The very first post I wrote for this blog is an important one that I've cited a few times - The Party Killers. If you've read it, you know that I am vehemently opposed to having the TV on during a party, unless you're getting together to watch a program or movie. There was a question asked in the comments of that post, and I'd like to elaborate on it...
What do you suggest doing with the tv if it's a main part of the room's decor? There's always one guy who will want to turn it on!
Yes, Hannah we all know that guy. Your place (and you) are decorated to the nines, you have lovely appetizers, delicious cocktails, conversation is flowing....and he shows up and wants to know if he can turn on the tube or worse, goes and does it without permission. Le sigh.
Let's analyze this at various levels of boorishness:
They ask if they can turn on the TV. You say "I'd really rather not. If we turn it on, pretty soon everyone is just staring at it and not talking to each other." If they want to check the score of The Big Game (and they can't on their phone), take a minute to go to your computer and look it up for them.
Unplug it before the party starts. When they exclaim "Hey, what's wrong with your TV?" you can smile and say "I unplugged it!"
Unplug it AND hide remotes AND disconnect the cable/satellite hookup. Use the same response as above.
If you get to this level, suggest he watch it in a separate room. Be vigilant, though. There's a good chance other people will find him and then you'll have several guests mouth-breathing whilst staring blankly at a flickering screen. If that happens, it's your job to herd them back to the party. Once your rogue guest's program is done, make sure he rejoins the group. You can do this by popping into that room "to get something" and if he's done watching The Big Game but is now into something else, say something like "Aww...and here I thought you came to my party to see me!" or "that girl you were talking to earlier is asking where you went" or something that lets them know hey, this is not ok. If that doesn't work, you can let him stay in there, or put your foot down and make him socialize, darnit. Either way, chances are you won't see them anytime soon...probably of your own choosing.