By Daniel S. Levy Judith Newman and Meredith Maran
Updated January 31, 2011 12:00 PM
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>THE JOYS OF UNPLUGGING

What happened when journalist Susan Maushart and her kids went cold turkey on tech for (gulp) six months? The Winter of Our Disconnect author says freedom from Facebook and cell phones led to a richer life.

HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO DISCONNECT?

When I came home from work, people were barely greeting me; I saw the backs of three heads. I wanted the closeness we had before Wi-Fi, laptops and handhelds crept up on all of us.

WHAT DID YOUR KIDS THINK?

I bribed them! I said, “If my book gets published, I’ll cut you in on the deal.”

HOW DID IT WORK?

It was like a trip to the old country. We read the paper, the girls cooked, my son played sax. They read in bed at night. It was freakish.

ANY LASTING BENEFITS?

My son sold his gaming computer; they now go on Facebook fasts. Try a detox—you’ll never regret it.