OPINION: About first world problems.

My name is Mat, and I have first world problems.

Now that’s off my chest, I’ve got a question to ask: why should I feel ashamed about this? Yes, there are self-entitled douchebags that constantly moan and complain that have absolutely no right to but I fail to see how this should preclude those of us who aren’t in fact vapid soulless bottom feeders from having a legitimate gripe about our problems.

I also fail to understand how some outstanding moral compasses on the internet interpret venting frustration about a situation that specifically negatively impacts you as an indication you care less about the plight and problems of others who may be less fortunate, more fortunate or anyone at all.


Anecdote time: One night a couple of years ago, I was meeting a couple of mates at a local pub before heading off to a baseball game. Almost immediately after we got to the pub and bought a round, we found a table. Then, we were hailed by a tin shaker who was after donations for some charity or another (I hate this practice full stop but that’s a story for another day).

We respectfully declined and this particular cretin slinked off muttering under our breath that “we didn’t care about cancer.” It was at this point that I completely lost it. I informed them in no uncertain terms what I thought of that remark considering I watched my own mother go through treatment for breast cancer. It ended with one of my mates hauling me away.

Moral of the story: don’t talk smack about someone when you don’t know their story.

My biggest objection is with the term ‘first world problem’ itself. It lends a pejorative aspect to the whole issue. There are no ‘first world problems’ or ‘third world problems’ – there are just problems. The severity of the problems you face isn’t defined by your gender, race, geographical location, or sexuality. Neither are they defined by ridiculous invented standards such as your employment status or bank balance.

The most important thing is to just do whatever the hell you want. If you have something that’s upsetting or frustrating you and want to unload about it – whether it be to a friend in private or on social media – go nuts. If you’re the type of person that does this publicly and constantly about inconsequential things people will probably think you’re a dick and, conversely, if you complain about people complaining on the internet people will also think you’re a dick. Fuck all of those people though. Your online presence is an extension of your own presence and if you want to talk about those things through whatever medium you wish more power to you.

Article by MATTHEW PURSER. For an in-depth summary of his own first world problems you can follow him on Twitter.

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