Sitting Down With Sofia

February 21, 2017

“Hi! My name’s Sofia, and welcome to my YouTube channel!” A bubbly Sofia waves at the camera as the video begins. Laguna sophomore Sofia Martin-Fouroohi has been creating YouTube videos since fifth grade, and continues to incorporate social media into her everyday life; whether it be making ‘internet friends’ or creating content for her loyal group of supporters on several platforms. With over 3,000 followers on Instagram, 2,000 subscribers on YouTube and videos with over 120,000 views, Sofia continues to grow her social media presence while dealing with the challenges that come with living in the midst of a typical teenager’s life in high school.

How would you describe yourself in four words?
Friendly, spontaneous, creative, and worldly
What is your wardrobe staple?
At the moment, a hoodie because of this cold weather, and how comfortable it is. Normally, I love wearing a statement bomber jacket.
When do you feel most like yourself?
I feel most like myself when I’m surrounded by friends who support me and aren’t judgemental.
How long have you been on YouTube? What made you start?
I started doing weekly uploads in seventh grade, after a youTuber named Pewdiepie responded to a comment of mine. My channel gained a couple hundred subscribers, and that felt like a lot to me. So, I decided to start making skits in the style of Smosh, another YouTube channel. Interestingly enough, they actually followed me on Twitter yesterday, and retweeted one of my tweets– so that was really cool. Twelve-year-old me would have flipped over a table in excitement.

Favorite activities outside of school?
Watching TV (recently, “Family Guy” & a Korean romance show about two college athletes, which I’ve really been enjoying), holding my cat, hanging out with friends, and making YouTube videos.
Who inspires you? In the social media community, art-wise, YouTube-wise, etc.
I’m really inspired by the YouTuber “IAMKARENO.” She makes these really amazing fashion lookbook videos, and I really love the filming [style] and the lighting that she uses… it’s just really beautiful and it’s very inspiring to me– it gives me ideas for what I want to do with some of my videos.

How do you feel about attaining a ‘following’?
Well, I think I have a long ways to go with my following because I’d say that it’s still pretty small compared to a lot of people I know… but I think it’s… so mind-blowing to me that there are people who actually want to watch videos that I make! People will go out of their ways to message me… ‘When’s your next video” & ‘I love your videos!’. I’ve even seen people, when I respond to them, saying ‘Thank you so much’ and ‘Oh my gosh, you responded! I didn’t think you would!’ So that’s just, kind of, mind-blowing to me.
Do you ever interact with your followers? If so, what is the most memorable experience you’ve ever had with a subscriber or follower?
I haven’t really interacted with many of them in person, but I do online. I do live streams often, and a lot of people ask me questions or give me funny dares. Also, I respond to almost every message and comment from people who support me. In person, one of the most interesting things is, at VidCon, I actually met a girl who was a subscriber of mine. She came up to me and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I love your videos!’ I was totally shocked– like, ‘Who, me?!’
What message do you most hope that your followers attain through following you as a figure on social media?
I think a message that I’d like to spread is to be yourself, and you don’t have to try super hard to fit in. I used to do that a lot, and, it’s taken a while, but I’ve realized that you should always do what you want to do, just be yourself, and don’t be somebody else for another person.
What is your favorite video you’ve ever made?
Oh, gosh. This one’s pretty tough. I really liked making a Q&A video because it was so cool to see what my friends on social media were asking me, and what a lot of my supporters were asking. I just really liked that video.
What is your favorite part about social media? Least favorite?
My favorite part about social media is that you can making so many lasting friendships with people through social media, and they can become life-long friends. There’s a lot of really interesting people on there that you can meet [that have] the same interest, and it’s so awesome. My least favorite part about social media is I’ve seen so many people have stuff go to their heads; especially when they’ll ‘blow up’. I’ve had people I know go from five thousand followers to five hundred thousand followers in less than a year, and they become a totally different person. Especially because a lot of the ‘internet-famous’ people are teenagers, they can become really fake and nasty.

How do you deal with any hate that you get on social media, and in “real life”?
Well, on social media, if I get rude comments, I usually either don’t respond or just laugh it off, because it really doesn’t matter that much to me. I used to be really affected, especially when I got hate from people that I knew in real life, but now I just, kind of, laugh or delete their comment because it’s just annoying, and it’s their life they’re wasting by typing that comment, not mine.
How has social media changed your life for the better?
It’s really changed some of the ideas that I’ve had for careers. I went from, when I was younger, wanting to be a doctor, to, now, I’m really interested in filming and producing and even social media stuff. I’ve also met a lot of cool people, and made a lot of really awesome friends; I’ll text them almost, like, every day, and I’ve just learned so much about other people and other topics like fashion, and without social media, I would have no idea how to even apply makeup!
How has the Laguna community reacted to your social media presence?
I’m not sure that a lot of people really have reacted to it in a sense. I think that, for some people, it’s a little different for them, so they’re not really one hundred percent understanding of it, but other people I’ve known who’ve have been pretty positive about it like talking to me about it and telling me ‘Oh, you know so-and-so, that’s so cool, I love their videos!’
Do you plan to incorporate social media into your future? In what ways?
I do plan to incorporate social media into my future. I really hope I can continue my social media presence and hope to grow a large following on both YouTube and Instagram, and whatever other platforms I’m on. It really gives you an amazing way to get your voice out, and have all these amazing supporters. I also hope to continue it because I think it would be really awesome. Someday, when I start working in a career, it would be a really cool way of getting out [my work] if I’m, like, creating fashion or if I’m making a movie or something.

Hopes and dreams for your social media legacy?
Well, I really hope that I can inspire other people, who are maybe nervous about starting a YouTube or just going out there and doing something, I hope that I can inspire some people to… take that step and be bold, and be themselves.

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