The Social Side Of TV

While watching football on TV the other day it struck me that one reason I don’t care much for watching television is that while many people can do it together, there is not much active participation, discussion or shared enjoyment.  I want to watch TV, but I also want to make comments, share emotions and enjoy the show with the others in the room, not just near them.

Let me suggest the following solution and if you have any comments or feedback, please feel free to drop a comment.

Here’s what you do:

(1) Buy a second TV to match your first

(2) Arrange your living room so the seats face one another

(3) Use a cable splitter to connect both TVs to the same cable and then put one TV over each set of seating

See diagram below for illustration

New TV Room Layout


  • Can discuss face-to-face whatever you are watching
  • Better social orientation for interaction during downtime, like commercials or time-outs
  • More “good spots” to sit


  • Have to have two TVs
  • Could block other viewers when you get up
  • Can’t be on the phone (or do other distracting activities) while someone else is watching TV
  • Would always be looking above the person you’re talking to

The fundamental question behind this post is: How can we improve social interaction during an entrainment activity which typically has all the viewers face one direction?  This question can be applied to other events like theater or live sports where the group of people you’re sharing the experience with are seated in a line and facing the same direction.  Can you imagine if you had to have all your conversations that way?  I wonder what tweaks venues could make to allow guests to enjoy the show as a group, rather than as individuals.


  1. Pretty cool idea. I just moved in with a new room mate and we discovered that we have matching 42″ LCD tv’s and we’ve been wondering how to set up our living room. This was very helpful.

  2. conalldempsey says:

    @ Tyler

    That’s a nice problem to have. Let me know how you end up deciding to set up the TVs and if you use the arrangement above do tell me what you think!

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