Credit: Mandi Bierly

Have you ever put yourself through TV detox? And if so, what changes did you make after you completed your self-prescribed program? Here’s why I’m asking…

Last week, I went on a road trip with my mother. (I dodged the Love Guru bullet because, it turns out, she hearts The Rock even more than she does Justin Timberlake.) I met her in PA, and we drove first to Lake George, New York, then on to Burlington, Vermont, singing along to The Very Best of Randy Travis most of the way. For the first time in years, I didn’t touch a computer for seven days. Not once. More impressively, for me, I limited my TV time to one show per day, with only two minor exceptions: the morning that I flipped back and forth between a Law & Order: Criminal Intent rerun and The Blue Lagoon (Eames was being held captive and the sex scene was approaching), and the night that I introduced my mother to Queer as Folk after we’d already enjoyed Nashville Star (I recommend any B&B that has a good enough cable package to include Logo).

Sure, I’m a little sad that without my usual TV routine to guide me I had no idea what day of the week it was (and tuned in for Swingtown on what I thought was Thursday but was actually Friday). And maybe had I been online or watching more television, I would’ve been reminded that Wipeout and I Survived a Japanese Game Show were premiering (though which one would I have chosen?!). But I do feel amazingly refreshed having spent more time staring at the Green Mountains, pictured, and a book (Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series) than at a 26″ screen.

So now comes the tough part: Do I make more time for nature and (gulp) reading this summer, or do I go back to my regularly scheduled life? At the very least, I’m turning off my Gale Harold and David Boreanaz Google News Alerts. (Returning home to an inbox full of those does put things into perspective, doesn’t it?)