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I’m riding on a social media commentary kick right now and I thought I’d cover another topic that’s been on my mind for the last couple of months.
I think the “en vogue” trolling technique of some users of social media is to take the complaints of friends/people they follow and classify them strictly as “1st World Problems”.
Friend 1’s status: “UGH, my car won’t start and the mechanic can’t see me until 1pm!”
Friend 2 commenting: “1st world problem”
Tweeter 1: “Just spilled my entire plate of scrambled eggs on the floor and don’t have time to make more.”
Tweeter 2: “Dude. 1st world problem”
I’ve only personally experienced it once, under which circumstances, I don’t recall. But I’m seeing it more and more these days, especially on Facebook. I could be totally wrong here, and I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments.
Half the time, people write it without even thinking. The other half…well:
I believe these people aren’t commenting in order to “ground” their aristocratic friends. You’re definitely romanticizing the situation if you presume that those commenting are just trying to put their off-the-charts-jaded acquaintance’s problems into perspective. Sure, there are people in developing nations (formerly “3rd world” countries) that have worse problems to deal with than anyone who has the opportunity and the means to be on social networking.
However, I think the person who points out that there are bigger disastrous fish to fry elsewhere are just doing it to shame their friends and exert their own perceived superiority. Commonly, these comments stem from people who have, at one time, visited a poorer nation and now feel it their duty to let everyone know they’ve witnessed true struggle. It’s important to note that these same people no longer live amongst the poor and have no desire to, either. But they did for one week last July and now they count themselves as having lived it, people. Yet, you don’t see them doing much to help besides trolling online.
This person feels so superior in their own view of the way the world turns that they are freshly ordained to let others know that their issues, no matter what they be, are both shallow and insignificant compared to people in, say, South America who are constantly outrunning the oozing lava of their local volcano. Or people in deepest Africa that wake up the next morning to see that one of their close family member has been ingested by a wild beast.
Yes, yes, I’m a butthole for even writing this blog post
To which I always respond: “I’m sorry I live in a 1st world nation and, as a consequence, don’t experience the same issues that less fortunate citizens of other countries may have.”
We all know as Americans that we generally have it easy–I don’t need your smug visage to pop up on my newsfeed and remind me that my basic food, clothing, and shelter needs are being met. I appreciate all that I have, as do most people.
But sometimes when you’re really irked by something, you just gotta let it out. Of course, restrain yourself from turning in to a “Rager” like I mentioned here. But go ahead and let people know that you burned your lap when you accidentally spilled hot tea from your grandmother’s vintage china cups.
Because even though our issues are nowhere near life-threatening, they’re still troubles, nonetheless, and it’s nice to have people empathize.
And I’ll thank you others to go with the flow and, instead of sitting astride your High Horse, respond with: “Yeah, I hate it when that happens” or “I totally feel your pain” or “That sucks”.
I’ll make sure to post again should an inexplicable 3rd world problem plague me–gotta keep that balance.
1st World Children don’t know how easy they’ve got it.