Kadin Daigle, Copy Editor

By: Kadin Daigle, Copy Editor

Regarding the issue of First World problems versus Third World problems, it’s hard to say which are more valid. Looking at things from the surface, it’s easy to side with the opinion that Third World problems are more serious than the problems people in First World countries face; they get ads with sad music asking for donations while we get social media to “vent and complain.” How could our problems even begin to equate? Well, they do. Just like people in Third World countries suffer, so do we.

The daily life of people living in First World countries wouldn’t become easier for them just like life in Third World countries wouldn’t be easier for us. People in First World countries were raised differently than people in Third World countries so the problems and struggles each side faces are completely unalike.

Developed countries center their societies around things such as technology while developing countries may instead focus on internal conflicts and issues. This doesn’t necessarily mean that one is more serious than another but that each are dealing with problems that exist in completely separate realms from each other. It would be like trying to connect the problems of a rock band and a string orchestra; both may be dealing with music, however the basic instruments they are playing have nothing in common. It just can’t be done– First World and Third World problems are basically the same.

Freshman Alex Luke says, the three most important things in his life are “Wi-Fi, food, and electricity” and that he “wouldn’t like” not having electricity at all. These things aren’t easily accessible in Third World countries like they are in other advanced countries. A person accustomed to one lifestyle couldn’t easily switch over to another.

It’s not fair to discredit someone’s issues just because they aren’t seen as drastic. In addition, it’s equally unfair to discredit someone’s suffering simply because of where they live. In Florida, 6% of all children are considered impoverished.  In terms of real numbers, 49,886 children are homeless, 1 out of 29 children don’t know when they will get their next meal, and the state is ranked 43/50 in terms of levels of child impoverishment (with 50 being the worst).

While many people in first world countries aren’t born into poverty, it is still an issue that countless people are forced to deal with, regardless of the status their country is given.

Junior Iara Saraiva says, “Considering the life that I’ve lived in a First World country, [First World problems] are valid due to, like, society, but in the grand scheme of things I’m not sure if they really are. You’d have to take it from the point of view.”

The line is unclear as to where our problems become valid and where they become silly. That’s because people are afraid of ridicule for their seemingly “unimportant” issues. It’s easy for people to counter any of the issues that people in First World countries have with lines like “At least you aren’t starving,” but that’s just as ignorant as ignoring the fact that people are starving. Just because someone isn’t starving doesn’t mean that their problems aren’t real.

There are social and economic standards that people in First World countries face that people in Third World Countries wouldn’t ever have to imagine facing simply because of the area they grew up in. Being born privileged and then losing everything can be hard to do, and people in America face this issue quite often. The difference is that they are dismissed due to being surrounded in an environment that is considered wealthy and progressive.

First World problems are real, depending on how one chooses to view them. People don’t look down on citizens in Third World countries for having their issues, so no one should dismiss those who reside in First World countries either. Our lives, struggles, and problems are all valid. Individuals in First World countries are simply products of the society they were raised in just as those in third world countries are influenced by their surroundings. It’s only fair to show sympathy for both.