Often, the hashtag First World Problems is meant to connote that the problem isn’t really one at all. It’s a mild inconvenience, at best.
On the one hand I love this. I love that we start to call out our entitlement and desire for comfort and keep some perspective.
On the other hand, there is a danger in this connotation. It might cause us to think that by virtue of living in the first world, one cannot have any sincere problems, or that ones problems must always be lesser than those of people in the developing world. For many of us, that is precisely true. But for others, it’s not, and if we aren’t careful, those others could be forgotten and overlooked.
I understand that the expression is more of an idiom overall, nowadays. So maybe I’m over thinking this one.
But of course, first world existence is not automatically problem free. Yet the thrust of the hashtag is that having enough resource eliminates those pesky problems, leaving you only with issues related to parking lot proximity and your igadget.
If that were true, why would affluent teens be the most at-risk demographic of adolescents? Why would depression and prescription drug abuse run rampant in suburbia?
And what about the problems of those who are geographically located in the first world, but who live in poverty to a degree that they hardly experience its benefits?
The last thing we need is to move further away from our brokenness by pretending it can be overcome by the acquisition of wealth.