Viewers fell in love with how she showed them the world. But can they love her world?
Sofia Mathew, better known as @sofmathew on YouTube, is more of an artist than a content creator. The 21-year-old Georgia native always had an eye for videography, and her channel, with its cottagecore-meets-metropolis aesthetic, has “a little bit of traveling, a little bit of fashion,” and “a lot of romanticizing life.”
A senior at NYU, Mathew spent a semester abroad in London. She started a travel series, posting weekly vlogs chronicling her numerous European exploits. Her videos (which once averaged 40 views at most) caught the eyes of hundreds of new people, with the most popular boasting over 67,000 views.
But nothing lasts forever. Mathew’s back at NYU and has hit the pause button on her travels. As she is reacclimating into college life, her newfound audience’s interest is slowly dwindling. Mathew’s journey is one she herself marvels at more than anyone else — Internet fame is both elusive and fickle. Can she get more than her fifteen minutes? Is she even expecting to?
Let’s start at the beginning: when did you start posting videos on YouTube?
I started in high school, posting videos similar to what I do now: beauty, fashion, lifestyle… none of this exists on the Internet anymore, by the way. I got really embarrassed when my classmates found my channel, so I scrapped it. Then, during the pandemic, I was home and in college. I started from scratch, with no one around for me to worry about being judged.
How would you describe your content?
There’s a trend on TikTok called “The Art of Noticing.” That feels exactly like what I try to do: finding picturesque moments in complete normalcy. I like to romanticize life through my videos, but I also never want to ignore the ugly parts of being human or seem unattainable. So I’ve incorporated talking about mental health on my channel, too.
You hit 1,000 subscribers towards the end of your semester in London. Walk me through that growth and how it happened.
My growth was nonexistent for over a year before London. I started gaining with my first study abroad “diary.” Then, I vlogged spring break in Italy — on the first day, it got around 15k views. It finally felt like I was talking to real people, people who cared.
What do you think attracted people to your travel videos?
Honestly… good timing? I was releasing videos when people were planning summer trips, figuring out what to do and how to get around. The Amalfi Coast was a trending vacation spot — literally, one of the most asked questions on that video was how to work the bus app system.
Also, I think people appreciated my filming style. I’m super organic about it. I never say, “Oh, let’s go to this place for the vlog.” I just film how I see things. Focusing on the beautiful stuff makes me happy. That’s what I really cherish.
Now that you’re back in New York, do you feel pressured to maintain the momentum?
When my travel videos did well, only that subsect of videos was rising in numbers and attention. When I returned, I knew my subscriber base could vanish. I kept thinking, will people want to see more of just me?
Since coming back, the growth has stagnated. It messed with my head because I was experiencing a new milestone every week, and then suddenly, I plateaued. I’ve heard it before from some famous YouTubers — you will experience rapid growth and then hit a plateau somewhere in your YouTube journey. You have to play a waiting game.
What are your goals with your channel as it stands today? Where do you see yourself?
I’ve been reflecting on my growth and evaluating myself. Did I change how I was sharing things for everyone else? Or was I staying true to what I truly wanted? Right now, I’m very confident in my style. I’m not trying to switch it up for views.
I always say this, but I want to be doing YouTube and I want to love doing YouTube until I’m 80. I don’t want to lose my love for it, no matter who’s watching me, no matter how many people are watching me.