(Some) first world problems matter too

“First world problems” – We’ve all heard the saying, or seen it in a hashtag. Some of us have even said it ourselves when someone complains about an issue which the starving people of Ethiopia, for example, would find trivial.

But it’s time for the ‘first world problem’ accusers to get off their high horses and realise that hey, Australia is a first world country, and first world problems matter, too.

No, I’m not talking about the ‘Oh no, I broke a nail’ kind of problems. Or the ‘Oh no, I’ve got no wine left and the bottle shop is closed’ kind of scenarios (although these are tough times).

Some first world problems are worthy of a little whingeing. And as one of my closest friends often reminds me, life is not a competition. There will always be someone else worse off than you, but that doesn’t make your issues any less important.

I’ve compiled two (somewhat limited) lists to sort the first world problems that matter, from the first world problems that don’t.

So the next time someone rolls their eyes at you and says ‘Oh, first world problems’ refer to this little list and reassess your situation.

First world problems that matter

  • the rising cost of food, petrol, rent … everything
  • a boss/friend/lover/parental unit/anyone who is unreasonable and just a downright jerk (what is with some people?!)
  • ridiculously slow internet
  • the train/bus/tram/plane being delayed (by a significant amount of time)
  • harassment, violence and bullying
  • getting screwed over by the healthcare system
  • health problems (yes, even allergies and food intolerances)

First world problems that don’t matter

  • having to wait 10 minutes (!!) for your takeaway soy decaf latte with one sugar
  • your broken nail
  • the rising cost of meat pies
  • being too hungover to function
  • not being able to decide where to go for dinner, or for a drink, or on a holiday
  • a flat battery on your smart phone
  • no likes on your Facebook status

And here are more that don’t matter (we’ve all been there)…




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Shannon Crane

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