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#FirstWorldProblems: Diaries of daily dilemmas
The hashtag #FirstWorldProblems started as a way to lampoon coworkers’ daily groans about the insignificant difficulties in their every day life. Today, the hashtag is a popular meme chronicling the funny inconveniences experienced in the First World.

By Kristen Lynch

In 2008, the Internet meme — a viral symbol that represents a cultural concept, widely shared on social media platforms — #FirstWorldProblems appeared on a Tumblr page named “The Real First World Problems.” People shared day-to-day problems dealing with life in the United States. Eventually, the Web page morphed into a space where individuals sarcastically shared their insignificant problems such as having too much money or too much food.

Today, people unify to exchange sarcastic banter on various social media platforms around the hashtag — the use of the pound (#) sign, directly followed by a link to a topic, phrase or word — #FirstWorldProblems.

fwpIn July of 2009, Chris Peterson brought the meme to Twitter with the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems. Peterson wrote a micro blog about office nuance and coworkers’ usage of the website FMyLife — a blog where people can post short embarrassing, comical or ironic messages, followed by #FML. Using the same concept as the already popular FML site, Peterson’s #FirstWorldProblems was born.

The Like to Discover team, a blog dedicated to curating entertainment and news content from around the world said, “the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems has become so popular, chiefly because we recognize that we have whined about similar trivialities in our own lives. Thankfully most of us who do commit these ‘problems’ to social media, do so in the full knowledge that we are being ironic.”

Two overarching themes in Twitter users’ #FirstWorldProblems are food and consumerism. The dominance of these topics in the tweets points to modern society’s priorities. Posting about food helps one bond with fellow tweeters and create new relationships within the platform.  While tweets about products reflect hyper-consumption society’s emphasis on disposability.


Google Search Trends for #FirstWorldProblems.