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#ballslapping #thisisstupid #firstworldproblems

February 14, 2015

I’m probably a little late to this party and I’m probably going to sound like a crotchety old man, but I fucking hate hashtagging and I especially hate the ‘first world problems’ meme. My first issue with hashtagging is that it’s just an awful awful way to get your point across and esstentially meaningless as anyone with 20 bucks can get their hashtag near the top so more and more people use it. Otherwise known as viral marketing, otherwise known as leading sheep to the slaughter. Okay. Maybe not that bad, but it’s being used in ways to manipulate opinion.

Remember that likeaboy hashtag that was used by sooo many MRA’s? Yeah…bullshit. My friend had a good run down of it, but basically it was a meaningless hashtagged topic before someone paid the cash to spotlight it and then it was co-opted by a select few people who supported having a ‘Like A Boy’ campaign and then used by twitter people to make fun of those kind of people that would ask for some sort of ‘equality’ in expressions.

Secondly, twitter’s just a cesspool of awfulness. From people who ‘hate dem negros’ to others that just relentlessly mock celebrities and people they hate. There’s even a tumblr account dedicated to public shaming these twitter users that are the worst of the worst.

Then you have ‘first world problems’, which, to me, strikes me as a first world problem in itself: it speaks to the general ignorance of our culture because it implies that any place not counted as ‘first world’ is some sort of primitive hellhole where they have to hunt animals just for sustanence. Now, while I’m sure those kind of places still exist—they’re not in the majority. We picture Africa as The Lion King when really good chunks of Africa are as civilized and urbanized as the US. Or at least eastern European standards.

There’s the fact that it trivializes problems in our society. Oh, your broadband won’t work? Well, that’s not that trivial. Our cable companies are fucking awful. There should, realistically, be very few dropped broadband signals in a decently run service. But Comcast and Verizon and any other cable/broadband company likes to jerk itself off by touting speeds which you rarely get. That is a real problem. Stop trivializing it because you’re being lied to, you’re given shitty service, and these days if you don’t have an internet connection you’re fucked.

So yeah, problems that you think are trivial are the same kind of problems someone in South Africa or Egypt might have. These are not primitive societies. Hell, even Zimbabwe, for all its faults, does have somewhat modern living conditions. Even Cuba does. Or Honduras. Or any other place that could be conjured whenever someone thinks ‘first world problems’. No, there are no ‘first world problems’ only ‘I feel guilty for living in modern society while I think other people are starving and struggling elsewhere’ problems.

Yeah, again, places where getting food is difficult or there’s barely a functioning government do exist. They are real. But their problems do not make yours trivial just because you live in a high-tech society. It just means that the problems you encounter are a lot different than the ones they may encounter. That’s all. So stop feeling guilty and just start complaining about your problems because I know that’s what you really want to do even though you think I might find them stupid. And I very rarely find someone’s problems stupid. Most of the time I just cock my head to the side and go, ‘huh.’

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