“First World Problems: Problems from living in a wealthy, industrialized nation that third worlders would probably roll their eyes at.” ~ Urban Dictionary
We started hearing about “the First World” during the cold war, used to describe countries aligned with the United States. Now it has become the latest meme in the world of social media humor. Also known as “White Whine,” FWP’s are frustrations and complaints that are only experienced by privileged individuals in wealthy countries. It is typically used as a tongue-in-cheek comedic device to make light of trivial inconveniences.
The earliest known reference to “first world problems” can be found in the lyrics of Canadian alt rock band Matthew Good Band’s 1995 song titled “Omissions of the Omen,” which was included as a bonus track on their full-length debut album Last of the Ghetto Astronauts: “And somewhere around the world / Someone would love to have my first world problems / Kill the moon and turn out the sun / Lock your door and load your gun / Free at last now the time has come to choose.”
If you want to read more, I recommend the article, “First World Problems” on the Know Your Meme site.