Life is hard, there is no denying it.
The rage that comes when your computer freezes and you are trying to watch your favourite show.
The despair when the battery in your IPhone goes in the middle of a witty cyber conversation.
The frustration when you order something in a restaurant and they get it wrong.
These are the type of things that can run a person’s day. They are First World Problems and the worst thing about them is they will get you no sympathy.
Coming into the festive season, First World Problems are particularly prominent as stress levels hike and the pressure is on to show your appreciation for family and friends through gestures of goodwill.
Trinity College Dublin Counselling Psychologist Lecturer Ladisalv Timulak says First World Problems are light in comparison to survival issues such as extreme poverty and war, but in the absence of these issues, they are real conundrums.
“Things that are not for survival may be dismissed as irrelevant, but they are indicative of the emotional condition of the individual.
“Minor things that disrupt our daily activities are annoying, they are irritating because they interrupt us, but they can also be an expression of an underlying problem.
“Something serious might be expressed as something trivial.
“For example, someone who gets upset because their present is in the wrong colour or something like that, it is likely they are thinking, I do not matter enough for this person who I care about to get it right.
“This person did not put in the effort, I was not worth the time needed to pick a good present. It may seem like a trivial issue, but it is actually a deep-rooted problem.”
Dr Timulak says Christmas is a stressful time that can add to people’s struggles and for many people it is not the happy period it is supposed to be.
“For anyone who is experiencing problems, trivial things are likely to annoy them more. If you are content and happy you are likely to be more tolerant.
Time is another element that influences the effect of First World Problems. “If someone is under pressure from time restraints, they are more likely to be irritated by issues as they are under pressure.”
For this reason, particularly at Christmas it is a good idea for everyone to be more mindful of what lies behind the snide remarks that may slip out during the stressful preparation part of Christmas.
Of course, that said, there are many who just love to complain and thanks to social media, there are a number of ways to do that harmlessly that will save your loved ones the trauma of listening to your rants.
The FWP phenomenon has a number of dedicated social media channels where people internationally vent their exasperations about the flaws they find in the seamless lives they are trying to lead in the face of FWP’s.
First world Problem Tweets:
Christmas First World Problems
“All my friends expect me to buy them a Christmas Present #FirstWorldProblems.” @F1rstWrldPrblms
“Having to buy aftershave three weeks before Christmas when inevitably you get a bottle #FirstWorldProblems” @SimonRayner1
Lazy First World Problems
“The battery died in the remote to my ceiling fan #FirstWorldProblems.” @RosieRaeBurke, Texas.
“Been in bed thinking about getting up and having breakfast and coffee for about an hour now. But so comfy D: @norsk_hesks, China.
“I have an essay due tomorrow and Wikipedia is down #FirstWorldProblems .” @F1rstWrldPrblms.
“I don’t want to get up early to receive my free education #FirstWorldProblems .” @F1rstWrldPrblms.
“The remote is broken and I have to get up and change the channel myself #FirstWorldProblems.” @danklife.
Western World First World Problems
“I got a haircut and no one noticed #FirstWorldProblems.” @F1rstWrldPrblms
“My internet is down and all the wifi networks in range are password protected #FirstWorldProblems.” @F1rstWrldPrblms
“My charger is giving out #FirstWorldProblems.” @tokidoll666, New York.
“When you are texting someone who doesn’t have an Iphone so you have to deal with the green message bubbles #FirstWorldProblems.” @Mormon_laxer.
“The Starbucks guy filled my coffee all the way to the brim, leaving no room for cream #FirstWorldProblems. @firstworldme.
“The close door in the elevator isn’t fast enough #FirstWorldProblems.” @Firstworldme.
“Ben Affleck is the new Batman #FirstWorldProblems.” @FirstWorldLife
“Having to use a big spoon when all the small spoons are being washed in the dishwasher #FirstWorldProblems.” @danihun1, France.
“Trying to get changed without taking out my headphones #FirstWorldProblems.” @Katemorgan95.