THE BLOG

#FirstWorldProblems

03/15/2013 04:01 pm 16:01:27

I wanted to talk a little about the term First World Problems ( or "White People Problems" as some people say), and how ridiculous I think it is.

The first place I ever heard of this term, was on Twitter. People were complaining about not being able to find a parking spot at the mall, or pouring too much Splenda into their coffee, and would then add the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems after their tweet. Essentially every time I saw this phrase being used, it was as a joke. People knew they were complaining about stupid things, and they added this phrase to make light of it. To get a laugh.

But recently, the phrase is being added by someone else, as a reply to something a person writes. Albeit, it's usually after something that isn't really that big a deal, such as being stuck in traffic for three hours, or a flight being cancelled. I think we can all agree that in the grand scheme of things, being stuck in traffic isn't really that big a deal. Having said that, constantly comparing your situation, and the situations of others, to those who live in dire straits isn't exactly fair. Sure, if I turned on NY1, and saw that Pat Kiernan was reporting on a women in Queens stuck in a traffic jam for three hours, I would find that pretty irrelevant. But at the same token, if that woman was on her way to work and now arrived a few hours late, I'm not sure walking up to her now angry boss, rolling her eyes and saying "White People Problems" would be the best solution.

The thing is, some situations are just down right annoying. I'm not saying it's ok to complain every single day about insignificant things, but that doesn't mean we should all walk around with fake "Joker" style smiles plastered on our faces. Sometimes things will annoy you.

Don't get me wrong, you shouldn't complain to someone with cancer that you are suffering from a cold, and you shouldn't complain about your IPad being taken away because you're grounded to another student who can barely afford to eat lunch in school. But at some point, you should be able to express that you are upset about something. Especially on something lighthearted, like Twitter or Facebook, that honestly should not be taken that seriously in the first place.

Furthermore, you don't know what someone's life is like behind closed doors. Maybe that traffic jam was the final straw for that woman. Maybe she has a sick child at home to take care of, or maybe she got fired from her last job and she wants to do her best at her current one. Maybe she's suffering from depression, and difficult things hit her a lot harder than other people. Especially when writing on social media, you can't expect someone to give you the whole story.
Or honestly, maybe she just had a really bad day and in the moment, she felt the need to just create a quick Facebook status about it, just to vent. Just for a second.

It's Facebook, people. It's just not that serious.

I have had friends and family members who have died, that other people in my life didn't even know about because when it comes to serious situations, I keep them to myself. I am not the type of person to write about the passing of a family member on my profile page. I'm not saying there's something wrong if you do, I am saying that just because someone doesn't let it be known, does not mean they are not dealing with something.

So if someone comes to you for advice, or even just to vent, don't belittle how they feel. And honestly, if you read someone's status, and it bothers you that much, do us all a favor and just "Un-friend" them.

When it comes down to it, it's only natural to complain every now and again. You're probably not going to be able to keep your cool all of the time. Especially on your own web page, it's alright to express a simple pang of irritation. If you never did, someone would probably just comment on your activity and tell you how apathetic you are.

I'm not saying it's alright to do all of the time, and not over extremely insignificant things, but every now and again I think it's okay. It's not alright however, if you don't realize that there are people in this world who have it much, much worse than you do. If you don't realize that, well then, I'll leave that article for someone else to write.