I don’t like this expression “First World problems.” It is false and it is condescending. Yes, Nigerians struggle with floods or infant mortality. But these same Nigerians also deal with mundane and seemingly luxurious hassles. Connectivity issues on your BlackBerry, cost of car repair, how to sync your iPad, what brand of noodles to buy: Third World problems. All the silly stuff of life doesn’t disappear just because you’re black and live in a poorer country. People in the richer nations need a more robust sense of the lives being lived in the darker nations. Here’s a First World problem: the inability to see that others are as fully complex and as keen on technology and pleasure as you are.
hermgur i love when Tumblr makes me think! One of the things people say, where you are pretty sure it is condescending and politically incorrect…but you don’t bother thinking about why…
But fundamentally this is about someone who took what was created intentionally as satire and applied the cold, hard perspective of killjoy.
Seriously, this person should lighten up. “First World Problems, like all memes, should be taken with a grain of salt and should be laughed at. It’s not something to get angry over. If it’s not your brand of humour, fine, that’s cool. But if we can’t laugh at ourselves what can we do? People in first world countries created it as a self-satire, so what’s the problem?
Political correctness doesn’t need to be applied everywhere. Some jokes are tasteless, offensive, sexist, etc etc and those are the things that we should try and phase out by coming down hard on them. Satire is a wonderful branch of humour that should stay away from the killjoy nazis and be expressed freely.
If anything, the meme allows us to remind ourselves that we ARE overpriviledged compared to some other parts of the city, country or world, depending on the context. The meme in itself is a stark reminder of the luxuries we take for granted. I don’t find it condescending at all, it’s all about how you look at things.
Oh so sexism we should be worried about, but nothing else? It isn’t about not using it or being a killjoy, it is about talking about WHY we use it and how accurate/inaccurate it is…It is also about the naivete of developed countries if you read the entire thing above. Getting defensive that you use the phrase is WAY beyond the point, it is about a discussion that keeps society informed and aware. This is what is important here. If you are going to do the satirical talk, you have to know what it means from every perspective. After all, satire is a respected outlet to express oneself…but the only way it became intelligent is by intellectual discussion and thought. Not the very fruitless topic of “I WANNA SAY IT AND DON’T REIGN ON MY PARADE WITH YOUR POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AND WAH WAH WAH MOMMY TELL THEM I’M RIGHT”.
The point made here is a very good one, by saying small problems are first world problems it can be seen to make those in less developed countries seem like ‘other’ with different problems, and ultimately less relatable. While it is true the joke can also be looked at from the point I view of reminding us how privileged we are and trivial our problems can be, however I don’t think this is very effective. It is extremely difficult to seperate oneself from their own issues and problems because they seem big to us, and I don’t think jokes often warrant the time and depth of thought really required to seperate ourselves from biases of that strength. This type of discussion has a much better chance of doing that.