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To hate the phrase "first world problems"?

(18 Posts)
whatsthecomingoverthehill Wed 21-Sep-16 22:20:11

"First world problems" can apply anywhere in the world. It's not just war and famine everywhere outside the "first world". People in Nairobi probably get equally frustrated at car parking issues or a hairdresser making them look like an idiot. Doesn't matter where you live, you can have relatively trivial problems or massive issues.

And then people use it to shoot down others, e.g. "You should be worrying about people dying in Syria rather than the part Jimmy has got in the school play". I hate the attitude of moral superiority when they've probably spent the last 3 hours sat in front of the TV watching crap.

BastardGoDarkly Wed 21-Sep-16 22:21:19


PinkyOfPie Wed 21-Sep-16 22:22:55

YANBU, it's all relative innit! What's a big problem to me won't be a big problem to the next person.

I think MN takes itself a bit seriously sometimes, someone posts about getting the wrong handbag delivered and there's always someone who says "don't you have anything else to worry about" - as if posters are only ever allowed the write about their biggest problem!

pilpiloni Wed 21-Sep-16 22:24:53

Totally agree. So patronizing. We all get upset over trivial items, rich or poor

mycatwantstokillme1 Wed 21-Sep-16 22:33:39

I don't like the term. But after watching the news last night and seeing the UN Aid bombing in Syria and seeing the toddler injured knowing her mum was lying dead on the floor does put things into perspective when the Thameslink's are all up the spout in the morning. I'm not using that to shoot you down. But seeing the truly terrible things that go on everywhere does make me try and not to get pissed off at the small stuff. Including here - I read today on MSN that a young lad in Southend was being threatened with a gang who chased him with a knife so he jumped 25tf off the esplanade to avoid being possibly stabbed to death and has suffered 'catastrophic injures' to his legs and back. He'll probably never walk again. That kid of stuff makes me think how lucky I am. And I do watch trash TV as well.

WinchesterWoman Wed 21-Sep-16 22:35:42

This is why I hate reality TV. I hate seeing people crying over nothing. I hate seeing them whipped up into a fever and crying over a cake, or a dance. I hate the stupid celebrity dramas in the jungle where they're all crying. It's just manufactured nothing. It's nothing, and stupid, and soma for the people.

PNGirl Wed 21-Sep-16 22:38:03

Er... I only ever see it used self-deprecatingly when one catches oneself moaning that their coffee didn't have the right type of milk in it or Waitrose ran out of goat's cheese then realises one is being a bit ridiculous.

Doobigetta Wed 21-Sep-16 22:39:56

It just makes me think, well, we live in the first world- which bloody problems do you want us to have?

whatsthecomingoverthehill Wed 21-Sep-16 22:40:43

That's sort of my point mycat, terrible things can and do happen anywhere. And it is probably a good attitude not to try not to let the small things affect you. But it is the use of this phrase that frustrates me, particularly when used to put other people down.

SleepFreeZone Wed 21-Sep-16 22:42:04

I think it's that the person is basically accepting from the offset that the problem they are describing is trivial. I doubt they are claiming some superiority over the worlds problems and who gets to complain about what. It's an overused term though and I'd happily never read it again

converseandjeans Wed 21-Sep-16 22:42:56

But this morning getting kids ready for school and DS6 waffling on about getting an iPod with his bday money - which he had been talking about before bed too. On Newsround all the pics of the bombings in Syria and I must admit I did say to him 'well while you're worrying about getting an iPod, look they have had their house bombed in the night' I think sometimes we do need a bit of a reality check and need to not get as wound up about trivial things (myself included)

leaveittothediva Wed 21-Sep-16 22:44:44

It's just one of those random phrases that just does the rounds until it becomes unfashionable to say anymore. I suppose a bit like people making signs with their fingers to emphasize a point.

whatsthecomingoverthehill Wed 21-Sep-16 22:45:28

PNGirl, I'm not that keen on the self depracating usage either but what provoked this was seeing a complete pile on on another forum where someone had the temerity to have a bit of a whinge about something relatively minor. Lots of responses like "Such a first world problem, there are people DYING in Syria you know". And what pisses me off even more about that is that these people are just using those deaths as a debating tactic.

TaterTots Wed 21-Sep-16 22:46:48

Yeah, it's an utterly overused (and patronising) expression. It's as if because you're worrying about a row with a friend you can't possibly give a shit about war or famine. As if we're all too thick to think about more than one thing.

Queenbean Wed 21-Sep-16 22:48:03

My colleague uses the phrase all the time. Except she gets it wrong and says "third world problems". Ummmmm. No.

DixieWishbone Wed 21-Sep-16 22:51:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DownWithThisSortaThing Wed 21-Sep-16 22:55:32

I think it's less about having a row with a friend or car parking issues, I see it as problems that only occur because of your luxuries/wealth or minor irritations that come from having nice things.
Such as this meme

mycatwantstokillme1 Wed 21-Sep-16 23:05:30

yes I agree, I don't like the term and hate it when used to put others down. I'd never say it to anyone else. I try and say it to myself when I get wound up over silly things. Although listening to some people's phone conversations on public transport sometimes I just want to ask them if know how they sound!
And when I'm upset when I see my aspergers son isolated and lonely, desperately wanting to be able to socialise and have just one friend, that is a first world problem to someone who has no food, but it doesn't make me any less upset for him so I know what you mean.

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