First world problems are issues that are trivial compared to what people in developing nations face. In fact, most of these so-called “problems” are not really problems at all. They are typically a by-product of some privilege we have in the first world, such as technology or access to food and water and other resources—you know, the things that a big portion of the world would be disgusted to know we take for granted. Yet, if you are living in a first world country, you have been annoyed by most (if not all) of the items on this list.
We know first world problems can be frustrating at times, but we must remember that we are very fortunate to have all the things that we have. In the meantime, though, let’s have a laugh at some of these first world problems we’ve all had to deal with.
18. Those darn commercials!
Who in their right mind would choose to sit through commercials? That’s right—no one. Commercials are annoying, repetitive and hardly ever advertise things we actually want. And that is why we, in the first world, are so damn grateful for a little thing called DVR. It makes life so much easier because we can schedule watching our favorite TV shows around our days and not the other way around. But don’t you just hate it when you totally forget that you’re watching a recorded show and just sit through all those commercials, thinking there’s nothing you can do about them. It sucks! Not only did you waste so much time, but you also had to use up so much willpower (to keep watching, despite those annoying commercials).
17. Too many kernels, not enough popcorn
Sometimes, we look forward to just staying home and watching an old movie on cable or binge-watching that new series on Netflix. And when we do this, we make sure we are coming to the party fully prepared. We have our take-out menus in sight, a warm blanket on the couch and, of course, microwavable popcorn popping. We all know that feeling of waiting in anticipation, as the buttery smell becomes stronger and stronger. You stare at the time as it counts down…three…two…one. Finally, the popcorn is ready! You open the bag and sit down in front of your TV or laptop, devouring the delicious, buttery goodness. But…what’s that at the bottom of the bag? Unpopped kernels?! UGH! Night ruined.
16. When the charger is all the way in the other room
You’re on your laptop, watching some YouTube videos and laughing hysterically along with your internet friends, when you notice the battery icon changes—now you only have 50% battery life left. Well, that’s a lot, right? Like, that’s literally half. We’re good. So, you keep watching your videos until the icon begins flashing to notify you it’s only at 10%. Maybe it’s time to charge the laptop…. But when you reach for the charger, you realize you left it all the way in the other room. Dammit! Why? Why?! Now you have to pause the video you were enjoying so much, get out from under your cozy blanket fort and actually walk to the other room. So much effort! But, there’s still 10% left, so maybe it can wait 10 more minutes…
15. When the internet does more harm than good
Which college student has not been in this situation? You have finals coming up (you know, those pesky soul-crushing tests that determine your grades in school and therefore, your entire future) and you know you should be studying, but the internet is just so damn distracting! We mean, there’s YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TheThings…so how can you resist? Who knows what you could be missing out on if you don’t check each site, one right after the other? You keep saying five more minutes, or one more video but before you know it, it’s 2 a.m. and you’re pretty much screwed. This is such a first world problem because people in the third world would kill for the education access so many of us have, yet here we are, throwing it away for some YouTube videos.
14. When having too much cash is actually a bad thing
HA! Now this is truly a first world problem. Yet, we can probably all relate to it. How many times have you run out of slots to put your cards in (whether it’s gift cards, business cards, story loyalty rewards cards or credit cards)? Or, maybe you just withdrew too much cash from the ATM and it won’t all fit comfortably in your wallet. Sometimes, it may be that your wallet literally won’t close because there are too many things in it. Other times, your wallet may close, but it’s bulky and bulging and uncomfortable to put in your back pocket. It may be inconvenient, but again, we should be grateful we even have a wallet—let alone, have any things to put in it!
13. When you want a late-night snack, but…
Don’t you just hate it when you’ve already changed into your pajamas, washed your face and brushed your teeth, only to feel hungry as soon as you hit your bed? Or worse yet, you’ve already brushed your teeth and your mom or roommate or significant other comes home from work late at night, with a box of Krispy Kremes. Yep, it sucks. You then have a tough choice to make: should you eat the food and brush your teeth again or should you just wait until the next day to eat it? Decisions, decisions… This is clearly a problem only those in the first world would have. Only here do we have so much food available to us, that we have to decide whether we should eat it now or at a later time.
12. Waking up early for work
Just about everyone we know hates waking up early to go to work, especially on Mondays! (And those who don’t share the sentiment, EXPLAIN YOURSELVES!) How many times do you hit the ‘snooze’ button on a work day? Three? Five? Don’t worry, that’s totally normal and we’re right there with you. And when you finally do make it out of bed, how many cups of coffee do you drink? We’ll guess that most people’s answer is at least one. Even morning people have a problem with waking up early for work. They’d much rather stay at home where it’s warm and leggings count as pants, go out for breakfast or hang out with some friends, instead of going to work early. But, if you were to lose your job, you’d be crying for another reason—you’d be broke!
11. When the light switch is too far away
This first world problem is very similar to the one about the laptop charger being left in the other room. It all boils down to being lazy and complaining about something not getting done, solely due to our own laziness. How many times have you sat in your bed and lost track of time? Before you know it, you’re no longer sitting up. You’re lying down, cozy underneath your blanket. But, the light is still on and you have to get up, out of your warm bed, just to turn it off. That’s just so annoying, isn’t it? We think all bedrooms should come with those clap-on/clap-off lights. Life would be so much easier! But in all seriousness, we really should be thankful for the fact that we even have a comfy bed and lights that work.
10. Chips and dip dilemma
There are so many great food pairings out there: peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk, apples and caramel. But one of the most classic and our favorite pairing of all time is chips and dip. Whether it’s sour cream, cheese, guacamole or salsa, and whether the chip is tortilla or potato, we’ll eat it! But, doesn’t it just suck when you’re happily dipping away, only to suddenly realize you won’t have enough dip for your chips? What do you do then? Do you eat the chips without dip or do you open a new container of dip? If you choose the latter, you won’t have enough chips to finish your new container of dip! The struggle is real… (Of course, you could always save the rest of the dip for later, but why on Earth would you make that terrible choice?)
9. When your favorite fast food restaurant doesn’t deliver
You know those days when you’re just binge-watching a new series on Netflix and your stomach starts to growl but you can’t be bothered to get up and cook some food? Yep, we’ve all been there at some point. There’s nothing in the pantry either, because you’ve been so glued to the show that you haven’t gone grocery shopping for days. So, you decide to order delivery. Hmm…what should you get? There’s pizza…but you always order pizza. There’s Chinese…but that’s a bit cliché. Italian? Nah, you had pasta last night. Man, why doesn’t our favorite fast food restaurant deliver? All we want is some McNuggets, golden fries and a McChicken burger delivered straight to our door. Is that too much to ask for?!
8. When your shampoo runs out before your conditioner
This first world problem is pretty much the same as the chip and dip situation. We’re lucky to have both chips and dip, just as we’re lucky to have both shampoo and conditioner. (And by that, we mean you’re lucky, because without shampoo and conditioner, you’d have to deal with some out-of-control hair over here.) Yet, we can’t help but be a little annoyed when one runs out before the other and we’re stuck in bottle-juggling limbo. It just feels so…unbalanced. Try as you may, your shampoo will most likely run out before your conditioner does, even if you open both bottles on the same day and try to use equal amounts of each. Then, you’ll have to head to the store to buy just one of the two. You can always try to avoid this problem by purchasing a two-in-one shampoo/conditioner, though. Our temperamental hair would never allow such things, though.
7. Damn you, autocorrect
Autocorrect is one of the best worst features ever invented. The idea behind it is great, but its performance simply sucks far too often for us to be fully on board. Think about how many times autocorrect ruined a conversation for you, caused an argument or misunderstanding or embarrassed you. And we’re sure it’s changed “lol” to “LOL” a couple of times, making you seem way too desperate or overexcited to whomever you’re texting with and probably not even laughing out loud at all with. It’s times like those when we just want to yell out loud: “Damn you, autocorrect!” But, we resort to simply turning off the autocorrect feature instead. And while we can all agree that autocorrect is annoying, but let’s not forget to be grateful that we even have a smartphone in the first place.
6. When your iPad finger has a paper cut
Ah, the precious iPad finger—it allows you to scroll through your Instagram feed, tweet endlessly, check texts and emails, read ebooks and browse the web and play all sorts of games. But what happens when you have a paper cut on your iPad finger? Oh, the horror! Now, every single time you touch your iPad, you’ll feel the sting. Literally. Don’t worry, we have a few suggestions to help you! You can a) use a stylus or b) put down your iPad for a while. Hey, you lived without it a decade ago, so we’re sure you’ll survive without it for a day or two. Besides, is your tweet really that important? Must everyone know that you’re hitting the gym hardcore lately bro? Seriously, we doubt it.
5. The longest 15-second wait
When we watched cable, we complained about the five-minute segments of commercials, which would interrupt our show at least two or three times. Then, along came YouTube, with its ‘Skip Ad’ option, which could typically be used 15 seconds into an advertisement. Finally, Netflix appeared and we all rejoiced over not having to watch any ads whatsoever. There was one catch, though—it pauses for 15 seconds between episodes. It can be a bit annoying waiting 15 whole seconds in silence, but let’s be happy that we don’t have to sit through minutes of commercials. But in that silence we must instead face our own humanity, contemplate our life choices and confront our greatest fears in life. Oh, and let’s also be happy that we have Netflix and a television or device to watch it on?
4. Taking the stairs because the escalator broke
Isn’t it annoying when the escalators in the mall or at your office building or school stop working? You’re then forced to take the dreaded stairs! Oh, no! For real, who has the time and patience for this nonsense? Hopefully, you aren’t running late; that would just make the whole situation so much worse. It’s days like this when we really should appreciate living in the first world. Sounds contradictory, right? Seriously, though, imagine living in the third world where elevators and escalators don’t even exist in most areas yet. You’d have to trek up those stairs every single day. Hey, at least you’ll be forced to burn some calories. If you aren’t a big fan of working out, this may actually be a good thing.
3. When they forgot to add that extra whipped cream…
It really gets on our nerves when a fast food restaurant messes up our order. Sometimes, they add pickles to our burgers when we tell them not to. Other times, they mix up our order with someone else’s, so we end up getting a wrap with fries, when we actually ordered a wrap with a salad. (Hey, we’re trying to make healthy choices here!) Still, other times, they forget to add the extra whipped cream on the Frappuccino we’ve been looking forward to all day (hey, we said trying—no one’s perfect). It may really put us in a sour mood for a while, but we have to remember that things could be worse. For example, you could be so poor that you can’t even afford Starbucks. Or live in a place where it doesn’t even exist. Just let that sink in for a moment.
2. Rationing your only dipping sauce
Are you noticing a trend with these first world problems? Besides the fact that they’re very petty, many of them have something to do with technology or fast food. Now, technology and fast food have been introduced into the first world to make things more convenient for us. We should definitely feel lucky to have these things that take the tasks of all sorts of computing, grocery shopping and cooking off of our plates, yet when one little thing goes wrong—like getting only one sauce for 20 nuggets—we practically throw a hissy fit. We definitely agree that it’s frustrating when this happens, but at least we have the luxury of eating 20 nuggets, right? You can also circle back around if you must…or find some ketchup for the nuggets when you get home.
1. Those itchy tags on your clothing
Yes, clothing tags can be really irritating, especially those ones on the side seam of your shirt. At least with the ones on the neck area, you can flip them outwards so they aren’t touching your skin when they get to be too much. But, the ones on the side of your shirt are a different story. They itch you all day long and if you don’t have a pair of scissors nearby, there’s pretty much nothing you can do about it. Even if you do have a pair of scissors nearby, sometimes, you don’t want to cut the tag off because it has all the information about how to wash or iron the clothing item. It’s a true first world dilemma. Why don’t they make tags out of silk or something less itchy? *Sigh*
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