut off point, is published.

redexpat Fri 19-Oct-12 12:47:39

YANBU. It's a developed world problem. grin

Nancy66 Fri 19-Oct-12 12:54:02

Nope that's not right OP

First World is a term that came about following the end of world war 2 and refers to the developed, capitalist nations - so it's a perfectly legitimate term.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 19-Oct-12 13:19:18

I've seen this very phrase on a thread today. It's infuriating. OF COURSE it's a first world problem,we bloody well live in it! Sigh. Would be rather odd if we were all having "third world" problems really.

LaFataTurchina Fri 19-Oct-12 14:47:27

We used to get marked down at uni if we referred to places as being developed or developing

I used to use 'the global north' and 'the global south' <poncy emoticon>

And actually, if I were an expat in Africa/Asia etc. what kind of problems would I be having then, huh? grin

kerala Fri 19-Oct-12 15:01:00

You cant generalise though - the African friends I have are super super rich. Know they are a tiny minority but still its not all misery and starvation over there <scared to use term in case its wrong>. Their biggest dilemma was which sports car to buy.

FunBagFreddie Fri 19-Oct-12 15:23:47

YANBU, because everyone should be able to have a good old winge about every day stuff, without some sanctimonious git pointing out that people are starving.

ethelb Fri 19-Oct-12 15:31:31

What language are we allowed to use to distinuish our fortunate circumstances most likely bourne out of our place of birth? No you can't generalise but how should we be discussing the disparity between different countries' citizens socioeconomic status?

OwedToAutumn Fri 19-Oct-12 15:33:41

Anyway, just because people live in poverty doesn't mean they can't worry about "does my bum look big in this?" type problems as well. It seems patronising to people in developing countries to assume that they don't have relationship issues etc, as much as we do. They are human, too!

ethelb Fri 19-Oct-12 15:33:54

@winkley exactly. Cancer after the age of 60 is generally a first world problem. But pointing that out has never made me particuarly popular.

Kalisi Fri 19-Oct-12 15:41:50

I'm guilty of using it blush Not really in a smug way though it's just amusing to make a big deal out of small problems sometimes. My favourite first world problem is when it's too early to go to bed but too late to nap sad

First World Problems

FunBagFreddie Fri 19-Oct-12 15:43:45

Kalisi - that is a particularly troubling one. grin

Also, OP you're wrong, it was originally meant to mean countries that were aligned with the USA during the Cold War, it has now come to mean developed countries or highly develop countries. The meanings of words change over time so YABU.

RinderThrillerNight Fri 19-Oct-12 15:47:52

Dammit, proudnscary beat me to it! grin

Kalisi Fri 19-Oct-12 15:48:57

Bloody Hell Freaky Snucker, feel like a right prick after watching that :/

Kalisi Me too, it's a damn good advert though.

chris481 Fri 19-Oct-12 15:52:52

I used to think the same as OP about the origin of third world, but I was wrong. Wikipedia confirms that "third world" is a cold-war term that covers countries not aligned with Nato or the Warsaw pact.

"The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO (which along with its allies represented the First World), or communism and the Soviet Union (which along with its allies represented the Second World)."

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