Posted by: mydarkestplaces | January 11, 2012


Some of you who spend time on the interwebs probably have seen this hashtag or meme spreading like wildfire throughout the internet. For those of you who haven’t seen it, or don’t live on the internet, the idea behind #firstworldproblems is that when something happens in your life that is irritating, inconvenient, or just down right a PITA, but nothing major in the grand scheme of things, you follow it up with “#firstworldproblems” and it puts things back in perspective.

I have found myself using this tag more and more over the past year or so.  For me, I started using the hashtag in the spirit it was created:  a joke, something to laugh at, and something that does add a bit of perspective. As I find myself becoming more familiar with global events and situations, I use the tag predominantly as a reminder to myself: Yes, my computer’s hard drive crashed, but I’m not being shot at by my government. #firstworldproblems. Yes, I keep getting calls from various student loans companies, but I had the privilege of attending college. #firstworldproblems. I had to pay $30 to go to the doctor’s office the other day, but I have health insurance. #firstworldproblems.
The Occupy movement needs to have this hashtag impressed on their forehead. The majority of the Occupiers are not the 1%. They make, if they’re lucky, $30,000 a year. They have no insurance. They are put upon by employers and neighbors. There should absolutely be something done to equalize the gross disparity between the 1% and the 99%. Well. Just some perspective: if you have a job – ANY job, if you have a roof over your head, if fewer than 5 people live in your house/apartment, if you had a meal today, or were able to get a cup of clean water from the tap, you are part of the global 10%*. We Americans tend to have a very myopic view of the world. As in we don’t see it. Maybe that’s something that we can work on. Remembering that, despite the hardships that we face in our lives, we are still better off than the majority of the world’s population. Our problems are real problems, no doubt. But #firstworldproblems are just that: #firstworldproblems.



    I often wonder about those Occupiers who are choosing to live in tents, while the apartments for which they are paying rent go unused. This whole “movement” is falsely named: You can’t get anything done by sitting around being angry about it. Get up and do something! Instead of sitting and protesting, use what resources you HAVE and make something happen.

    Even before #firstworldproblems became popular, I tried to live my life as thankfully as possible. I’m hoping this tag translates from joke to seriousness, as I agree with you – Americans need to get with the picture and remember how lucky we are!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: